24 April 2014

Lottery Funds to Support UK City of Culture Celebrations


The Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland have launched a £1.35 million programme to support the first UK City of Culture celebrations in Derry~Londonderry next year.

Culture for All is a small grants programme offering grants of up to £10,000 to communities across Northern Ireland that want to play a part in the UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013. 

Community organisations in Northern Ireland will be able to apply for funding to run arts and culture projects and activities that link in with the historic event, encourage talent and improve the lives of people in communities. 

Examples of projects that might be funded could include a community group, youth club or primary school, inspired by the City of Culture celebrations, working with local artists, poets or musicians in their communities to make music or create a piece of art celebrating local culture. 

A camera club, with links to clubs in Derry~Londonderry, might give young people excluded from school the opportunity to take pictures of local culture and display them in an exhibition, or a reminiscence group could organise for older people to tell their memories of local culture and turn them into a DVD for everyone in the community to watch.  
Big Lottery Fund NI Director, Joanne McDowell, said: “The Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Culture Company 2013, are delighted to be able to play our part in supporting communities across Northern Ireland to take part in activities during the historic UK City of Culture celebrations in Derry~Londonderry.”

“We want to ensure that groups across Northern Ireland can develop and deliver arts and culture projects that link to the celebrations and also benefit the lives of people in their local communities.” 
Lorraine McDowell, Director of Operations at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “This new fund will give communities across Northern Ireland a chance to be a part of one of the world’s most significant cultural events. In partnership with The Big Lottery Fund, we hope to provide support to at least 150 new community projects in 2013. The UK City of Culture is our time to shine, to showcase our creative strength to international audiences.”  

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said: “The announcement of the Culture for All programme is a fantastic development. Local people taking ownership is vital to the success of the UK City of Culture 2013. This fund will enable communities all across Northern Ireland to create their own cultural programmes and join Derry~Londonderry in this unique opportunity to celebrate, explore and showcase our cultural riches when the spotlight turns to us in 2013. I commend The Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for making this funding available to communities.”

The guidance notes and application form for the Culture for All programme are now available to download from Big Lottery Fund's website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.  If you have any queries please contact the Outreach team in Big Lottery Fund's Belfast office on 028 9055 1455.


Pictured: Georgina Kee, from Solace Highland Dancing Group, is pictured at the launch of the Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s £1.35m Culture for All programme.

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