Communities that are looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War, particularly that relating to the Battle of the Somme, are encouraged to apply for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF’s) First World War – Then and Now grants scheme ahead of the 2016 Centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The £6 million ‘First World War: Then and Now’ grant scheme, which opened in 2013 and runs until 2019, will benefit from an additional £4 million funding. The scheme has already made it possible for thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK to get involved in activities marking the Centenary, including researching and recording local heritage, conserving and finding out more about war memorials and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories that have been uncovered.

HLF is offering further funding to ensure that even more people get the opportunity to discover more about the First World War. It is particularly hoped that the additional money will enable stories surrounding the Battle of the Somme to be uncovered and explored.

Not-for-profit organisations and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations in the UK are eligible to apply as long as they have a constitution and a bank account. Applicants could include charities, trusts, clubs, interest groups, community and voluntary groups, community and parish councils, faith groups, history groups, schools, colleges, social enterprises, residents’ associations and youth groups.

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available for community projects that explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. Projects should make a difference to people and be completed in less than two years.

While applications can be made at any time, applicants wishing to provide projects or memorials in 2016 to mark the Centenary are encouraged to apply as early as possible as competition is high.

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