31 AUG 2017

Heritage Lottery Fund

Kent Messenger Column - 31-08-17 

The haunting vision of deep red porcelain poppies cascading down the cold grey walls of the Tower of London was one of the most poignant moments of my time as a culture Minister in the Cameron government. I was responsible for the World War One Centennial commemorations and that stunning art installation, 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', made headlines around the world, whilst also attracting some 5 million visitors.

Hard to believe that was three years ago as we now approach 2018, marking the centenary of the end of the war; and once again we have an opportunity to inform and engage a new generation with the importance of that time in our history.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is encouraging people in Maidstone and The Weald and right across Kent to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to undertake projects exploring our post-WW1 legacy; the introduction of daylight saving (later becoming British Summer Time), the mechanisation of agriculture – a major issue here in Kent; 'universal suffrage' - giving every citizen over the age of 18 the right to vote and changing British democracy for ever; just three of the many agents of change with lasting local and national impact.

More than £7 million of lottery money, through 55 separate grants, has been invested in Maidstone and The Weald's heritage projects since the National Lottery was first introduced in 1994; from exploring local archaeology and restoring local parks and buildings, to protecting wildlife and researching local history; now we have an opportunity to build on that investment, attracting more visitors to our region whilst continuing to educate our younger people about how our modern British way of life came to be.

The money is available through HLF's community grants programme, 'First World War: then and now'. Click here for more information. 

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