Written by Lucy Gollogly
Performers from North West Tongues, Tones and Tappin’ were dancing to the tune of a £400,000 Lottery windfall to help build a legacy for the first UK City of Culture at an event in Derry/Londonderry this week.
The group of Highland and Irish dancers and musicians were among those who were at the Nerve Centre to hear how the money from the Big Lottery Fund will benefit arts and culture projects across the county.
The grant, which has been awarded to the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund, will also support projects for young people and marginalised groups such as homeless people, ethnic minorities and people with learning disabilities.
The lottery grant will also be used to develop a three-year Acorn Fund programme to support young people with learning disabilities who want to pursue a career in the arts.
The Big Lottery Fund announcement builds on the legacy of the Culture for All programme – a joint small grants programme delivered with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland – which invested £1.6 million into activities which supported groups across NI to take part in the first UK City of Culture celebrations.
Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this grant which will help build on the success of the investment we made through the Culture for All programme.
“This grant to the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland will help to support to people and communities across County Derry/Londonderry to build a legacy to the first UK City of Culture. We are looking forward to hearing how this grant will benefit local people to play their part in building the legacy.”
Tony McCusker, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said: “I am delighted with this partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland in support of the Acorn Fund. The hope is that the Acorn Fund can model how the Community Foundation can localise its grant-making programmes by bringing grant programmes closer to local areas – in this case Co. Derry/Londonderry.”
North West Tongues, Tones and Tappin’ were among a number of projects that featured in a film showing the impact of the Culture for All programme, which was screened at the event in the Nerve Centre.
Representatives from Action Mental Health New Horizons Foyle, Little Orchids, Foyle Haven, Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group and Ashfield Boys’ High School in east Belfast, which took part in a project with Belfast Print Workshop, were also at the launch to see themselves on film and celebrate the impact of Culture for All.
You can watch the Culture for All film below.