Grants available to celebrate and support Barrow’s heritage 

The back of an audience's heads, looking at a man standing next to a screen making a presentation.

Grant applications are now welcomed for schemes to support heritage work in the Barrow area.

Applications are open for ‘Barrow’s Heritage – Micro to Mighty’, a programme that will see Westmorland and Furness Council award grants of between £200 and £3,000 to groups and organisations to support heritage-related projects.

The programme will also pull together a ‘Local List’ of heritage assets in the Barrow area to record buildings, structures or spaces worthy of recognition.

The programme was launched last month with an information event at Barrow Town Hall for anyone interested in the scheme and applications for grants have now gone live.

Locally based voluntary and not for profit groups in the wider Barrow borough area which are involved in heritage community projects or initiatives are eligible to apply. To receive funding, groups must be constituted and hold a bank account in the name of the group.

The project should demonstrate how it will engage a wider range of people in heritage and the project must be delivered in the Barrow borough.

There will be two separate rounds of applications, with the first round deadline on 15 August 2023 and the second round deadline on 13 October.

Click here for more details about the criteria and how to apply to Barrow's Heritage - Micro to Mighty. 

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the new ‘Barrow’s Heritage – Micro to Mighty’ programme is picking up where a successful National Lottery Heritage Fund backed heritage grant scheme left off in 2017.

Under the 2017 programme, 20 successful applicants were awarded a total of £51,000, including schools, community groups and arts organisations.

Projects supported included Ormsgill Primary School pupils’ study of the history of Ormsgill Quarry, Friends of Askam Station working with two schools to create new displays by looking at the history of the station and Art Gene in Barrow, whose members created a short film about the music scene in Barrow and how things have changed since the 1960s.

The new micro-grants will build on the work started in these projects and support new schemes that celebrate and build understanding of the area’s rich heritage.

The creation of a Local List will ensure that the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Barrow area’s heritage landscape are recognised. Any building, structure or space of virtually any age has the potential to be a heritage asset, either valued now or by future generations because of its interest and contribution to the area’s history.

These assets are important reminders of the past and provide character, image and identity and the Local List will log examples identified by the community.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, said: “I’m struck how everyone in Barrow really loves Barrow! A big part of that sense of place is the built environment. Improving Barrow’s many cultural and heritage assets will support everyone’s wellbeing as well as adding to economic growth -  all delivering the Council Plan ambitions to ensure Westmorland and Furness is a great place to live, work and thrive.

“The previous heritage grant scheme in 2017 supported some excellent projects and this latest National Lottery Heritage Fund backing means that work can continue.

“I attended an event launching this scheme and I was really impressed with the quality and range of those projects – and very much enjoyed meeting the people who’d made them happen.

“I would encourage voluntary groups and community projects to explore this opportunity to deliver their dreams and improve their place - visit the website, find out more and submit a grant application. I look forward to seeing yet more great projects being delivered.’’

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic to see the impact and the progression of community grants in Barrow and how the schemes have helped to engage local people in heritage that matters to them most.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are very proud to support this programme that will ensure more local stories are preserved for future generations and help to create an even greater sense of pride in place for communities.”