Helen Grant MP announces award for six First World War projects in the North West

Helen Grant said: "Next year’s First World War centenary will see the whole of the UK come together to remember that conflict, the sacrifices made and the profound impact it had on the world and every aspect of life in the years that followed. There’ll be massive national moments of remembrance and reflection and thousands of smaller projects bringing it alive for local communities.

"These Heritage Lottery Fund grants are brilliant examples of the huge variety of things that will take place.  Each one small in itself, but when seen as a whole, creating a priceless resource for the whole country, and for today’s young people in particular."

Ms Grant, who also has ministerial responsibility for the National Lottery continued: "This HLF grant scheme is a wonderful use of National Lottery money, helping make worthwhile things happen that quite simply could not get off the ground without it."

Three of the projects announced - awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now grant programme, part of the Government’s First World War Centenary programme - are:

Commemorating Lt. Colonel J.E.Grimshaw, VC Holder - Abram Tenants & Residents Association (ATRA), Greater Manchester - £8,000
ATRA, working closely with the Lancashire Fusiliers, will create a lasting memorial in honour of J E Grimshaw, born and bred in the village of Abram, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. An extensive set of community events and activities will help local people learn more about and remember Colonel Grimshaw’s impressive contribution to the war effort.

James Dixon’s Boys – Child Action North West, Blackburn Lancashire - £7,800
Child Action North West will work with local schoolchildren to explore and commemorate the lives of ten boys from Blackburn Orphanage, founded by James Dixon, who were killed during the First World War. A memorial garden will be created within the former orphanage grounds. The schoolchildren will film a documentary based on their research and this will be used as a learning resource for the future.

Langley World War 1 – Poetry Film project – REELmcr, Manchester - £10,000
Social enterprise group, REELmcr, will work with the local community on the Langley Estate to explore and record their First World War history. By working with a historian, an award winning poet and a film maker, participants will use collected artifacts, photographs and memorabilia to create a special poem to mark the Centenary in 2014.

St James First World War Memorial project – St James in the City, Liverpool - £5,600
The St James War Memorial Project of St James in the City, Liverpool, will work with local people to discover the First World War history of the names of 144 men listed on two lost war memorials originally based at the church. People will be able to learn about the impact of the war had on their local area and those who lived there. The findings will be shared with local schools and the wider community as part of Liverpool’s First World War commemorations.

Ashton Grammar School Memorial project – Tameside Museums and Galleries Service, Greater Manchester - £9,900
This project will focus on restoring a wooden First World War memorial that commemorates the teachers and former pupils of Ashton Grammar school who lost their lives during the conflict. Local volunteers and history groups will research the two teachers and 25 students whose names are listed on the memorial and share their stories with current students and the wider community.

Operations War Graves 100 – Veterans in Communities, Rossendale - £10,000
This volunteer-led project will restore, maintain and explore the stories behind hundreds of war graves and memorials in Bacup Cemetery in Rossendale, Lancashire. A wide range of community events will accompany the restoration works including creating a commemorative book, online resources, and giving talks to local schools and community groups.

During her visit to the museum, Helen met with Chair of HLF's North West Committee, Tiffany Hunt.  Helen and Tiffany were shown around the newly refurbished First World War galleries which were restored in time for the upcoming Centenary commemorations in 2014. They were joined by Karen O’Rourke from the National Museums Liverpool who received HLF support for the Untold Stories: Black Families in the First World War project based at the Museum of Liverpool and Dr Ray Costello, an expert in Liverpool Black history.

The Fusilier Museum is currently undergoing a series of major renovations with the help of HLF investment. The museum’s first floor has been re-developed and includes new learning facilities and events spaces as well as providing improved collections storage and exhibitions. The new exhibitions tell the important stories of local men and women who contributed and served in conflicts, including the First World War, over the last 300 years.

Notes to editors

  • HLF have invested a total of £8.7m to heritage projects in Bury since 1994.
  • HLF have already invested £34m into heritage projects to mark the Centenary of the First World War.
  • The Fusilier Museum in Bury, Lancashire, is home to the collections of The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Documenting over 300 years of history and heritage through permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Museum tells the rich and fascinating stories of the people who have served and continue to service in the Regiments.

Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1m available per year for six years until 2019. It will provide grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. 

Further information

Laura Bates, HLF press office, 020 7591 6027, email: lbates@hlf.org.uk.