There’s a new buzz around Focus on Family, the nurturing and development centre at the very heart of the Ballysally Estate. With generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Focus on Family is helping local people to engage with their heritage in new ways. And given Coleraine is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the granting of its Royal Charter this year, this is the perfect time to explore the story of the Coleraine Plantation.
“Our project offers people in the Ballysally area an opportunity not only to connect to local heritage but also to meet new people, learn new skills and share the history of Coleraine in exciting and fun ways,” says Brendan Patterson, Manager of Focus On Family.
The project was officially launched on Tuesday 16th of April. During the launch event, those registered on the project got to find out more about everything that’s going on over the next year and to meet some of the people they will be getting to know during this time too.
“Our project is called 1613 And All That!” adds Jane Talbot, Project Co-ordinator. “Not only are we exploring the story of the Coleraine Plantation at a local level, we’re also going to London! We’re planning to see the Coleraine Charter itself and to visit one of the Livery Halls. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved.”
Angela Lavin of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) added her encouragement to the project team. “HLF were delighted to fund this exciting local heritage project. We are always pleased to help communities explore their heritage and would urge other groups to follow Focus on Family’s example and have a go at our small grants programmes Sharing Heritage or Our Heritage.”
With expert support from Bob Curran (local historian), The Honourable The Irish Society, the Causeway Museum Service and Ulster University, project members are in for a real treat.
The project culminates in the production of a book .Those project team members who have completed the “Ambassador Programme” (the project’s inspiring learning programme) will even get to facilitate local heritage tours and information sessions.
About The Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, HLF invest in every part of our diverse heritage.
Since 1994 the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £154.9million to over 1,000 projects across Northern Ireland.
This project is funded through the Heritage Lottery “Fund Your Heritage” programme. This grant programme was replaced February by two new programmes “Sharing Heritage” and “Our Heritage”. More information about all HLF funding can be found at http://www.hlf.org.uk