PEOPLE in Chester-le-Street who want a new war memorial are being asked to put their money where their mouth is.

The Chester-le-Street District War Memorial Group hopes that work will start on the new monument in the spring.

If all goes to plan, it will be ready for 2013’s Remembrance Day.

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But the group needs to raise another £16,000 in the next four months before contracts can be issued.

It has funding applications in with ten trusts and funding bodies but it also needs financial backing from the town.

Group chairman Jim Carroll said: “The overall cost is £60,000 but £20,000 of that is for maintenance and public liability insurance and can be raised later.

“We have got £16,900 raised so far but we need to raise £33.883 and then we can issue the contracts to start work, which I hope to do at the end of April, beginning of May.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to make a donation to the new memorial.

“All the people in Chester-le-Street who have spoken to me say they want a new memorial and that it is long overdue.

“They always wanted it to go back to a location close to where it was.”

The plan is to put it opposite the Market Place.

Mr Carroll said: “I know times are hard and getting harder but if all the voters of Chester-le-Street gave a pound each we would have more than we need.”

The group has been awarded £500 by the Masonic Benevolent Association and is awaiting decisionson up to ten applications for sums up to £5,000.

The Market Tavern is starting a 12-month funding project for the memorial with a race night on January 19 and that will go to the Queen’s Head, Black Horse and various other pubs in Front Street.

The town’s existing memorial, a small obelisk by the town’s parish church, is considered unsuitable.

A new design that will feature the names of the dead from conflicts dating back to the First World War has planning permission for a site at Bridge End.

People can donate to the Chester-le-Street War Memorial account at Barclays Bank.