Five new projects are celebrating the New Year by sharing grants of almost £100,000 after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) gave its support to their plans.
In County Antrim, a project to share the traditional skill of dry stone walling is one of those set to benefit. Plans to restore 2.8km of dry stone walls in the Church Bay area of Rathlin Island received a £52,900 grant. Volunteers will be trained to restore the iconic dry stone walls which are in a state of disrepair. This skills development programme will equip local people with the knowledge to preserve and maintain their built heritage. A photographic record of the restoration will be used to share the history of the dry stone walls with the local community.Ranging from the restoration of an important local landmark in Fivemiletown, to the exploration of our maritime and industry heritage, the grants awarded today will help local communities get actively involved in heritage projects that matter to them.
Announcing the awards, Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, said: “These five grants are the latest to be awarded in support of smaller or more modest projects that really help local people to dig into their past to explore, record, or share their heritage. We are delighted to support this project on Rathlin Island which will enable local people to preserve their iconic built heritage. “With HLF’s investment in Northern Ireland reaching a huge £184million, we are proud of our role in helping to protect and celebrate our heritage over the last 19 years and look forward to supporting many more local projects.” Welcoming the award, Michael Cecil from the Rathlin Development and Community Association, added: “This grant award is fantastic news for the Development Association and Rathlin. Restoring some of Rathlin’s very visual historic features will add further to the sense of pride we feel for our Island as well as enhancing skills for future generations. We very much look forward to showcasing the progress and welcoming volunteers to assist with some hands on experience throughout.”