New National Lottery investment in First World War Centenary

One year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, Dr Andrew Murrison MP urges South West Wiltshire communities to apply for new £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of the war.

On Wednesday 8th July, Dr Andrew Murrison MP for South West Wiltshire attended a House of Commons event hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to find out how people from their constituency can secure new National Lottery money to help them mark the Centenary of the First World War.

Following the phenomenal success of its community grants programme First World War: then and now, HLF has made an additional £4million available in 2015/16 for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War.  Grants are available between £3,000 to £10,000.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the Centenary such as: researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover.  This new money will help even more people get involved to explore a greater range of stories including those surrounding the Battle of the Somme.

Dr Andrew Murrison MP said: “The projects and stories I’ve seen here today have been an inspiration. It’s so important that we remember the impact of this war one hundred years on. There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone in South West Wiltshire with an idea for their own project to get in touch with HLF.”

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the HLF, said: “The demand for National Lottery funding for First World War projects has been phenomenal, so much so we’ve decided to make extra money available. This will mean everyone, in particular more young people, can explore the momentous events of a war that shaped our nation, Europe and the world. Next year marks the centenary of the Battle of Somme and if groups want support for projects in 2016, they need to start thinking about applying now.”

The event showcased just a handful of over 1,000 First World War projects taking place across the UK, thanks to more than £70million of investment from HLF.

Projects on display showed the breadth and scale of First World War stories being explored and shared across the country:

  • Local people from Tottenham and Walthamstow in London showed how they have been exploring their family history to see if any of their relatives fought in the war;
  • Young people from North Tyneside demonstrated how they have been using social media to retell the stories of local soldiers; and
  • Young women in Birmingham shared what they have been uncovering about the experiences of women who worked in factories during the conflict in particularly the Birmingham Small Arms factory in Small Heath.

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at www.hlf.org.uk