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Cotswold district councillors help renovate First World War memorial garden in Cirencester

A memorial garden in the heart of Cirencester has been transformed thanks to a council fund set up to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary last year, Cotswold District Council encouraged councillors to support initiatives in their wards.

Councillors Mark Harris, Patrick Coleman and council leader Joe Harris all supported the Royal British Legion Cirencester Women's Section in giving the Garden of Remembrance at St John Baptist church a much-needed update.

Cotswold District Council awarded the project with a grant of £1,684 for the work to be completed.

John Tiffney, Chairman of Cirencester Civic Society managed the works in partnership with Cirencester Town Council who maintain the churchyard.

The works to renew the garden included the removing of weeds, installing two new planters, installing a purpose built bench, replacing an old sign, removing weeds and planting two hundred spring bulbs and two yew trees.

Children from Powell's Church of England Junior School provided a welcome hand in planting the spring bulbs.

Local business Cotswold Signs donated the new sign to the project. The garden's new purpose built commemorative bench was designed by David Oglive.

A representative of the Royal British Legion said: "We are delighted with the way the garden has been transformed.

"People come into the Churchyard to sit and contemplate the debt of gratitude we owe to those who gave their lives in the Great War and subsequent wars."

Council leader Joe Harris added: "I'm thrilled that we were able to reinvigorate the Garden of Remembrance in Cirencester Churchyard using the council's First World War fund.

"I would like to say a big thanks to Mr Tiffney, the Civic Society and the Women's Section of the Royal British Legion for making this happen.

"I encourage anyone visiting the town to please come and visit the garden to take the opportunity to reflect and enjoy the beautiful surroundings here in the centre of Cirencester."

Any local groups interested in applying for financial assistance should approach their Costwold Distric Councillor.

For larger projects, additional funding may be available from other sources.

The Heritage Lottery Fund supports projects under its 'Understanding the First World War' programme, from £3,000 to over £100,000.

Information about other funding and projects are available from the Heritage Lottery Fund website.

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