ROMSEY’S project to erect a memorial to First World War horses that were trained in the town before heading for the frontline has been given a massive cash boost.

Test Valley Borough Council has given £25,000 to the town’s War Horse project to create a life-size bronze resin stature of a horse and trooper in the War Memorial Park.

The project will cost in the region of £77,000 and Test Valley-based sculptor Amy Goodman has been commissioned to make the piece.

It is hoped to unveil the statue next year to mark the centenary of Romsey Remount Camp at Pauncefoot Hil,l where 120,000 horses and mules were trained for war.

This latest cash for the project came from the borough’s Community Asset Fund and cabinet spokesman for community and leisure, Tony Ward said: “The Community Asset Fund provides new hope for community initiatives that might not previously have been able to get off the ground.” Schoolchildren have also done their bit for the project.

Pupils at Romsey School staged a cake sale last December and the cash raised was handed over to Dorothy Baverstock chairman of the project this week.

Learning assistant Helen Lynch said: “We raised £160 at our cake sale and Barclays Bank matched it. Part of the money raised is going towards giving three pupils with Asperger’s syndrome a trip to the Mayflower in Southampton to see War Horse. We wanted to give something to the local community and the War Horse project fitted in well with the children’s trip to The Mayflower Theatre. We were pleased to be able to hand over £250 towards it.”

Mrs Lynch explained that former branch manager at Romsey’s Barclays Paul Lemon agreed to match fund what the school raised after two pupils did work experience at the bank.