Lead The Way Tour has been awarded £3,000 to help recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced grants to help 50 organisations and 41 individuals adapt, recover and re-open following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Heritage Recovery Fund is being distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities. The fund is part of the £29million Executive allocation to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors in Northern Ireland.
Grants from the Heritage Recovery Fund were awarded to a wide range of organisations and individuals in the heritage sector, from historic sites, attractions and landscapes, to tour guides and specialist heritage conservators. The grant will enable Lead The Way Tour to invest in developing the experience and cover lost income as a result of not being able to conduct guided walking tours in 2020.
Lead The Way Tour owner, Adrian Hack, said “I’m really grateful to the Department for Communities and The National Lottery Heritage Fund for providing this funding. Thanks to this grant, I can continue to develop the tour content, acquire more exhibits to share with tour guests, convert the tour content into a presentation which can be delivered in schools, community groups and other settings, examine opportunities to offer virtual tours online, and ensure my guided walking tours are safe and ready for guests when tours can re-start again.”
Adrian added, “My tour concentrates on the transformation Carrickfergus went through during the Second World War: it’s factories were converted to make goods needed for the war effort; civic buildings re-purposed to help civilians protect themselves from potential attack; army camps built on surrounding land for British, American and Belgian troops; and the civilian population endured rationing, air raid precautions and the blackout.
“It is ironic that in the year we commemorated the 75th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War, the globe was once again engulfed in a worldwide event. The COVID-19 Pandemic greatly restricted my tours during 2020, but with the assistance of this grant I am much more positive about 2021.”