Michael Fabricant is piling on the pressure on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for some funding for the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) near Lichfield.
“The National Memorial Arboretum and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national Remembrance”, says Michael Fabricant. “I know that public finances are tight, but visitors to the NMA are a testimony to the project’s success which rivals that of the Cenotaph in London.
“In Parliamentary Questions to the Ministry of Defence, I have ascertained that funding does not match visitor numbers of other attractions and the MOD are now aware of this too.
“In a Parliamentary Answer, the junior MOD Minister has told me that in 2012-2013 The Royal Navy Museum had 585,276 visitors and will receive as a grant from the MOD in 2014-2015: £3,444,000 to support it. Similarly, the National Army Museum had 254,108 visitors and will receive £6,540,000; and the Royal Air Force Museum had around 500,000 visitors and will receive £8,336,000.
“But the grant has been cut to the National Memorial Arboretum. It had 244,944 visitors in 2012-2013 but now will receive no grant at all – except for £625,000 found from another fund not managed by the MOD.
“This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding” says Michael. The NMA are not permitted to charge admission fees.