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Monday, 15 September 2014

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Lottery blow for Cockermouth war commemorations

A Cockermouth group set up to mark the First World War centenary has been dealt a cash blow just days after being told that its £32,000 bid for lottery funding had been successful.

The centenary committee has now been informed that the Heritage Lottery Fund sum will not be forthcoming because of a mistake.

The group had applied for a grant to cover a range of projects throughout the next two years.

It also wanted money to permanently illuminate the town’s war memorial on Station Road and lay a sandstone commemoration plaque.

Town council clerk Sheila Brown was delighted to receive a phone call telling her their bid had been successful.

The following week she was sent a letter by the Heritage Lottery Fund explaining that the bid had been unsuccessful, and apologising for the confusion.

The letter said: “I can only sincerely apologise for this error and the disappointment it must have caused you.”

Sheila said: “I couldn’t believe it, that such an organisation could make such a mistake. We had started to place purchase orders for things and everything had to be cancelled.”

The committee is made up of representatives from the town council, Mechanics Band, Kirkgate Centre, RAF Association, Voiceworx, Soroptomists, Rotary, civic trust, Inner Wheel and museum group.

They were due to meet last week to celebrate the news and confirm plans but ended up discussing how to salvage their projects.

The money was to be used for events including an exhibition, films, lectures and shows at the Kirkgate Centre, and a re-enactment of the First World War Christmas truce football match.

While some of the projects, including the memorial work, will be deferred and form part of a future application, others will go ahead, thanks to various groups pitching in.

A lecture by Stuart Eastwood, What Grandad Ate in the Trenches, will still go ahead at the Kirkgate Centre next month after the civic trust agreed to pay Stuart’s costs and Kirkgate general manager Kate Parry agreed to room costs.

The truce football match will be funded by Cockermouth Rotary Club.

An exhibition by the museum group at the Kirkgate Centre, which runs until tomorrow, has been a great success. Called The Gathering Clouds of War, it looks at the build-up to the war and how it affected life in Cockermouth. It is open from 10am to 4pm, with free entry.

Have your say

I think your comments are mistaken, this is Heritage Lottery funding specifically for WW1 commemoration events. So I doubt they would be anti military and anti white. The fund has strict terms of reference to stop those less than honest applying and misusing the money, can they not re-apply?

Posted by Karl on 1 September 2014 at 19:27

The lottery is bias towards areas like Cumbria as we are unable to demonstrate that the money will benefit not just typical white British people. Also there seems to be reluctance by the lottery to support charities or organisations with a military theme in case they offend other groups

Posted by John on 30 August 2014 at 15:28

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