Funding experts at Focus Consultants have helped a council to secure almost £1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to uncover the local history of the First World War.
The grant to Doncaster Council will also be used to research the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and create a lasting legacy which will be accessible to townspeople for years to come.
Mike Lee, associate at Focus Consultants, which is based in Nottingham and has offices in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, said: “We are pleased and proud to have played a part in helping Doncaster Council to secure this grant from the HLF by assisting with the bid.
“As the centenary of the First World War is being marked this year, it is particularly poignant that the council and local people will be focusing on this period of the history of the area. The project will help to expand on what is already known and will create a rich resource for generations to come.”
An earlier HLF grant had been awarded to the council to fund the work that Focus carried out on the bid.
A five-year project entitled Doncaster 1914-1918 will be launched on Remembrance Weekend, November 9th and 10th, and will include a range of activities and events aimed at inspiring residents to research their own family history and contribute to a new interactive Doncaster heritage website. The website will make information about the First World War and the KOYLI currently held in council archives more accessible. As well as being searchable, members of the public will also be able to upload their own information.
The Doncaster Council bid is one of the latest successful bids that Focus Consultants has been involved in. Since it was founded 20 years ago, it has helped to secure more than £925 million of grant assistance for a range of projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.0 billion worth of projects and programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.
It specialises in working with councils, arts and heritage organisations, leisure complexes, religious and secular groups, and tourism outlets to put together innovative bids for funding packages for development projects.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: "This is fantastic news for people in Doncaster and we are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this generous investment. Doncaster has a rich heritage and it will be interesting to see what we can add to the understanding of it over the course of the five years.”
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said the HLF was delighted to announce support for the project.
“Doncaster Museum holds some fascinating archives exploring the history of the conflict on the Home and Western Fronts - from rationing and zeppelin raids, to family memories and life in a battalion,” she said. “This project will enable the community to access them, bring stories to life and contribute to a digital legacy that will preserve a unique insight into the Doncastrian memory of the First World War for generations to come."
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