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Grants and Funding


Shared History Fund

30 November 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available for public sector and not-for-profit organisations across the UK that are seeking to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland.


The Shared History Fund was created as part of the UK Government’s commitment to facilitate local and national awareness of the centenary of Northern Ireland, which also paved the way for the formation of the UK as we know it today. The funding is being distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund using criteria set by the Northern Ireland Office.

Objectives of Fund

The funding is intended for organisations seeking to:

  • Mark the centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 in a spirit of mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation, in line with the Principles for Remembering.

  • Facilitate local and national awareness of, and engagement with, this significant national anniversary.

Value Notes

A total of £1 million will be awarded in grants.

Two levels of funding are available:

  • Smaller grants of between £3,000 and £10,000.

  • Larger grants of between £10,000 and £100,000.

The funding must be spent by 31 March 2022.

Who Can Apply

Applications are accepted from public sector and not-for-profit organisations across the UK, including:

  • Charities, Trusts, and Charitable Incorporated Organisations.

  • Community and voluntary groups.

  • Community Interest Companies

  • Faith based or church organisations.

  • Local Authorities.

  • Educational organisations.


United Kingdom


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • For-profit-organisations.

  • Existing staff posts or organisational costs.

  • Statutory and/or legal responsibilities.

  • Promoting the cause or beliefs of political or faith organisations.

  • Recoverable VAT.

  • Costs for any activity that has taken place before the grant has been awarded.

  • Events that do not demonstrate substantive engagement with the historical context.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for projects that:

  • Encourage engagement with the history of the centenary of Northern Ireland.

  • Encourage reflection, engagement and exploration of different perspectives on a century of life in Northern Ireland.

  • Will deliver in 2021 or by the first quarter of 2022.

  • Are accessible, taking into consideration how the activity will be inclusive of different audiences and demographics.

  • Have appropriately considered and contingency planned for how public health restrictions relating to the coronavirus/COVID-19 may impact any in-person events. Organisations will need to factor in assumptions about social distancing in line with the regulations in the relevant jurisdiction.

All projects must be in line with the following Principles for Remembering:

  1. Start from the historical facts.

  2. Recognise the implications and consequences of what happened.

  3. Understand that different perceptions and interpretations exist.

  4. Show how events and activities can deepen understanding of the period.

Examples of projects that could be funded include those that:

  • Reflect on the history of the centenary through use of archive material, oral history and other historical sources.

  • Encourage people to engage with history through innovative and creative means.

  • Embrace diverse perspectives, reflecting on the complexity of Northern Irish history and identity.

  • Facilitate engagement with untold stories relating to Northern Ireland’s history.

  • Explore how the historical context has shaped today’s Northern Ireland. There is particular interest in project exploring the themes of:

    • Locality - eg, history of a town through 100 years.

    • Thematic complexity - eg, emigration/immigration, women’s stories, agriculture.

    • Stories of communities of interest - eg, new communities to Northern Ireland, role of the arts sector, the history of industry in Northern Ireland.

    • UK context - eg, the impact of the events of 1920-22 on the UK's politics, people and identity.

    • Wider context - eg, north/south, east/west, international context, stories of Northern Irish diaspora.

  • Examine the contribution made by significant historical, artistic, literary, entrepreneurial, scientific and medical Northern Irish figures and organisations.

The grants can be used to cover a wide range of direct project costs, including:

  • Volunteer expenses related to the delivery of the project.

  • Training costs related to the delivery of the project.

  • Virtual or in-person event/exhibition costs (in line with public health restrictions).

  • New staff posts related to the delivery of the project.

  • Digitisation costs.

  • Research costs.

  • Costs of producing resources such as education packs, exhibitions, pamphlets.

How To Apply

There will be two free webinars on 30 November 2020 and 9 December 2020 where applicants can ask questions about the Fund. Organisations should register on the Fund’s website.

The application deadline is 15 January 2021 (noon).

The Fund aims to make decisions on applications by the end of February 2021. A second application round may open if funds are not fully allocated after the first round.

Applications are to be submitted through the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s online application portal. Organisations must register an account first before they can access the portal.

Once logged into the portal, organisations should select the level of funding they wish to apply for from the pull-down menu and complete the application form provided.

Guidance notes are available on the website of The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Enquiries
    National Lottery Heritage Fund (Heritage Fund)
    International House
    1 St Katharine's Way
    E1W 1UN
    Tel: 020 8132 7290
    Email: [email protected]


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