New £4m National Lottery investment in First World War Centenary community projects

1 July 2015 | Kate Clements

Culture Secretary announces £4m for local communities to explore the impact of the war as the nation marks one year until the centenary of the Battle of the Somme

The UK Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, has announced the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) plans to make an additional £4million available in 2015/16 for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the First World War Centenary. This has included 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.

Culture Minister John Whittingdale said:

“I am very pleased that these funds will be allocated to communities across the UK, helping people to learn more about their local heritage and the First World War.”

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. 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 £4m is available through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme which launched in 2013 and will run until 2019. It forms part of the Government’s Centenary programme and provides grants of £3,000 – £10,000 to local community projects.

The programme has been incredibly successful with more than 900 grants so far awarded totalling over £7million.

Visit the HLF’s website for more details