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

HLF's Deputy Director of Strategy and Business Development, Karen Brookfield, explains why an additional £4m is being made available for groups wishing to explore the stories of the First World War
The start of the Centenary of the First World War on 4 August 2014 signalled a significant moment in history. Across the UK, commemorations took place to mark the anniversary of the start of a war, rather than its end.

This focus is perhaps a reflection of the War’s significance and lasting legacy, one that continues to be felt right across the world today. By beginning the commemorations in 2014, tens of thousands of people have been given a unique opportunity to explore the wide variety of stories of the First World War in a parallel with events one hundred years ago. And it’s money from the National Lottery that has been helping them to do it.

In Tottenham and Walthamstow, North London, people have been researching their ancestries to see if any of their relatives fought in the war. In North Tyneside, young people have been using social media to retell the stories of local soldiers. And young women in Birmingham have been uncovering the experiences of women who worked in factories during the conflict, particularly the Small Arms factory in Small Heath.

Now, we are making more money available for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War. 

Today, the Culture Secretary John Whittingdale announced that an additional £4million is now available through our First World War: then and now programme which offers grants from £3,000 to £10,000.

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. We must never forget the sacrifices made by those at home and on the Western Front who served this country so bravely. These important projects will help us honour them.”

This new money will help even more people get involved and explore a greater range of stories including those surrounding the Battle of the Somme, which marks its centenary in 2016. 

Find out how you can apply for funding.  If you need a grant of more than £10,000 you can apply to HLF through our open programmes.

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