COMMUNITY groups in Upper Nithsdale have been urged to apply for financial help to renovate war memorials in their area.

They have been encouraged by local MSPs Emma Harper and Joan McAlpin to apply to the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF).

This is a £1million asset, launched by former First Minister Alex Salmond in 2013, to help communities undertake the necessary repair and conservation work on the monuments.

The CMRF forms a central part of the Scottish Government’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.

Funding was announced ahead of Remembrance Sunday for 95 sites, with many more projects set to benefit from the fund between now and March 2018.

South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine said: “Our local war memorials are a mark of history and a tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“While so many communities take great care of local memorials, upkeep can be expensive – and it is a real shame when these memorials are visibly in need of repair.”

Ms Harper added: “It would be great if as many repair projects as possible could be completed in time for the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.

“I would encourage everyone in Upper Nithsdale to visit their local war memorial this Remembrance Day and get in touch with the War Memorials Trust if they have a project that could benefit from this fund.”