David Cameron announces £6million Heritage Lottery scheme to help mark First World War centenary

Thanks to Lottery funding, thousands of young people throughout the UK will be involved in activities such as researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover.

HLF’s new First World War small grants programme will run over six years from 2013 and forms part of the Government’s Centenary programme.

Speaking at the Imperial War Museum today, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "A truly national commemoration cannot just be about national initiatives and government action. It needs to be local too. The Heritage Lottery Fund is today announcing an additional £6million to enable young people working in their communities to conserve, explore and share local heritage of the First World War. This is in addition to the £9million they have already given to projects marking the centenary – including community heritage projects. And they are calling for more applications. Let’s get out there and make this centenary a truly national moment in every community in our land."

Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the HLF, said: "The Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the importance of marking the centenary. Our new programme will enable young people to explore the history and impact of the First World War and broaden their understanding of its indelible effect on their own communities."

HLF's new programme will provide grants of £3,000 - £10,000 to local community projects that involve young people aged between 11 to 25. HLF will make at least £1million available each year for the programme which will run for six years from 2013.

Successful projects will offer a range of activities that could include researching, identifying and recording local heritage; creating a community archive or collection; developing new interpretation of heritage through exhibitions, trails, smartphone apps etc.; and researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources. The new programme can also provide funding for young people interested in conserving their local war memorials and helping people learn more about the stories behind them.

Andrew Murrison, the Prime Minister’s special representative for the First World War Centenary, added: "The Heritage Lottery Fund's £6million will be integral to the success of the Government's programme in enabling thousands of young people all over the UK to play their part in marking the centenary and creating a living legacy in their communities."

Other centenary projects of any kind and scale will also be able to apply to HLF’s existing programmes. The £9million already committed for marking the Centenary includes the following:

First World War Centenary Project, IWM London – confirmed grant of £4.5m
HLF has confirmed a grant of £4.5m that will transform IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums) by creating new ground-breaking First World War Galleries. The galleries will form a crucial part of IWM London's plans to mark the First World War centenary during 2014-18, unveiling more of the museum's world-renowned collections which include art, film, sound recordings and photographs. Original artefacts from soldiers' personal items, letters and diaries through to weapons, tanks and artworks will be exhibited in state-of-the-art, interactive displays, exploring the stories of those who lived, fought and died in the Great War.

The First World War Centenary also marks the opening chapter of the museum's history, as it was originally established in 1917 to collect and record everybody’s experiences of the Great War. IWM is leading the First World War Centenary Partnership, a network of over 450 national and international members. Together, they will present a vibrant four year programme of events, activities and digital platforms which will enable millions of people across the world to discover more about life in the First World War.

Alongside the development of the Galleries, IWM have launched a series of education initiatives such as a youth panel and Young Reporters in order to reach out to young people across the city inviting them to engage with this landmark anniversary and get involved with IWM’s work.

Flintham Society – Keeping the Home Fires Burning? – £16,710
Keep the Homes Fires Burning? is a community history project looking at the impact of the First World War on life in the Nottinghamshire village of Flintham. Volunteers will research, record and display historic material relating to nine aspects of village life at the time: agriculture; social life; education; employment; religion; village economy; housing and health; population and migration; and gender issues. It will focus mainly on those left behind while the men of Flintham went off to fight in France: the women, children and older residents of the village, and how their lives, and the village at large, changed.

The Lost Sons of Wall Heath and Kingswinford – Wall Heath & KIngswinford War Memorial research group – £13,200
The Lost Sons of Wall Heath and Kingswinford is a community history project that will research and record the stories of local soldiers' who lost their lives in both the First and Second World Wars. Along with exhibitions, the project aims to produce a book and dedicated website that will capture the information for future generations to draw upon.

Tank Museum – Access all Areas, Dorset – confirmed grant of £2.5m
Holding the world’s finest tank and armoured vehicle collection, the Tank Museum is a popular visitor attraction in the heart of Dorset. HLF's grant will be used to house 130 'at risk' vehicles, putting the entire collection indoors for the first time. A new vehicle conservation centre will be created providing a suitable space to conserve and display these historic machines, a British invention from the First World War. The centre will provide a high-quality space in which people will learn about armoured vehicles and witness the conservation process.

An award winning training programme for young offenders will be re-launched offering young people the chance to learn engineering and conservation skills. Two new exhibitions will also form part of the project. 'Warhorse to Horsepower' will mark the centenary of the First World War, displaying the museum’s newly acquired tank from the blockbuster movie War Horse. 'Making Tanks' will launch in 2015 and will tell the stories of the people who designed and built tanks.

Notes to editors

Government plans – The Prime Minister was setting out the Government’s plans to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014. These plans include a £35m refurbishment of the WWI galleries at the Imperial War Museum (IWM); a project made possible due to an extra £5m from the Treasury announced today. This additional money will be paid for from fines imposed on financial services firms for misconduct. The Government’s principal partners in the commemorations will be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the IWM, but will encompass support for a multitude of other initiatives, large and small, as they come together in the months and years to come.

Further information

Please contact Natasha Ley or Alison Scott, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6143 / 6032. Out of hours mobile: 07973 613 820.