WORK has begun on the renovation of the Memorial Gardens at St Paul's Church in Ramsbottom.

The project will be delivered in two phases with the first phase, funded by Bury Council, concerning the improvement of the wider area of the gardens around the memorial.

A new pathway and access improvements will be created with new trees, shrubs and sensory planting aiming to create a colourful backdrop for the Memorial.

A second phase will be led and delivered directly by the Ramsbottom War Memorial Project Group which has been working on improving the war memorial since August 2012.

The group has been researching the names of all service personnel from the Ramsbottom Urban District who have fallen in conflict since the beginning of the First World War. The group believes it now has a comprehensive list of all fallen service personnel who lived in Ramsbottom at the time of their enlistment.

Martin Wiggam, from the Ramsbottom War Memorial Project Group, said: "Our group have been working on this project, raising funds and researching these names for several years.

"It’s important to all of us that the people of Ramsbottom who gave so much are not forgotten. By having this memorial we will be recording, for posterity, the names of all who gave their lives for the country since the start of World War One right through to future conflicts.’’

The names of those who are to be inscribed can be found at under the 'news' section.

Martin said: "We ask everyone to scrutinise these lists to ensure that all those who qualify are included. "Please let us know as soon as possible if you have an observation or you wish to add a name that we have missed.

"A huge number of people, businesses and groups have supported this scheme from the outset including Peel Lions Club, Ramsbottom Rotary, Ramsbottom Royal British Legion, Ramsbottom Heritage Society, The Duchy of Lancaster, local Scout and Cadet groups, along with many individual residents."

Cllr Alan Quinn added: “The Ramsbottom War Memorial Gardens will receive an injection of care it really does deserve.

"We should never forget those local people that made the ultimate sacrifice. With this simple investment and working in partnership with the Ramsbottom War Memorial Project Group, the centre of Ramsbottom really will stand out as a beautiful place to visit.”

The second phase of the project is die to start in June or July this year with work expected to be completed in full by August 2021.