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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Antrim & Newtownabbey Council receive grant of £94,600 to mark NI Centenary

• 39 projects have been awarded a grant through the Shared History Fund

• The Shared History Fund is a £1million fund which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has been awarded £94,600 through the Shared History Fund. The Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office, will support groups in marking the Centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way.

The fund received high levels of interest and following a competitive application and assessment process, 39 projects across Northern Ireland were awarded grants, including Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The funding will help Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council deliver its ‘A Country’s Centenary for Our Community’ project, which features a variety of inclusive community engagement activities, a historical reflections exhibition, an original drama production of an untold story, an older people’s reminiscence project, women in politics project and an educational project for primary schools.

This diverse programme will reflect on the past, commemorate the centenary and inspire future generations creating space across all elements for inclusive engagement by the whole community.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Jim Montgomery added:

“I am delighted that the Council have received this funding to support their Centenary of Northern Ireland programme. We are extremely thankful for this funding from the Northern Ireland Office and National Lottery Heritage Fund which will allow the Council to deliver an inclusive programme to engage all our Community through a range of events, projects and initiatives. We have an opportunity to learn about our past, draw in its lessons and be inspired by its spirit”.

In awarding grants, The National Lottery Heritage Fund prioritised those organisations which best demonstrated how they were inclusive of different audiences and interpretations of the past, in line with the Principles for Remembering.

These are a set of principles which The National Lottery Heritage Fund developed in partnership with the Community Relations Council in 2011, to help groups navigate difficult history and to ensure the stories told throughout the Decade of Centenaries were thoughtful and inclusive of a range of perspectives.

The projects funded are diverse and cover a wide range of subjects and key moments in Northern Ireland’s history, from discovering untold stories of our past, to the development of different communities to our hopes for the Northern Ireland of the future.

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 will show how we can engage with difficult heritage going forward.”


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