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Cleaning work under way at Arch of Remembrance

Published on Thursday, April 12, 2018

WORK to give Leicester’s main war memorial a major spruce up is under way.

The Grade 1-listed Arch of Remembrance on Victoria Park will be meticulously cleaned by expert contractors as part of the city’s preparations for the centenary of the end of the Great War.

Specialist low-pressure steam-cleaning is will remove dirt, moss and staining caused by algae. It will also kill any algae spores, helping to delay future build-up.

The park lodge buildings, which stand on either side of the main London Road gates, will also be cleaned and repaired as part of the £100,000 project.

Work is expected to take around three months, and will be completed in good time for the city’s annual Remembrance Day service and parade due to take place in November.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The war memorial on Victoria Park is one of Leicester’s finest architectural treasures, and something the whole city can be proud of. This expert maintenance work is part of the essential upkeep and conservation of such important historical buildings.

“As we prepare to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, it is particularly important that make sure that the monument and memorial gates are looking their best.”

The city council last year completed work on the new ‘Centenary Walk’ as part of a £2milllion Victoria Park improvement project. The tree-lined route has restored the lost link between the city’s Arch of Remembrance and the park’s historic gates.

The Arch of Remembrance was designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, and unveiled in 1925. It is one of seven grade-1 listed war memorials designed by Lutyens, including the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Lutyens also designed the park lodge buildings and ornate, wrought iron gates on London Road, along with the matching gates at the entrance to Peace Walk.

Both sets of gates have been painstakingly repaired and restored as part of a £295,000 scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.