THE National Memorial Arboretum has topped a public vote of the favourite places funded by the National Lottery in England over the last 20 years.
The UK’s centre of remembrance, part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, received the most votes in a National Treasures survey which asked social media users to choose their favourite from a range of iconic venues, landmarks and facilities that have benefited from Lottery funding.
The news comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the first National Lottery draw, which took place on 19 November 1994. Since then players have raised in excess of £32 billion for more than 430,000 projects across the UK.
The National Memorial Arboretum is a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen and recognises Service and sacrifice. Containing more than 300 memorials, including the striking Armed Forces Memorial, it welcomes 300,000 visitors a year.
Sarah Montgomery, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “The National Lottery has played a significant role in our development and we’re now truly honoured that the public has chosen us as their favourite place.
“For some, the primary draw is to pay respect to our Armed Forces, but for many others, it is about exploring the beautiful and fascinating natural landscape we have created and gaining a greater personal understanding of remembrance in all of its guises.”
A deserving winner
More than £8 million of National Lottery funding has been awarded to the National Memorial Arboretum. It beat The Eden Project in Cornwall and The Beamish Museum in County Durham into second and third place in the poll, which attracted 66,000 votes.
Jackie O’Sullivan, Director at the National Lottery Promotions Unit, said: “The National Memorial Arboretum is a very deserving winner. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for the people and places they care about most.”
To plan your visit to the National Memorial Arboretum, visit www.thenma.org.uk