RESCUE work to the tune of £25,000 is needed to save Ledbury's "sinking" war memorial in the High Street.

The monument, which bears the names of Ledbury's fallen, from both World Wars, will need to be completely dismantled, block by block, and rebuilt, - a programme which Cllr Martin Eager, chairman of the town's environment and leisure committee, called "the full monty".

But he added: "Hopefully this will happen without burdening the tax payers."

This is because various grants may be available for the job.

One of these could be the Grant for War Memorials, funded by English Heritage and The Wolfson Foundation, which has an annual budget of £200,000 and offers grants at up to 75% eligible costs, up to a maximum £30,000.

The town council is planning to apply for grants, and it has also gone out to tender, to find a company to carry out the demanding work.

The news has been welcomed by Lloyd Meredith, Vice Chairman of the Ledbury Branch of the Royal British Legion, who said: "The work needs to be done, - it has to be dismantled and repaired. It's sinking, and whenever it rains, water gets round the base and makes it worse."

But the work will not cause any disruption to this year's Remembrance Sunday, because the renovation will not start until "well into the New Year", according to Cllr Eager.

The stone base of the memorial is sitting lower that the level of the pavement, with the result that water is pooling around the blocks and damaging them.

The problem was identified during a recent survey commissioned by the town council.

But Cllr Eager believes the work, which should be completed within a year, is about time.

He said: "Two years ago, I told the town council we should do something about the war memorial, and it has taken two years to get to the point of having a survey, and now we are getting quotes.

"Hopefully, before this time next year, the work will be done."

Cllr Eager said the main body of the memorial also needed renovation, such as re-gilding and re-shaping.

"But the main problem is the base," he said.

"The stone work is deteriorating."

He put the likely total cost as being between £20,000 and £25,000.