One year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, Ruth Smeeth MP urges Stoke-on-Trent North & Kidsgrove communities to apply for new £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of the war
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced new National Lottery money to help communities across the UK mark the Centenary of the First World War and local MP Ruth Smeeth is urging communities to apply.
Ruth said: “The projects and stories that have already been shared as part of the First World War Centenary 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 Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove with an idea for their own project to get in touch with the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
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 of between £3,000 to £10,000 are available.
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.
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.”
Communities up and down the country have already found ways of exploring and sharing their First World War stories explored:
· 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