Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, announcing the First World War Centenary small grants programme at the House of Commons, courtesy of Heritage Lottery Fund

Centenary News reports on Heritage Lottery Fund new Centenary grants programme: 'First World War: then and now'

Posted on centenarynews.com on 16 May 2013
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Six million pounds is being offered in new grants by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help communities across the UK mark the Centenary of the First World War. The grants programme, First World War: then and now was launched with an event at the House of Commons. Peter Alhadeff was there for Centenary News.

Groups will be able to apply for sums of between £3,000 and £10,000 to enable them to explore, conserve and share their Great War heritage. A total of at least £1 million will be made available annually until 2019 under the First World War: then and now small grants programme.

Launching the scheme at  the House of Commons on Wednesday 15th May, the Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dame Jenny Abramsky said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund’s new programme will enable communities to explore the continuing legacy of this war and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.

“There are so many fascinating and poignant stories just waiting to be rediscovered,” Dame Jenny told an audience drawn from a wide variety of organisations which will be playing a part in the forthcoming Centenary.  

The Heritage Lottery Fund said examples of successful projects would include:

Researching, identifying and recording local heritage.

Creating a community archive or collection.

Developing new interpretation of heritage through ways such as exhibitions and smartphone apps.

Researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources.

The new programme can also provide funding for the conservation of war memorials.

The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, urged MPs and Peers to champion the scheme  in their local areas. She said it would enable everyone to get involved in the Centenary.

“Tell them why the legacy of the First World War matters, why the lessons of the First World War are so relevant today,” Mrs Miller said.

The author Sebastian Faulks, who is a member of the British Government’s First World War Centenary Advisory Group, describes  the grants as an “opportunity for every street, town or village to make sure they remember the cataclysmic events of a hundred years ago. It is a chance to learn and to commemorate in whatever way they choose."

The latest initiative comes on top of the £12 million that the Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested  in Centenary projects, both large and small.

To read the full press release about the First World War: then and now grants programme, visit Heritage Lottery Fund website here.