- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
New National Lottery investment in First World War Centenary – Joyce learns about Montgomery Memorial Garden and Narberth Museum projects at Senedd exhibition
Ahead of next year’s Battle of the Somme Centenary, Joyce Watson AM this week attended an event at the National Assembly for Wales to learn how community groups and organisations can apply for National Lottery money for Remembrance projects.
Following the huge success of its community grants programme, First World War: then and now, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has this year (2015/16) made an additional £4million available for people looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War. Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available.
At Tuesday’s (10 November) Senedd showcase, the Labour Mid and West Wales AM met representatives of two projects in her region: Montgomery Remembers, the Making of a Memorial Garden and Narberth Museum’s Letters from the Front exhibition.
Mrs Watson, whose father William Roberts, a farm worker from Llanbrynmair, was captured at Dunkirk but escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp towards the end of the Second World War, described the projects as “poignant and inspirational”:
“The Montgomery Memorial Garden is a special place to pause and reflect. Meanwhile, Narberth Museum has compiled local personal stories that together tell a wider story of the war. Both projects connect us to the great sacrifice – personal and collective – that was made in the last century.”
Narberth Museum received £9,200 of HLF funding for its project. Dedicated in September 2014, the Montgomery War Memorial and Garden of Remembrance commemorates the 34 servicemen from the town who fell in the two World Wars.
With the support of National Lottery funding, thousands of people and communities across Wales have got involved in commemorative activities including researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover.
Joyce Watson AM continued:
“There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone in Mid and West Wales with an idea for their own project to contact the Heritage Lottery Fund soon to see how they can take it forward.”
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the HLF, added:
“The demand for National Lottery funding for First World War projects has been phenomenal, so much so we’ve decided to make extra money available. This will mean everyone, in particular more young people, can explore the momentous events of a war that shaped our nation, Europe and the world. Next year marks the centenary of the Battle of Somme and if groups want support for projects in 2016, they need to start thinking about applying now.”
So far, HLF has invested more than £5million to support 79 First World War Centenary projects in Wales.
More information on how to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund funding is available at www.hlf.org.uk