Shared History Fund: bringing people together to mark Centenary of Northern Ireland

People sitting on grass in front of large building
Belfast City Hall
Thirty nine projects have received grants totalling £1million to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way.

We are delighted to be distributing the Shared History Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland, which takes places this year.

From discovering untold stories of the past to the contribution of a range of communities to the Northern Ireland we know today, the diverse projects funded cover a wide range of subjects and key moments in Northern Ireland’s history.

"It’s important we create a space that allows a range of stories to be told."

Mukesh Sharma, Chair, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said

What we’re funding

Grants range from £4,200 to £94,600 and include:

Exploring local connections

The memories and moments in history that shaped local towns and neighbourhoods as well as rural communities, with projects led by Ballynafeigh Community Development Association, Rural Community Network, Belfast City Council, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Diverse communities

Group stand listening to speaker near fountain
Tour at Jaffe Fountain, August 2018

Exploring the role and contribution of minority communities, with projects led by the Belfast Jewish Community, Chinese Welfare Association and Armagh Roma Traveller Support.

Football’s role

One hundred years of football in Northern Ireland, from the impact of partition to the role football plays in communities today, will be explored in projects by Tollymore Football Club and Crusaders Football Club.

Engaging new audiences through digital

The creation of new digital resources, online exhibitions, podcasts and events which bring the story of Northern Ireland to a new audience. Projects by the Nerve Centre, Libraries NI and Linen Hall Library.

Young people

Cross-community projects by Reach Across and Shared Future News will support young people and gain their perspective on the Northern Ireland of the future.

Increasing knowledge and understanding

Building a better understanding of the key events, institutions, people and communities who have been impacted since the establishment of Northern Ireland, with projects led by Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich Memorial Library & Archive and Magherafelt District Orange Lodge.

Principles for Remembering

In awarding these grants, we prioritised organisations which demonstrated how they were inclusive of different audiences in line with the Principles for Remembering.

We developed this set of principles in partnership with the Community Relations Council in 2011. They were designed to help groups navigate difficult history and to ensure the stories told throughout the Decade of Centenaries (2011-2021) were thoughtful and inclusive of a range of perspectives.

The Shared History Fund provides another opportunity for these principles to be used as groups mark the 2021 Centenary.

Mukesh Sharma, Chair, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “As a leading funder of heritage throughout the UK, we understand the central role that heritage plays in people’s lives and their communities. We also recognise that there are aspects of heritage that can be challenging.

“However, our experience in supporting partners to navigate difficult periods in our history throughout the Decade of Centenaries demonstrates that there is a way to engage with difficult heritage in a positive way. No one narrative is more important than another, and it’s important we create a space that allows a range of stories to be told.

“We’re delighted to be delivering this funding on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office and have supported projects which will not only mark the Centenary but show how we can engage with difficult heritage going forward.”

Find out more

Our Director of Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, explores what the term 'shared history' means and how we're supporting groups to mark the Centenary in an inclusive way.

See the full list of projects awarded funding. Projects will take place between now and 31 March 2022.

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

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