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James Brokenshire announces an extra £25 million for Westminster Holocaust Memorial

Communities Secretary spoke of the importance of having it 'in the shadow of our Parliament at the heart of our democracy'

    James Brokenshire
    James Brokenshire (Photo: Getty Images)

    An extra £25 million has been committed to the planned Holocaust Memorial in Westminster, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire.

    Mr Brokenshire said the extra money would improve the visitor experience and maximise green space on the site, which is to include a learning centre in Victoria Gardens next to parliament but has faced opposition that forced its architects back to the drawing board.

    Speaking at an event at the Wiener Library - the world's oldest Holocaust archive - on Tuesday, Mr Brokenshire said this money would be matched by a new charity headed up by member Community Security Trust chair Gerald Ronson and Lord Andrew Feldman.

    “I believe there can be no more powerful symbol of our commitment to remembering the men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides than by placing the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, in the shadow of our Parliament at the heart of our democracy,” the Communities Secretary said.

    “Education on the Holocaust and subsequent genocides is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against prejudice, intolerance and misinformation.

    “Located beside our Parliament, this Memorial will deliver this message, and stand as a permanent reminder that political decisions have far-reaching consequences.”

    The Learning Centre is to focus on the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and "will educate future generations on the importance of fighting prejudice and persecution in all its forms," the Communities Department said.

    In 2015 the Government committed £50 million to the project. A time capsule will be buried at the memorial site "to remind future generations that survivors fought long and hard for this memorial".

    In a video played at Tuesday’s event Theresa May, called the building of a Holocaust Memorial in Westminster "a sacred, national mission”.

    Mrs May was joined by the all the living former prime ministers - David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major - in sending messages of support.

    A planning application for the project, which was first proposed in 2016, has been lodged with Westminster City Council but architects have said they will submit a smaller design, after heritage and environment groups raised concerns about the design's impact on Victoria Gardens.

    Royal Parks, which manages the space, warned the initial plans would have a "significant and harmful impact" on the park, which is next to the Palace of Westminster.

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