Groups being urged to bid for WW1 grants

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COMMUNITY groups across Wigan can come together to remember the centenary of World War One’s outbreak with a new grant fund.

Wigan Council is offering local organisations, voluntary groups and schools across the borough the chance to apply for up to £1,000 to help communities remember the start of the devastating conflict exactly 100 years ago.

The local authority is making a total pot of £20,000 available for grassroots remembrance projects which will also help people learn more about the war, the effect it had on Wigan and the role people played during the four years of fighting.

Anyone wanting to bid for a grant will have to move quickly as the deadline for applications is just a few weeks away.

But the council hopes as many residents as possible will get involved in the commemorations.

Wigan Council head of leisure and culture Penny McGinty said: “World War One had a massive impact on the borough.

“And we hope that by giving local groups money to plan their own projects we will ensure we commemorate the war in a way that is truly meaningful.

“While there are some guidelines for applications, there is a great deal of freedom.

“As we will be encouraging successful groups to record their projects by taking pictures and short films, the grants will help us to create a lasting World War One legacy which will also benefit local people.”

The council is making £20,000 available to Wigan organisations for each year of the centenary commemorations, which means all the funding given out in this round of bidding must be spent by the end of December 2014.

The grants scheme is just one part of an extensive programme of events.

They are designed to help residents remember the millions of people across Europe who lost their lives in World War One and find out about the impact the fighting had on the borough, which will be announced soon.

A panel organised by Wigan Council, including a World War One steering group, will meet in June to decide which bids have been successful, with the results to be announced at the end of next month.

The closing date for World War One community grants is 5pm on May 30.

To find out more or request an application form, email Paul Dandy at p.dandy@wigan.gov.uk