Community and voluntary groups from across Derry are being invited to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to support innovative arts and cultural projects in their local areas.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the grants are part of the Acorn Fund’s City of Culture Legacy programme and are available to projects that will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing, the environment, support residents or bring communities together.

From nature programmes, to groups for young adults with learning disabilities, and Men’s Sheds, the Acorn Fund’s Legacy Grants Fund has already boosted a wide range of local causes.

Ballykelly Men’s Shed received a legacy grant earlier this year for the development of a new art installation created using parts of old computers and hard drives. The men worked with a local artist, to bring their project to life, after nearly two years of planning.

Whilst Ulidian Youth Drama Group used their award to bring to life some of the largely forgotten tales about real-life men and women who helped shape the city and performed them in care homes across Strabane and Eglinton.

Applications for the Legacy Grant are now open and will close on 15 November 2017. More information is available from the Community Foundation Northern Ireland’s website at

Shauna Kelpie, Acorn Fund Development Officer, said: “Community and voluntary organisations contribute immeasurably to the vitality of our local areas.

“The Legacy Grants Fund helps organisations provide projects and activities that hugely benefit local communities and their residents. This is a great opportunity for communities to carry out arts and cultural projects that will make a big difference for residents.”

Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland Chair, said: “We are delighted to see National Lottery players’ money being invested in the Acorn Fund’s Legacy Grants programme. This funding is supporting a wide range of diverse and exciting projects that are making a real difference to people’s lives.”

The Acorn Fund was established in 2014 to ensure that people within the County of Derry~Londonderry have an opportunity to get involved with arts and culture following the UK City of Culture. It also funds project that use arts and culture in innovative ways to tackle issues such as social inclusion, rural isolation and marginalization. It is funded with the support of the Big Lottery Fund, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

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