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A new way to explore Barrow’s heritage

Barrow-in-Furness, The Shipyard, Devonshire Docks c1950 (c) Heritage Photographic Resources Ltd

[I]t is now easier than ever to explore Barrow’s rich and varied history, thanks to money from National Lottery players. But hurry, because time is short.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is announcing new easy-to-apply-for microgrants at a special event on November 10 and 11. Individual grants, worth between £200 and £3,000, will be given to community projects to discover more about Barrow’s past.

The microgrants will be available from November 2017 to February 2018 and the total grant pot is just £25,000. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

The Cumbrian coastal town has been chosen to pilot the microgrant scheme in the UK, as a new way of awarding money raised by National Lottery players to heritage projects. The scheme is open to community groups within Barrow in Furness district – which is in a Priority Area for funding for HLF – and especially to those that have never applied for a grant before.

With this in mind the grants will be easy to apply for with a minimum of form filling involved and applicants can expect to receive an instant answer to their project idea.

Head of HLF North West Nathan Lee said: “The National Lottery is investing in the spirit of Barrow and we want to hear from local people whatever their heritage project may be. This is a new and different way of giving heritage grants and we are delighted that Barrow has been chosen as the place where we will be piloting this for the first time in the UK.”

Barrow-in-Furness, Cavendish Street c1960 (c) Heritage Photographic Resources Ltd

Welcoming the initiative, Andrew Bass, Business Development Officer Cumbria CVS said: “This is brilliant news for Barrow. The area has such a rich and varied history so it has been great to find out that HLF and the National Lottery have chosen us for its microgrants pilot. We look forward to as many groups as possible bringing ideas to the event in November and in the weeks following to explore, discuss and display the heritage of this vibrant town.”

Barrow has a proud industrial history, especially shipbuilding, having constructed many of the Royal Navy’s ships and submarines. Natural history is also well-served with local nature reserves and the town’s location on the edge of the beautiful unspoiled landscapes of the Lake District.

People love a good story, especially one centred on their home town. The microgrants will give the community a chance to discover and share those stories, whether about a local organisation’s roots, historic figures, sporting achievements or a little known event from the past. Everything will be considered.

The microgrants scheme is being launched at a special two-day event on November 10 and11 at the Art Gene Gallery, Barrow. On the first day the scheme will be presented to local heritage organisations. On Day 2 – Saturday November 11 – applicants can put their ideas to HLF North West staff – and they are promised an on-the-spot answer.

But don’t worry if you are unable to attend. A further applicant session will be held in the town in mid December or, in the meantime, people can contact the HLF North West Team on 0161 200 8470 or [email protected]

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