The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is to provide at least £10 million over the next four years to fund projects that mark important anniversaries in the UK.
Grants of a few thousand pounds to over £2 million will be made available. These will “help to highlight important historical dates that will resonate with people and communities right across the UK”.
Referring to the impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “There are many other key times of celebration or sadness from our past and from the diverse stories of these islands that have left a similar impression. This Lottery investment will ensure that these pivotal moments, places or people will not be forgotten by future generations.”
Which anniversaries qualify?
The HLF has not specified particular events or anniversaries but it has listed “moments on the horizon that could be supported by this initiative”.
- the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth
- the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta
- the 600th anniversary of Agincourt
- the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo
- the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
- the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn
- the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth
Anniveraries events that the HFL has funded in the past include:
- Bicentenary of the Abolition of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Act: 2007
- Bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth: 2012
- Battle of Flodden 600th anniversary: 2013
First World War
Of course, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War occurs next year. HLF has already awarded over £28 million to projects commemorating the conflict. It launched an additional £6 million new small grants programme in 2012 entitled First World War: then and now, which aims to help communities explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage.
Anniversary fund Guidance
So far the funding has simply been announced. Further online guidance and advice will be available to applicants from January 2014.