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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
War memorial's future secured
A service taking place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas
The site is dedicated to those who served in conflicts across the world
The future of a national memorial to all those who have served in conflicts around the world has been secured by government funding.

The National Memorial Arboretum, which opened in 2000, will receive a 250,000 grant from the Ministry of Defence.

The money will go towards running the site in Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, for the next three years.

The 150-acre site, which has been planted with more than 50,000 trees as a tribute to British servicemen and women, is due to be taken over by the Royal British Legion.

Michael Fabricant, Conservative MP for Lichfield, said he and other supporters had been lobbying the MoD to help finance the venture which relies entirely on charitable donations.

Secure future

He said: "We have been waiting for this announcement for a long time and all sorts of people, including myself, have been pushing the Ministry of Defence and Gordon Brown to cough up the money they had promised almost a year ago.

"This money now secures the mid-term future of our National Arboretum and facilitates its takeover by the Royal British Legion."

Sir Henry Every, chief executive of the memorial, said he was delighted by the funding announcement and the confirmation that the Royal British Legion would be taking over the site.

Sir Henry said: "By coming under the wing of a larger, long-established and much respected charity, we will ensure that the arboretum continues to be a unique commemoration of those who have sacrificed so much in order to preserve our freedom."

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