Heritage Lottery Fund commits £5million to First World War cultural programme

The programme 14-18 NOW will be a series of special commissions from artists from Britain and across the world that will explore the heritage and resonance of the First World War today.

Arts Council England is also announcing today support of £5million for the cultural programme, bringing total Lottery investment to £10millon.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: "As with many people of my generation, my first experience of the First World War was through the moving poems, songs, plays and novels produced by the men and women who lived through this momentous conflict. Culture provided them with a means of expressing, recording and understanding the war and so our trustees felt it fitting that culture should play a prominent role in helping people to mark the Centenary."

Full details of the 14-18 NOW programme will be announced in early 2014 and it will focus on three periods throughout the Centenary:

  • August 2014 – 100 years since the UK entered the conflict
  • July 2016 – 100 years since the Battle of the Somme
  • Autumn 2018 – 100 years since the Armistice

This money brings HLF's investment in marking the Centenary of the First World War – through projects both large and small – to £41million.

Notes to editors

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has committed at least £6million to 2019 to its First World War: then and now programme which is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to local communities looking to explore and understand their First World War heritage. Larger grants for First World War projects are also available through HLF’s open programmes, more details of which can be obtained through our Understanding the First World War feature.

Follow us on Twitter: @heritagelottery, #understandingWW1.

On 4 August 2014 it will be 100 years since Britain entered the First World War. Within government the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is leading plans to build a commemoration fitting of this significant milestone in world history. As the Prime Minister made clear when he launched the programme in October 2012, the main theme will be remembrance with a particular focus on bringing the centenary alive for young people. There will be a number of national events across the four years, as well as cross-Government programmes to help deliver this. Further details can be found at the Government's First World War Centenary website; #WW1.

First World War Cultural Programme Board
Part of the Government’s wider Centenary Programme, the events will be delivered by the First World War Cultural Programme Board. The Board will be guided under the directorship of Jenny Waldman, who is experienced as a producer of large scale international productions – including for Tate, Southbank Centre, Somerset House Trust and most recently as Creative Producer for the London 2012 Festival.

For further information about the Programme Board please contact Erica Bolton, Bolton & Quinn on 020 721 5000 / 07711 698 186, email: erica@boltonquinn.com.

Further information

HLF press office: Alison Scott or Natasha Hughes on 020 7591 6032 / 6143, out of hours mobile: : 07973 613 820 / 07989 535 527.