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£500k Folkestone memorial arch project wins approval

By Folkestone Herald  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

By Antony Thrower

APPROVED:  The Step Short arch was passed unanimously

APPROVED: The Step Short arch was passed unanimously

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STEP Short's £500,000 memorial to the millions of soldiers who passed through Folkestone in the First World War has been unanimously approved by two councils.

Shepway District Council discussed the proposals, hoped to be in place by January 2013, for the 14-metre stainless steel arch, last month.

Following the presentation, councillors were shown a sample of the metal hoped to be used for its construction, before the vote.

The council chamber was filled with cheers and applause when all present passed it unanimously.

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Step Short will now start the tendering process to carry out the work.

Speaking afterwards, vice-chairman and Shepway councillor Ann Berry said: "It was absolutely fantastic, what a night.

"I've been at my desk most of today receiving phone calls and e-mails of congratulations from people, but the hard work doesn't stop. In fact it's just beginning, there is still lots to do.

"This has been five years in the making. Once somebody suggested the arch, that's been our focus.

"I think this will be good for Folkestone. People will come to the town to see this.

"We couldn't do a thing until this was approved, but now it can go for tendering. We're just delighted."

The proposal is for a stainless steel memorial and paved area on the Leas, in a similar location to an arch erected in 1937 at the top of the Road of Remembrance.

The groundwork will take the form of a compass showing the direction of countries whose soldiers passed through Folkestone. At the northern foot of the arch will be placed a statue of soldier in full uniform.

Folkestone town council also passed the plans unanimously, on Thursday, October 18.

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