Who is funding the project?
The project to date has been funded by central government utilising the LIBOR fund.
This fund raised from the proceeds of fines for bank rate irregularities is dedicated to support Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities and other related good causes that represent those that demonstrate the very best of values.
How much do you anticipate that the project will cost?
Initial estimates suggest the project is likely to cost in the range of £20 and £30 million. This is comparable to the £20 million recently dedicated by the LIBOR fund to the proposed Normandy Memorial and the £50 million of public money recently committed to the proposed London Holocaust memorial. Once approved, an independent trust will be established to raise the necessary funding to deliver and manage the Memorial during construction and operation.
Who is leading the project?
The planning stage of the project is being facilitated by Dover District Council, who have appointed a team led by WSP, one of the world's leading engineering professional services firms. WSP is working with a skilled and committed project team of companies, including:
- Designers Baca Architects and Craft: Pegg
- Business and operational experts Britton McGrath
- Heritage consultants Urban Counsel
- Cost consultants Currie & Brown
WSP has also appointed local contractors to support the site analysis tasks, including ecological and archaeological surveyors.
The intention is that after the planning stage, the project would pass to an independent trust, who will be responsible for fundraising, constructing and operating the Memorial.
Do you think that the memorial is the best use of this piece of land?
The Grand Shaft Barracks site has been, to a large extent, abandoned for several decades. The site is unsuitable for standard commercial development due to its historic significance, its inaccessible topography and its visual sensitivity. Realistically the site is likely to remain unmanaged open space, should a viable use such as the memorial not come forward.
Is the memorial restricting development opportunities in Dover?
We have not been able to identify any development opportunities in Dover that are likely to be restricted by the Memorial. In fact our research to date indicates that the presence of the memorial is likely to attract and retain significant numbers of visitors to Dover, enhancing the town's offer and creating opportunities for the community in the long term.
Will there be car parking facilities on the site?
There will be parking facilities on and around the site and we have tried to provide the necessary parking as sensitively as possible. A small car park for disabled people will be provided adjacent to the visitor centre. The existing car parks on North Military Road and South Military Road will be enhanced. A further nearby site is being identified for overflow parking and coach waiting, which will be necessary on busier days. The current work on the project includes investigating this issue further and reaching agreements with third parties about the best parking location.
A transport strategy is being included in the planning documents to demonstrate that the site can operate with minimal impact on the surrounding area. This will include extensive parking analysis, which will include comparisons between the proposed memorial and other similar existing sites to demonstrate a robust parking plan.
Will the access be suitable for wheelchair users?
The design team have developed a form of memorial that is entirely accessible. On site disabled parking and a fully DDA compliant route through the site make the memorial entirely suitable for wheelchair users. We also propose that the visitor centre will include mobility scooter hire, in the same manner as the National Memorial Arboretum currently operates.
Will there be facilities on the site?
There will be interpretation, education and refreshment facilities provided on site through a dedicated visitors centre. Education opportunities are a core part of the memorial's mission and study of the World Wars is an important part of the National Curriculum. The design will include aids to interpretation of the memorial site, including providing information about the historic significance of the site. Lavatories will be provided in the visitors centre and on the parade ground area. There will also be seating areas throughout the memorial to allow peaceful contemplation of the site and the wider landscape.
How long do you anticipate the construction of the memorial to take?
The inscription of 1.7 million names is no small task and the delicate construction of a memorial to last generations should not be rushed. In construction terms we estimate a start on site preparation in 2018, subject to funding and approvals. If planning and fund raising goals can be met, we have an aspiration to open the memorial during 2022, the year of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
During the construction will there be an impact on local roads for deliveries etc?
It should be acknowledged that there will be some inconvenience for road users during the construction period, as there will be the need for a large number of vehicle movements to and from the site. A transport strategy is being included in the planning documents to demonstrate that the site can operate with minimal impact on the surrounding area. This will include a construction stage traffic management strategy, which will identify likely vehicle movements and propose suitable management and mitigation of any issues.
Do you think this will have a positive impact on Dover town?
We believe the memorial will have a significantly positive benefit to Dover, with the opportunity to raise the town's profile globally. The town's hosting of the memorial will add another dimension to its identity and draw new visitors.
Will there be employment opportunities for local residents?
There will be significant opportunities for construction stage jobs as the memorial is constructed. In addition there will be a small number of operation jobs which will be delivered, along with wider opportunities for new jobs in the town, particularly in retail, food & beverage and tourism sectors. There will be further analysis of employment opportunities, which will be reported in the operational plan and the environmental statement, which are being developed in the final stages of the current project.
Do the roads in Dover have the capacity for the additional traffic the memorial will bring when it opens?
The project team has undertaken initial discussions with Kent County Council and Highways England about the project. The number of vehicle trips that will be created by the Memorial, especially during peak traffic periods, is relatively low. We are therefore confident that wider impacts will be acceptable and will not cause undue issues for Dover’s road network.
We have identified the need for minor improvements to some of the junctions on approach roads to the memorial, which will allow them to operate more efficiently for coaches in particular.
We will be completing further traffic analysis work, included for construction stage activities and this will be reported within the planning application documents.