The generosity of the people of Peterborough has seen the 2016 Poppy Appeal reach a staggering £44,000.
The Royal British Legion launched the Peterborough Poppy Appeal on Saturday, October 29 and it became a welcome part of Queensgate Shopping Centre up to the Remembrance Sunday closing ceremony.
Now, the collections have been counted and today (Tuesday) the total was revealed.
Centre director at Queensgate, Mark Broadhead, said: “It is an incredible show of generosity that has outstripped all expectations and left us completely humbled and overwhelmed.
“I’m extremely proud of the people of Peterborough and cannot thank them enough for their support. The Royal British Legion is important to Queensgate and 2016 has been an unforgettable year for honouring our armed forces.”
Last week, Queensgate also saw the spectacular Sky of Poppies art installation - 1,000 handcrafted felted poppies - lowered from North Square’s ceiling.
Over 4.5 million people have visited the centre since the Sky of Poppies was launched in July, to commemorate the Battle of the Somme centenary. Created by Peterborough-based artist Charron Pugsley-Hill, the Sky of Poppies was a culmination of over 1,000 volunteers’ work that included local school children, businesses and groups to create the city centre art work.
The tribute also paid homage to the 131 soldiers from Peterborough that lost their lives in what was described as the bloodiest battle in history.
Now, Sky of Poppies, which has become an attraction for millions of people visiting the city centre, will be carefully stored and Queensgate plans to create a new sculpture, with the help of Charron, as part of the centre’s forthcoming development.
“The Sky of Poppies has been a huge part of the centre over the summer and received incredible praise for its beauty and significance to the people of Peterborough,” added Mark.
“I am delighted it will remain part of Queensgate in the future to coincide with the exciting development plans we have for Queensgate, which start early next year.”