One year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, Robin Walker urges Worcester communities to apply for new £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of the war  

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced new National Lottery money to help communities across the UK mark the Centenary of the First World War and local Worcester MP Robin Walker is urging communities to apply.

Robin said:

“The projects and stories that have already been shared as part of the First World War Centenary have been an inspiration. I was particularly moved to take part in the ceremony for the commemorative stone for our first Victoria Cross recipient and I am looking forward to the ceremony for Fred Dancox in 2017. It was truly humbling to be present at the centenary commemorations for the Battle of Gheluvelt as well. It is so important that we remember the impact of this war one hundred years on. I am proud that has already begun to Worcester play its part in marking the centenary of World War One.”

“There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone in Worcester with an idea for their own project to get in touch with the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Following the phenomenal success of its community grants programme First World War: then and now, HLF has made an additional £4 million available in 2015/16 for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War.  Grants are available between £3,000 to £10,000.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the Centenary such as: researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover. In Worcester, there were parades and events as a party of the Three Choirs Festival, the Worcester Literary Festival and the Worcestershire World War One project. This new money will help even more people get involved to explore a greater range of stories including those surrounding the Battle of the Somme.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the HLF, said:

“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.”

The money was announced on 8th July 2015 at a House of Commons reception that showcased just a handful of over 1,000 First World War projects taking place across the UK, thanks to more than £70million of investment from HLF.

Projects on display showed the breadth and scale of First World War stories being explored and shared across the country:

  • Local people from Tottenham and Walthamstow in London showed how they have been exploring their family history to see if any of their relatives fought in the war;
  • Young people from North Tyneside demonstrated how they have been using social media to retell the stories of local soldiers; and
  • Young women in Birmingham shared what they have been uncovering about the experiences of women who worked in factories during the conflict in particularly the Birmingham Small Arms factory in Small Heath.

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at


Notes to Editors:

Robin Walker previously welcomed Worcester’s Cathedral receiving funding from the Great War Fund:

In 2014 he also took part in a visit to Commonwealth War Graves in Worcester ahead of the centenary of the outbreak of the war

He spoke in the House of Commons debate on the commemoration of the centenary last year

For more information on the Heritage Lottery funded project, Worcestershire World War One, and other local events planned in the city, see:

For more information on the Worcestershire Regiment Museum see:

In October 2014 Worcester remembered the anniversary of the Battle of Gheluvelt, for more information on both the Battle and the commemoration for the Battle of Gheluvelt, please see: