A village church has been granted £30,000 to restore its First World War memorial gates.
St Peter and St Paul Church, in Belton, was awarded the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant towards the repair and restoration of the gates, which were erected in 1920.
They stand in memory of Belton’s 10 soldiers who lost their lives in the war.
The project will restore the gates and supporting stonework to full working condition and conserve the memorial plaque for the fallen soldiers. The restoration work, beginning early next year, will be finished in time for a commemoration ceremony to mark the end of the First World War.
Church treasurer Michael Coney said: “The condition of the gates has been of concern to us for some time, however much of the fund-raising efforts continues to focus on the church building, which is showing severe stone and mortar erosion.
“Consequently, the support of Heritage Lottery Fund at the approach of this historically important time is hugely appreciated.”
At the end of the First World War, Adelbert, 3rd Earl Brownlow of the Belton House Estate, designed and commissioned the memorial gates for the parish church. Much of the work in making and fitting the gates was completed by the then village blacksmith. Nearing the centenary of this work, these memorial gates are now in a very poor state of repair.
The church, working with Belton House (National Trust) and children from the village, hope to research the men who are commemorated, to bring greater poignancy of their remembrance as a community. This will be recorded and shared for future generations.
Jonathan Platt, head of HLF East Midlands, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. Thanks to National Lottery players the Heritage Lottery Fund has already been able to invest more than £90 million in more than 1,700 projects – large and small – that are marking this global centenary.
“With this funding we are enabling even more communities like those involved in the restoration of Belton’s memorial gates, to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help people to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”