Grants to remember Somme

Jeffrey Donaldson - Lagan Valley.jpg
Jeffrey Donaldson - Lagan Valley.jpg

One year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson is urging local communities to apply for new Heritage Lottery Fund grant-aid to explore the impact of the war.

The Heritage Lottery Fund recently announced £4m in National Lottery funding to help communities across the UK mark the Centenary of the First World War.

Mr Donaldson said the centenary of the Battle of the Somme was particularly important locally as many young men from across the Lagan Valley area died or were wounded in the battle.

The local MP, also Chairman of the Northern Ireland WW1 Centenary Committee, 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 100 years on.

“There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone in Lagan Valley with an idea for their own project to get in touch with the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Following the 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 and £10,000 are available.

The new money is expected to help even more people get involved to explore a greater range of stories including those surrounding the Battle of the Somme.

The funding was announced on July 8 at a House of Commons reception that showcased just a handful of more than 1,000 First World War projects taking place across the UK,thanks to more than £70million of HLF investment .