The eyes of the nation will be on Falmouth once again next year after Cornwall won its bid to host National Armed Forces Day 2023.

Armed Forces Day, which is taking place today, gives people a chance to show support to the men and women that serve in the British Armed Forces, along with veterans, cadets, Reserves and the families of those who serve.

There are events throughout the country in the week leading up to the last Saturday in June every year, with the national event held at different locations around the country. This year Scarborough is hosting, having been delayed from 2020.

After Cornwall successfully won its bid for next year's event, Falmouth has been chosen as the host town. It will take place just over two years after Falmouth was one of the key venues when Cornwall hosted the 2021 G7 Summit. 

Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Falmouth and Truro, announced the news of Cornwall's success today, with her office saying: "Cornwall’s ambition is to make the National Armed Forces Day event 2023 a unique celebration of our armed forces past, present and future – with a programme which both celebrates and builds public support for our armed forces and provides a lasting legacy for the future.

"Cornwall continues to be a stronghold for the military and is vitally important to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Port of Falmouth is the third deepest natural port in the world and the Navy plays a huge part in the day-to-day life in Falmouth, particularly contributing to its strong military history."

While the event will be celebrated across Cornwall, the themes of the bid focus on:

• Youth engagement – The ability to inspire younger generations to a future career in the armed forces or an associated defence industry.

• Veteran re-engagement – Many veterans in Cornwall can feel disengaged and isolated from their former careers and comrades, it is hoped to bring these veterans back into the community and offer support and employment opportunities

• Commercial showcasing – Cornwall is described as "an extremely attractive proposal" to many companies who traditionally operate in the defence space, and this event will showcase everything that the Duchy has to offer.

To give an idea of what could be on display, Scarborough's event has included personnel from across all three armed services in a tri-service parade, led by The Band of HM Royal Marines, and air displays led by the Royal Air Force Falcons display team.


Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace with MP Cherilyn Mackrory in Falmouth recent ly

Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace with MP Cherilyn Mackrory in Falmouth recent ly

Cherilyn said: “It is absolutely fantastic news to see Cornwall, and Falmouth in particular’s successful bid to host the UK Armed Forces Day in 2023.

"I have worked closely with Cornwall Council as they have planned their bid, and congratulate Cllr Louis Gardner and his team for putting together an excellent submission.

"I have also made the case direct to Ministerial colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, who I welcomed to Falmouth, so he could see first-hand exactly what we have to offer.

"Cornwall has a proud military tradition, with strong and enduring links to our armed forces. I look forward to working with all concerned to make UK Armed Forces Day 2023 a memorable occasion, and that Falmouth shines as the host of a major event for our country.”


Welcoming the news, Falmouth mayor Steve Eva, said: “As the Mayor of Falmouth and an ex-serviceman, I am proud and delighted that Falmouth has been chosen to showcase this prestigious event.

"Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth BID have worked hard to support Cornwall Council in their efforts to bring the national Armed Forces Day to the county for the first time and the fact that Falmouth has been chosen as the host venue is fantastic.

“Given Falmouth’s historical and ongoing links with the armed forces and our international reputation for hosting crowd-pleasing events, I am confident it will be a day to remember for all involved as well as provide another welcome economic boost for Falmouth, its businesses and Cornwall generally.”

Richard Wilcox, executive director of Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID), added: “A decade ago, we set out with a vision to make Falmouth the events and festivals capital for Cornwall, and the announcement of our collective success with the national Armed Forces Day selecting our port as the host for the 2023 event pays testament to the achievement of this goal, alongside the legacy of the G7 and our ever-growing calendar of happenings.

“Being the first port in the country, Falmouth has a long-serving heritage not just for those in the forces, but for the maintenance and servicing of many naval vessels – a crucial contributor to our local businesses and Cornish supply chain.

“The secondary economic value to all of the businesses, not just in Falmouth itself, but emanating out across Cornwall will be significant, and we look forward to bringing our professional and qualified community of event volunteers and professionals together to deliver this important tribute to all those who have and continue to serve our country.”

Councillor Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council's armed forces member champion and the project lead for the event, said: “It is a great privilege for Cornwall to be named as the host of the National Armed Forces Day in 2023.

"As a veteran myself, this is the culmination of a long held ambition to bring this event to Cornwall and I thank councillors for their support and the officers of Cornwall Council for their hard work and dedication.

“We have a deep affiliation with the Armed Forces in Cornwall and a strong historical link. Falmouth is the perfect destination to showcase the outstanding work of the Armed Forces past and present and pay tribute to serving troops, veterans, cadets, and also the service families.

"The Armed Forces community here in Cornwall is extremely active, with regular, reserve and cadet forces embedded in or local communities and participating in every aspect of local life alongside a number of support organisations and veterans groups.

"We welcome the opportunity to showcase this incredible county to the wider nation and I expect local residents to turn out in force to show their support to our service men and women.”