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Communities celebrate as heritage projects awarded £50,000

Communities taking part in 20 heritage projects across Furness are celebrating after receiving a share of £50,000 to support their efforts.

The grants are being awarded from the “Barrow’s Heritage – Micro to Mighty” scheme by Westmorland and Furness Council, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Artists, musicians, bell ringers, cricketers, golfers, rugby players, school children and members of the d/Deaf community are among those whose projects are receiving micro-grants between £200 and £3,000 to continue their existing work or help new ideas off the ground.

The underlying aim of the scheme is to involve a wider range of people in heritage than previously by supporting organisations who are committed to exploring ways of reaching new and less engaged audiences.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, the council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, said: “These Micro to Mighty grants enable people from all walks of life to explore together what life was like here in the past, and to capture memories in all sorts of imaginative ways – whether that’s making a film, writing or playing music, playing a round of golf with an antique hickory wood club or writing a seaside memory on a special piece of paper you’ve learned to make yourself.

“People come together in a shared interest at the workshops, activities and events. I am blown away by the number of volunteers and groups dedicating their time, knowledge and passion to these heritage projects. It enriches everyone when people of all ages, skills and experience work together celebrating the place where they live.

“There are Mighty benefits for everyone’s wellbeing, including combating loneliness which is a problem for many people nowadays. Our Council Plan recognises that the strength of Westmorland and Furness is in its people and this project really shows what that means. I’m delighted these grants will help so many worthwhile projects to thrive and so many people to take part.”

The “Barrow’s Heritage – Micro to Mighty” scheme is made possible with money raised by National Lottery players and builds on the success of a similar programme in 2017 when grants worth £51,000 were awarded to 20 applicants including schools, community groups and arts organisations.

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic to see the progression of the Micro to Mighty community grants in Barrow and how the scheme is helping to engage local people in heritage that matters the most to them. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are very proud to continue our support for this programme that will ensure more local stories are preserved for future generations and help to further a sense of pride in place for communities.”

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