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First World War Engagement Centres Funding Extended

Date: 17/02/2017

Opened on 26th July 1936, The Vimy Monument is dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) [1] has announced that it is continuing funding for the five First World War Engagement Centres [2] set up as part of the nation’s commemoration of the Centenary of the conflict.

This new funding for the second phase of the Centres will total £2million over the next three years. The programme is part of an ongoing partnership between the AHRC and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) [3].

Since their establishment in 2014 the five Engagement Centres, each linked to a consortium of Universities, have collaborated with hundreds of community groups across the country and provided support to over 150 HLF-funded First World War community projects [4]. Continued AHRC funding means the Centres will be able to support academic researchers to work with an even greater range of community groups and HLF-funded projects over the next three years.

Professor Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: “I am delighted that the AHRC will be continuing to support the First World War Engagement centres for the remainder of the Centenary, extending its partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund".

“The Centres have demonstrated that collaboration between communities and academic researchers can generate fresh and important insights on the history of the First World War as well as on its heritage and legacy for diverse communities across the UK today".

“I look forward to these collaborations uncovering many more untold histories and stimulating further innovative approaches to discovering First World War heritage over the next three years.”

The five Centres are:

Four of the Centres are receiving funding for a further three years until the end of 2019. The fifth, the Centre for Hidden Histories at the University of Nottingham, has been extended until the end of 2017 while a review is undertaken of how to enhance support further for the important agendas covered by the Centre.

The funding just announced will not only support the continuation of the Centres, but also a number of linked supplementary activities. These include a new cluster of almost 30 community/academic co-produced research projects on the War which will start this year following a call issued by the five Centres.

Other activities that will be led by the Centres include a series of showcase events in 2017-2018, a Legacies of War and Peace Community Festival in 2019, networking for early career researchers interested in the First World War, and work to explore learning about the role of community performance-based approaches in the Centenary commemorations.



For further information and images please contact: Al Golding, Communications Co-ordinator, on 01793 416026 or A.Golding@ahrc.ac.uk

War Memorial at Sunrise

Notes to Editors:

[1]. The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe. You can find out more information via www.ahrc.ac.uk or following us on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.

[2]. The First World War Engagement Centres form an important part of the AHRC’s Care for the Future Theme and the Connected Communities Programme, as well as to the portfolio of AHRC activities on World War One and its Legacy. The AHRC blog Beyond the Trenches also provides further information on research related to the First World War.

[3]. Heritage Lottery Fund - Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.

[4]. First World War Centenary - HLF has invested more than £83 million to over 1,650 projects across the UK marking the Centenary of the First World War. It has a dedicated community grants programme First World War: then and now which to 2019 is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to local communities looking to explore and understand their First World War heritage. Larger grants for First World War projects are also available through HLF’s open programmes. For more information visit www.hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar or Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or follow the hashtag #UnderstandingWW1