Connecting Northern Ireland communities with their local heritage

Two adults and two children looking at a wall mural
Through the Community Heritage Fund, we’ve awarded 29 grants across Northern Ireland to help strengthen people’s connection with the heritage on their doorstep.

We launched the Community Heritage Fund in November with the Department for Communities. In total, £241,900 has been awarded to 29 projects, each receiving between £3,000 and £10,000.

How will the funding help?

“The experience of lockdown in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) was a powerful reminder of the value and importance of the local environment to communities.”

Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The projects will introduce communities to the distinctive heritage found within a short distance of where they live. They include: 

Planting a new community garden

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council have been awarded a grant of £10,000 to plant a dye garden on the site of a former quarry in Whitehead, County Antrim.

The local community will be able to come together to get involved in craft-making and gardening, alongside learning about the quarry’s heritage.

Wall mural showing text and images connected to the Titanic
Newtownards Road Heritage Trail

Creating an urban walking trail

EastSide Partnership has received £4,500 to create a bespoke Newtownards Road Heritage Trail.

Available as a pocket-sized guide and online, the trail will bring the infamous east Belfast road’s stories to life.

Telling the story of St Patrick

£6,300 funding will help the Armstrong Storytelling Trust offer a series of video storytelling and reminiscence sessions, focusing on the theme of St Patrick’s Day, to groups of older people with dementia.

This project will bring heritage to care home residents who have been isolated as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Preserving island stories

Rathlin Development and Community Association will use their £9,700 grant to tell the story of Rathlin Island’s East Lighthouse.

The Rathlin Lighthouse Lives project will record and share the stories of generations of lighthouse families who lived on the island off the North Antrim Coast.

Lighthouse on island
East Lighthouse, Rathlin Island. Credit: Douglas Cecil

Connecting communities

Thanks to a £10,000 grant, the Chinese Welfare Association will bring the heritage of Belfast’s Chinese community to a wider audience.

Events will focus on a range of themes including Chinese culture and history, the story of emigration and how Northern Irish Chinese identity has been shaped.

They will work with a wide range of people, from families and school children to older members of the Chinese community.

Why local heritage matters

Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “The experience of lockdown in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) was a powerful reminder of the value and importance of the local environment to communities.

“Our local places have become more important than ever throughout this pandemic, and through this fund, we hope to encourage people to get to know the heritage on their doorstep that bit better.

“We’re grateful to the Department for Communities for providing the funding and we’re delighted to fund a diverse range of projects which will make a huge impact on many communities across Northern Ireland.” 

Find out more

See the full list of projects awarded funding

To stay updated about this and news of our other Northern Ireland projects and funding:

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