A report by a group of representatives of the bereaved, survivors and local residents of Grenfell has unveiled plans for a permanent memorial to replace the tower.
However, construction of the space may not begin until late 2026, almost a decade after the tragedy.
The Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission’s report calls on the government to honour a commitment to fund the building and long-term maintenance of the future memorial.
It sets a series of recommendations for a “sacred space” designed to be a “peaceful place for remembering and reflecting”. It added that it should include a garden, a monument and a dedicated space for the families who lost loved ones.
The search for the memorial’s designers is scheduled to begin in the spring.
A memorial designed with the community
“Following the publication of this report, we will launch our search for a specialist and community-minded design team,” said the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission, which is chaired by former Labour minister Paul Boateng and solicitor Thelma Stober.
“We anticipate doing this next spring, and that the team will be selected in late 2024. We envisage the memorial design will have been developed with the community by late 2025, and that the memorial build could begin from late 2026.”
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has yet to say what will happen to the remainder of the existing Grenfell Tower.
The commission emphasised the “hugely difficult” issue of deciding what happens to the remains of the tower.
“Whether or not it is viable to use the structure or parts of Grenfell Tower as part of the memorial, the commission recommends that height and visibility should be considered within the future designs for the memorial,” says the report. “We encourage a creative approach to how this could be achieved including the possibility of using light or other ways to create the appearance of height.”
A total of 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017, one of the worst disasters in modern UK history.
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