Communities across Na h-Eileanan an Iar who wish to mark the Centenary of World War 1 through local projects could benefit from funding made available by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Angus MacNeil MP was briefed by the Heritage Lottery Fund recently on their support for projects right across the country which focus not just on the events of 1914-18 but also on the lasting changes the war brought about.

Many island groups, including several Comunn Eachdraidh, have already secured funding for very successful projects to explore the contribution and impact of WW1 on their communities.

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme is making at least £1million a year available until 2019 for small community grants of £3,000 to £10,000.

Mr MacNeil said: “I’m delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available to local communities. Like many areas across the UK, the impact of the First World War on the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar was extensive. For those who want to find out more about its legacy or who wish to mark the Centenary, I would urge them to get in touch with HLF.

“I was also delighted to hear recently that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been awarded a grant of £132k from the War Memorial Trust’s First World War Memorials Programme which, together with the Comhairle’s capital allocation of £100K, will allow significant restoration and repair works to the Lewis War Memorial.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme will enable communities to explore the continuing legacy of this war and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

In the last 20 years, the Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed £14,927,281 to projects in Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

If a group have a project idea to mark the Centenary of the First World War, an online application pack is available

If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes.