DCMS funds £600k Bomber memorial gap
11 October 2012
The government and philanthropist John Caudwell have closed a £600,000 funding gap that could have forced veterans of World War II's Bomber Command to sell their homes, it has been announced.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced that mobile phone billionaire Caudwell had agreed to donate £200,000 towards the £557,000 shortfall announced earlier this month.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has agreed to provide a further £400,000.
The memorial was opened on 8 June in a ceremony attended by 6,500 people including 13 members of the royal family. While trustees of the Bomber Command Memorial Association had raised some £6.5m through years of campaigning to fund the memorial, the royal security demands inflated the costs of the event at the last minute.
"It is absolutely right that public funding be made available for this, and that we move decisively now to do so," said Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
"I am extremely grateful to John Caudwell in his efforts to bring this matter to closure, and to all those people whose generosity in making donations, large and small, have helped us to get to this point.
"Those surviving veterans from that campaign can rest easy tonight knowing that their fund-raising efforts are complete, and that they will not have to dip into their own pockets to make up the shortfall."
The DCMS awarded two grants totalling £1m towards the cost of the memorial before today's announcement, but the majority of funding came from a campaign organised by veterans and national newspapers.
Bomber Command Association secretary Douglas Radcliffe said: "It's a relief for the trustees that they are secure in their homes. It's all come good."