Coleraine group shares in first Culture for All grants

By Andrew Kennedy, Big Lottery Fund Communications Manager

We’ve just announced the first grants from the new Culture for All programme – and one of the first groups awarded funding is a Coleraine project using drama to increase young people’s understanding of the town’s culture and history.

Coleraine Ulster Scots Regeneration group has been awarded £10,000 to run ‘A Plantation Town,’ a creative arts project that will involve young people in a drama performance on the historic ramparts in Coleraine. They will re-enact the besieging of Coleraine by the Jacobite army prior to the wider known Siege of Derry in 1689.

“This project has been developed to put a spotlight on Coleraine’s history and how it links with the history and culture of Derry~Londonderry which is the UK City of Culture 2013,” said project co-ordinator Joanne Honeyford.

“We plan to produce a DVD about King James’ army laying siege to Coleraine on its way to Derry. And then we will re-enact the story on part of the surviving 17th century rampart at Anderson Park in May 2013.”

The DVD and performance will mostly involve young people  from local schools. “There is such a rich history here in Coleraine and a lot of young people are not aware of it,” explained Joanne.

“This project will educate them in the history of the area, as well as involving them in dance, drama, music, costume design and the production of the DVD. We also plan to take the 40-50 young people involved in the project on a visit to Derry~Londonderry. They will have a guided tour to give them a sense of the history of the city and see how it parallels with the history of Coleraine.”

Other aspects of the project involve research into life in the 17th century. “We will not just be teaching them historical facts, we will also give them a sense of what life was like for people living then,” said Joanne. “We’ll be looking at the clothes the people would have worn, the weapons that would have been used and what the men would have eaten.”

“It’s really going to make young people aware of the history of Coleraine and its links with Derry~Londonderry, helping them to better understand their roots and current situation in Northern Ireland today.”

Culture for All is a small grants programme, run by the Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council of Nortthern Ireland, offering grants of up to £10,000 to communities across Northern Ireland that want to play a part in the UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

Community organisations can apply for funding to run arts and culture projects and activities that link in with the historic event, encourage talent and improve the lives of people in communities.

Application forms and guidance notes for the Culture for All programme are available to download now at:

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