£250,000 Brierley Hill war memorial works almost complete
A £250,000 scheme to restore Brierley Hill’s historic war memorial is expected to be completed this week.
The leader of Dudley Council, Councillor Patrick Harley, met with Tim Sunter, chair of Brierley Hill Community Forum, yesterday (Wed) to see the almost finished work.
The project to restore the monument in Church Hill started in August last year.
The first phase saw the Grade II listed soldier sitting atop the memorial repaired and enhanced, walls and railings repaired and new architectural lighting installed. The majority of the works for this phase were completed in time for the centenary of the War Memorial in November 2021.
In the second phase, which started in January this year, contractors worked on laying a pavement of natural stone on the terrace around the war memorial and undertaking a programme of hard and soft landscaping works within the memorial gardens itself. The work included significant stabilisation works to the embankment and to the intermediate wall that runs through its centre.
The work is part of a wider regeneration programme for the town through the £1.8million Brierley Hill High Street Heritage Action Zone, a Government funded grant programme administered by Historic England.
The project has also seen new planters installed in the four inset bays which can be used to support Brierley Hill in Bloom delivered by Brierley Hill Community Forum. The group has been keen champions for restoration works being undertaken at Brierley Hill War Memorial and supported the recent installation of knitted flowers that currently cascade down into the gardens.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:
I’ve visited this site a few times now, and it’s fantastic to see the improvements that have been made.
The war memorial sits on a key gateway into Brierley Hill and, now fully restored, will ensure the memories of those heroic soldiers listed on it will live on to inspire and educate future generations.
It is one of a number of positive developments in the pipeline for Brierley Hill, and it’s great that the works will be complete in time for the Queen’s Baton relay on July 24 when it comes through Brierley Hill.
As a council we are committed to improving the town, and we are working closely with the very active community forum to drive forward real change and improve the lives of people who live and work here.
Tim Sunter, chair of the Brierley Hill community forum, said:
The war memorial rightly holds a very special place in the hearts of the people of Brierley Hill. Its repair and the enhancement of its gardens is a project that Brierley Hill Community Forum has been championing for a number of years.
This is not only a very fitting tribute to the fallen of the town, it is also a very positive start to the planned regeneration works proposed for Brierley Hill.
The war memorial commemorates the dead of the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, Cyprus Emergency and Malayan Emergency. Standing on top of it is a marble statue of a male soldier in uniform with a bayonet. Stanley Harley, the first man in Brierley Hill to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was the one selected to pose for it when it was originally being carved.
The work has been done by Midland Conservation Ltd, overseen by Oliver Architecture.
For more information on the regeneration projects in Brierley Hill visit https://www.regeneratingdudley.org.uk/brierley-hill-projects and https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/planning/historic-environment/brierley-hill-high-street-heritage-action-zone/ and for more information about the war memorial visit https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1423776
Notes to Editors
About High Streets Heritage Action Zones
Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding and sharing our skills to help breathe new life into high streets that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. The High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, backed by government funding, aims to help with the recovery of local high streets from regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects .
About Historic England
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories these places tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.