The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

On the Brink – National Lottery grant to explore heritage of 1914 – 1916 


An ambitious new project to help local communities explore the impact and legacy of the First World War, the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising has been awarded a £178,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), it was announced today. 

'On the Brink: The Politics of Conflict 1914-1916' is a three year project led by Ballymena Borough Council as the lead partner of the Mid-Antrim Museums Service Partnership that will examine the local, national and international impact of a number of key historic events within the period. These turbulent years saw the outbreak of the First World War, increasing political and social tensions in Ireland due to the Home Rule crisis, the Easter Rising and the development of the Labour and Women’s Movements.

The new project will support local community groups and schools within Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne, Newtownabbey, Coleraine, Limavady, Moyle and Ballymoney council areas as they explore these key events, the social and political landscape within which they occurred and notable figures of the time. Through the two regional services of Mid Antrim Museums Service with Causeway Museum Service, artefacts, public memorials and monuments will be used alongside an extensive programme of events, workshops, tours and exhibitions to positively engage with this heritage and create a greater understanding of the past and its legacy today.

Commenting on the announcement, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “We are delighted to support the Mid Antrim and Causeway Museum Services in delivering this exciting project along with communities in their areas. Opportunities to get involved in volunteering, creating exhibitions and developing tours will help people to learn more about the 1914-1916 period in their area and how the impact of these historic events are still relevant to contemporary ideas of identity and nationality.”

Welcoming HLF’s support, Councillor Declan O’Loan, Chair of the Mid-Antrim Museums Service Partnership added: “We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their generous funding for On the Brink, which we aim to deliver as an inclusive exploration of this significant period in our shared history, set within its national and international context. To this end we are delighted to be working alongside our project partners Causeway Museum Service and our cross-border partner, Kilmainham Gaol Museum, Dublin.”

Notes to editors

Since 1994 the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £190million to over 1,000 projects across Northern Ireland.

Further information

For further information, please contact Julie Halliday at HLF (NI) on 07733 100674, email:

Ballymena War Memorial 
Ballymena War Memorial