The £15.7 million Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum has opened its doors ahead of Armistice Day on November 11.
Set for an official launch in March 2017, this ‘soft opening’ will offer a sneak preview to thousands of visitors over the winter.
It is expected to welcome about 500,000 visitors per year at the National Memorial Arboretum’s home in Staffordshire.
The centre includes dedicated exhibition spaces and learning facilities that will enable the Arboretum to cater for 25,000 children a year, up from 15,000 currently.
Improvements have been made to the reception area, restaurant, coffee shop and gift shop, while a new cloistered square and garden is being added.
Part of The Royal British Legion, the National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of remembrance – a tribute to those who serve their country, die in conflict or have a special reason for being remembered.
It has 50 staff and more than 200 volunteers caring for its 30,000 maturing trees and 330-plus memorials.
More than 200 special events are held at the Arboretum annually.