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Hampshire's First World War and D-Day commemorations take shape with launch of new grant scheme

Thursday 26 September 2013

To mark 100 years since the start of the First World War, and 70th anniversary of D-Day, Hampshire County Council today launches a brand new grant scheme (26 September) to help support local communities in their plans to mark these historic milestones next year.

Funding of between £200 and £2,000 to help match-fund community-led projects and events will be made available through the new 'Hampshire Commemorates' scheme, which forms part of the raft of events and initiatives planned by the County Council to mark the anniversaries.

Today also sees the launch of a new website Hampshire Commemorates which will host details of the County Council's programme of commemorations including the new grants scheme. There will also be a section offering advice to local schools and communities who would like to get involved in the commemorations.

Later this autumn the '1914' commemorative programme will be launched by a Hampshire Solent arts, museums and heritage partnership as the inaugural annual Hampshire's Big Theme, supported by Arts Council England.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Keith Chapman said: "This programme of commemorations will mark what are likely to be the last major anniversaries of their kind and is hugely important on a local and national level. Hampshire and its communities played a unique and internationally significant role during both the First World War and D-Day and we have set aside £100,000 to support this programme, including £50,000 of grant funding, which will also complement the national programme backed by Government."

"Among our various preparations are a number of key projects such as the launch of this new grants scheme for local communities, as well as work to engage Hampshire schools, including involvement in a performing arts initiative and the development of a series of resource packs. And later this autumn we will of course be launching the Big Theme programme with even more events planned."

"Poppies will be planted at some of our Country Parks and other locations, including Manor Farm in Bursledon, Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley, and Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. A special D-Day event is also being planned at Lepe Country Park, featuring a parade along the seafront, a cliff-top memorial service, re-enactments, guided walks, and more.

"This wider commemorative programme across cultural venues will continue during the 2014-18 period, and the County Council is working in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign in 2015 and bring back to life the historic HMS Monitor M33 which served there."

Notes to Editors:

A link to the report considered by Councillor Keith Chapman at his Decision Day on 25 September 2013 can be found here

More information about the HMS M33 project and its role at Gallipoli.

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