How to get funding for your project

Visiting the Imperial War Museum
If you have an idea for a First World War Centenary project, here are some questions to consider as you develop your project and apply for funding.

What heritage will your project focus on?

It’s important to decide which First World War stories your project is going to explore. It’s helpful if you can be specific about this in your application form.

Think about where these stories can be found and researched. Are there documents and photographs in archives, or in people’s homes? Are there historic places that tell you about the story? Here are some examples of what you might want to look at:

  • local places with First World War associations of any kind
  • objects, photographs, documents, books and newspapers that tell the stories of individuals and communities involved in or affected by the war
  • training trenches or airfields
  • buildings and structures used in or affected by the war, for example factories or hospitals
  • places, objects and collections linked to the industrial, maritime and transport heritage of the war
  • historic memorials of all kinds, including memorial gardens, commemorating lives lost in the war
  • existing recordings of people’s memories and experiences from the First World War
  • the memories and experiences of people affected by the war after it happened, such as the children of people involved
  • art – including music, literature and film – focusing on the war, created either during or after the war
  • natural heritage and landscapes affected by the war
  • any of these types of heritage created since the war  that show its impact on the United Kingdom and people currently living here

How will your project involve people?

It’s important to think about how you will involve people in your project.

You could create opportunities for people to take part in research, or in creating things that share the stories, such as exhibitions, films, guided walks or a website.

Different activities will appeal to different groups of people. Talk to the people who you want to involve in your project while you’re developing it, so that you know your project will meet their needs.

What else is happening and how can you connect with others?

Find out more about how you can connect with other people and organisations who are marking the Centenary while you are developing your project.

You may also find it useful to look at some of the First World War projects already supported by HLF

Which grants programme should you apply under?

Once you have planned what activities your project will involve, and how much it will cost, you can work out which grants programme to apply under. Here are the options:

  • First World War: then and now: Grants from £3,000 to £10,000 for community projects, with a short application form and a quick decision
  • Our Heritage: Grants from £10,000 to £100,000 for all kinds of heritage projects
  • Heritage Grants: Grants over £100,000 for larger heritage projects
  • Young Roots: Grants from £10,000 to £50,000 for heritage projects led by young people

How will you evaluate your project?

Find out about the surveys we will send you to help evaluate your project. You can also make use of our participants’ surveys. Find out more by reading HLF’s guidance on Evaluating your First World War Centenary project.  

What next?

Once you have thought about these questions, please read the application guidance for the programme you want to apply under. You may find it useful to read our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

You can then fill in a project enquiry form, or an expression of interest form if you are applying for £10,000 or less.  This will go to your local HLF team, who will let you know if the project has the potential to achieve HLF outcomes.

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