HLF Funding Advice for WW1 Commemoration Projects

A presentation from the SYTT event - Remembering and Forgetting: Exploring local commemorations of WW1 (26th April, 2015) by Helen Peacock, Development Officer - Heritage Lottery Fund


Hello, my name is Helen Peacock and I’m a Development Officer at the Heritage Lottery Fund, I’ve forgotten my glasses so I do apologise – I’m also not very good with technology so…

Now, as I say unfortunately I was only able to come from about two o’clock but I did hear a gentleman ask what HLF is. Heritage Lottery Fund is one of the lottery good causes, so when you play your lottery ticket we get roughly round about 5.6 p from every pound that’s played on the lottery which we use to fund projects for heritage focus.

We have a whole range of grant programmes but I’m going to talk about the programmes that would be most relevant for yourselves if you’re thinking of applying for funding for a project that’s focusing on the First World War. What we found is the First World War has really really captured peoples imagination, obviously heritage is such a broad term and for some people it can seem quite elitist and they can wander how it can relate to them. How can that picture in a gallery or whatever relate to them and mean something to them but with the subject of the First World War every community and every person has some sort of link, whether it’s your local memorial in your town or whether it’s that your great grandfather or your uncle fought in one of the battles. Everybody has some sort of connection to the war so people have really sort of run with this and people have been very enthusiastic about carrying out projects. So it’s been a really really good way of raising awareness of our funding and of heritage and why it’s important to different communities.

Now, as far as being as much a heritage related organisation we are very much a people focussed funder. If heritage doesn’t matter to people what’s the point in funding it? It’s got to matter to people and you’ve got to find it important. Now obviously there’s – over the last couple of years there’s been a big focus and a new government drive on commemorating the First World War and as part of that we’ve launched a standalone programme. It’s the first time we’ve ever had a standalone thematic programme but we thought there was such an interest in commemorating and researching the First World War and its effects on the UK, that we’d have a standalone programme so this was launched a couple of years ago.

We have got a number of other programmes that you can apply through but this programme is for anyone who is looking at three thousand pounds to ten thousand pounds. Three thousand pounds is the threshold that our funding starts from, and it’s a really really good way for local community groups that maybe haven’t applied to the Lottery Fund before can apply and look at doing a project. So under this programme, you can apply for projects that last up to two years and again you’ve got to have some sort of First World War focus. Now, again there’s been a lot of talk about looking at a broad perspective of the First World War and that’s one of the things we are trying to encourage through this programme and a lot of other projects that we are funding for large amounts of money so looking at not just the Western Front because obviously it was a global conflict but also we’re looking at the impact of the empire and how that came in to it, home front stories, women stories, how industry was mobilised, conscientious objectors and we’re looking at a really broad picture of the First World War and its impact on the country and the people that lived here and also how it’s still impacts people today.

So we can provide grants in his programme of three thousand to ten thousand pounds. There is one application form, there is an enquiry form so if you are wanting a bit of advice before hand you can submit that but with any grants programme what I would say is just give us a call if you’re wanting to find more about it. All of the application materials are available online but the website isn’t always the easiest to navigate so at the back of the room I’ve popped sort of handy one stop guides on how to navigate our website and also information about some of our grant programmes but what I would say is generally if you’re interested in any programmes just give us a call if you’re unsure. As I say there’s an eight week assessment and it’s a pretty straight forward application form but give us a call if you’re interested in this.

Now, I have pretty much gone through most of this – this is the aims of the First World War programme but as I say our main emphasis is on getting a broad range of perspectives of the First World War but also encouraging young people to be involved. Obviously if we want people to remember the impact that the First World War had we need to ensure that young people know about the conflict and the impact of it so I think it’s Gertie – your talk is particularly interesting and the work that you’ve done through Heritage Lottery Funding with young people, so that is a real aim that we are hoping to encourage through this programme and all of our programmes.

I’ve got a case study of a project that we funded under this programme, this is Legacies of War and the project took place in a small town called Otley on the edge of Leeds. Now, Otley Museum have got quite an extensive collection of resources that link into the First World War and also Leeds are lucky enough to have the Liddle collection as well and what they wanted to do as part of their project is use their war memorial as a starting point and map every person in the list on that memorial to where they lived within the town and then where they are buried if they survived the war or if not whereabouts the deceased are buried so they did a mapping project.

Now alongside that they also wanted to look at other themes that have affected the town such as service and lost home front industry and women’s work, hospitality for Belgian refugees that were also located in the area and the impact of the Farnley Hall training camp on the town and the post war experiences so this has been quite a comprehensive project. They’ve had a series of exhibitions which ran from August 2014 to November 2014. They did a free exhibition of the results of the project and as I say they have this mapping resource so that’s been a really useful project which other projects in the area have been linking to.

We’ve then got a range of other grant programmes. If you are looking for more than ten thousand pounds, we’ve got a programme that focuses predominantly on getting young people involved in heritage called Young Roots so if you are particularly wanting to work with young people, maybe a local school or youth group or scouts group that maybe a programme that’s relevant for yourself. It’s about creating a partnership between a youth organisation such as school, scouts group, local youth theatre group and heritage organisations such as a local history group or studies library and marrying up those two areas of expertise.

Now under these programmes we can fund a whole range of programmes but you could also have a project focused on First World War funded under these programmes if you’re looking for more than ten thousand pounds. So under that programme you can run projects up to two years, you can apply to up to fifty thousand pounds if the costs are over that then you’d need to contribute to that yourself but we can supply one hundred percent funding of up to fifty thousand pounds, and it’s one application form and you get a decision within eight weeks.

We’ve then got our very standard small grants programme which is called Our Heritage. I don’t like to bore you with the jargon of our names, basically if you’re wanting to carry out a heritage project, of which a First World War project could come under this and you need more than ten thousand pounds then this is the programme for you. Again it’s an eight week assessment time, we can fund projects up to five years but we generally see them running up to about two years. Under this programme we can fund staff posts, any costs that are associated with your project. So we’re a project specific funder and we are interested in your project as a whole so the research from the beginning to the end and the way that you are interpreting it in sharing that information whether it be through a website, an exhibition, some sort of theatre production so we are looking at the whole project and what people can get out of that research experience.

Again some of the examples of projects that you’ve heard about today have been particularly interesting, you know you’ve really encouraged young people in the community to get involved and have a say in the project and carry out some of the research themselves so the end result has really got to mean something because you know they’ve got something out of that journey so that’s what we do look for from our funding.

It is from the lottery players so we want to see the impact it will have on people. Will they gain skills? What will they learn as part of it? So again we can’t just fund the production of a book, it would be the research behind it as well that we’d be interested in. Again we can fund up to a hundred thousand pounds in this programme. All of our application forms are available online and there’s an eight week assessment time and there is the enquiry form that can be put in if you want some advice before hand and then we’ve got a large grants programme, Heritage Grants which is for any sort of heritage project, a hundred thousand pounds and over, which the Doncaster project has been funded through so again under this programme we can fund First World War projects.

It is more complex because there is two different rounds of application forms. If anybody is looking for more than a hundred thousand pounds, we’d certainly recommend that they contact us in advance so we can have a chat with you. There is also a requirement for partnership funding so you have to raise a certain percentage of the project cost yourselves or from other grants whereas with all of our other grant programmes as long as you don’t go over that programme threshold we can fund up to a hundred percent of the project costs.

Now, none of the small grant programmes have deadlines but the large grants programme, Heritage Grants does have deadlines so that’s why we recommend that you contact us. I’ve got a couple of case studies about some of the programmes so this one is Your Country Needs Youth which was a project we funded in Grimsby under the Young Roots programme so again it’s that partnership between youth organisation and heritage focused organisation and this focused on the Grimsby Pals, the setting up of the Pals battalion and their experiences fighting. Apparently the Pals sustained very heavy losses during the First World War and so there’s a big project with young people looking at the experiences that the individual soldiers went through, what happened to them and their findings were interpreted through sort of a Horrible Histories style documentary so there’s a really good piece of work that came out of that…

Then under the Our Heritage programme, so the general small grants programme, we funded a project again just over fifty thousand pounds with the Yorkshire Film Archive. Now they’ve got quite an extensive collection of film that relates to the First World War and they wanted to basically get that into tiptop condition, conservation work needed to be done and research the people that were on that film so it was firstly that they got information about it but also it’s a resource for people who are then wanting to carry out their own individual research. So it was the case of doing some conservation work but also looking at for instance the footage they’ve got of soldiers going over Lendal Bridge. Who is that soldier that’s waving to the camera? Who were the soldiers that were involved in the fun day that took place in Sheffield before they went off and fought? So they’re wanting to research the people that are on film and find out more about them which would then help people with their own independent research so as I say there is a really good resource with the Yorkshire Film Archive.

I’ve not got an example of the Heritage Grants programme as I knew Victoria was going to be talking about the Doncaster 1914 to 1918 so I didn’t think that was necessary, but what I did want to go through, is a little bit about the projects that have been seen to date so initially when the programme launched which was early 2013 we did see quite a flurry of applications and there was a real interest in the programme. There was a lot of people gearing up to start projects for 2014. Now we’ve seen quite a lot of the applications drop off now we’re well into the commemorative years and in the early days we we’re getting a lot of projects that were focused around memorials, mapping people on the memorials, researching people and what happened to them, so you know for groups that have done that work there is the potential to come back and do further projects you know once you’ve worked out who is on the memorial and who they were you can then look at the various conflicts and what not so there’s definitely further applications that could come out of work that has already taken place but also for anyone who is thinking of doing a project it is worth seeing if there is any work that’s already taken place because there has been quite a lot of work around memorials that has taken place to date.

We have seen quite a few enquires come in for new memorials, now we can fund new memorials but not in isolation it’s got to be part of a wider project so you’d have to count the research and encourage people to learn about why this memorial that you are creating is important. What does it represent? You know if you are just putting a memorial up somewhere, it’s bricks and mortar. It’s what it represents that’s important so we’d want to see that really coming out in the project and the learning around it would raise awareness of what the memorial represents so as I say we have seen some projects come through focusing on new memorials but not a lot have been successful as some have focused purely on the bricks and mortar of building the memorial so we would ask you to think about how you would encourage to raise awareness of the significance that you are trying to represent through that structure.

We’ve also seen quite a – we’ve haven’t seen it so much recently but we did in the early days see quite a few projects coming through that were focused on oral history. Now oral history is a really good resource to add an extra dimension to research that you are carrying out but we would encourage people not to use it as your primary resource because obviously now looking at the First World War you are going to be using sort of second and third hand accounts that have passed through families so we would ask that any projects that incorporates oral history also uses factual research as well to map the research you’re putting forward to make sure that you getting an accurate picture of what you’re looking at.

We have seen quite an interesting – quite a lot of projects coming forward, that haven’t all come forward through as applications yet but quite a few projects looking at home front experiences, so for instance in Sheffield we’ve funded, I think it was last year a project focusing on Joe Clarke who was a soldier who was wounded very seriously during the First World War, and I think brain surgery was pioneered on him by Sheffield doctors and they’ve got his skull in Sheffield University which is a teaching resource so there’s been a project that’s gone around the medical history associated with the First World War and how it really did advance sort of medical practices, plastic surgery and whatnot so that was a really interesting project and we’ve had lots of enquiries come through looking at the industry within the local area, how it is mobilised. Even how moss and grass would be gathered to then be used on the Western Front, as I say not all of them have come through as applications yet but we are seeing some interesting stories coming through in terms of the home front so that’s you know in terms of the diverse range of stories you know we are seeing those coming through to a certain extent.

So as I say what we want to say really is that we do – even though we are now you know into 2015 is that there’s still a great number of anniversaries that are coming up. This year we’ve got the – I’ve got a list – I’ve got the most dreadful memory so I do apologise but obviously this [Incomp]. Next year we’ve got the battle of Jutland, the Somme, actually this year I think it’s the centenary of the execution of Edith Cavell so there’s lots of anniversaries coming up which people could link into if they wanted to. Generally if you are wanting to do a project, even in the past, 2014 it’s not too late. Our funding for the First World War project programme is dedicated until the end of 2018 to 2019 financial year but again you can apply through some of the other programmes as well and what we are looking for is a legacy, so again making sure that if you’ve done the research, you know you think about what you do with it so we don’t see duplication.

I think Sam mentioned the Imperial War Museum, they’ve got a website that they’re doing a lot of mapping as to the work that’s gone on because obviously there’s a great number of local history groups that are doing some really really valuable research but if it’s not mapped somewhere centrally that information could be lost and we’ve also seen duplication going on so we do ask that you know networks like this are absolutely invaluable. Across Yorkshire and Humber there’s a couple of other local authorities that have set up similar networks so that groups can talk to each other, find out about what you’re doing and so you’re not duplicating work that’s been done, but also share resources that you have I mean a couple of you have mentioned the different resources you’ve got. You’ve got different sources that you’ve used to find out information so this sort of network is a really good opportunity for that to ensure that you’re getting a good picture and there’s that legacy.

Now what I would say again if any of you interested in applying for funding our website is the first port of call but I do appreciate not everyone is sort of computer savvy and also our website isn’t the easiest to navigate so as I say go on the website but if not just give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk through any project ideas you’ve got and I’ve got loads of leaflets at the back so help yourself.

Transcript ends

For more information see the HLF website

More information about the specific funding available can be found here:

First World War: Then and Now – grants from £3,000-£10,000

Young Roots – grants from £10,000 – £50,000

Our Heritage – grants from £10,000 – £100,000

Heritage Grants – grants of over £100,000



This page was added on 21 August 2015.

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