Work progressing on £250,000 war memorial restoration
The leader of Dudley Council visited Brierley Hill to see the progress being made on a £250,000 scheme to restore the town’s historic war memorial.
Councillor Patrick Harley donned a hard hat to meet stonemasons and get an update on the second phase of the painstaking improvement works.
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. Now contractors are working 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 topography of the site has made this a challenging scheme, requiring substantial structural works to the intermediate stone walls that run through the centre of the site.
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 will also see new planters installed in the four inset bays which can be used to support Brierley Hill in Bloom delivered by Brierley Hill Community Forum, keen champions for restoration works being undertaken at Brierley Hill War Memorial.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:
It’s fantastic to see the progress that has been made on this project and to see skilled stonemasons in action.
The war memorial sits on a key gateway into Brierley Hill and once 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.
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:
It is great to see the progress that has been made so far and to hear that the works are due to be completed in-time for the launch of Brierley Hill in Bloom planned to be launched in May.
This is not only a very fitting tribute to the fallen of Brierley Hill it is also a very positive start the planned regeneration works proposed for Brierley Hill.
The 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 is being done by Midland Conservation Ltd and being overseen by Oliver Architecture and is expected to be complete by the end of April /beginning of May.
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.