Funding experts at Focus Consultants have helped a council
to secure almost £1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to uncover the
local history of the First World War. 
The grant to Doncaster Council will also be used to research
the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and create a lasting legacy
which will be accessible to townspeople for years to come. 
Mike Lee, associate at Focus Consultants, which is based in
Nottingham and has offices in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn in
Lincolnshire, said: “We are pleased and proud to have played a part in helping
Doncaster Council to secure this grant from the HLF by assisting with the bid. 
“As the centenary of the First World War is being marked
this year, it is particularly poignant that the council and local people will
be focusing on this period of the history of the area. The project will help to
expand on what is already known and will create a rich resource for generations
to come.” 
An earlier HLF grant had been awarded to the council to fund
the work that Focus carried out on the bid. 
A five-year project entitled Doncaster 1914-1918 will be launched on Remembrance Weekend,
November 9th and 10th, and will include a range of activities and
events aimed at inspiring residents to research their own family history and
contribute to a new interactive Doncaster heritage website. The website will
make information about the First World War and the KOYLI currently held in
council archives more accessible. As well as being searchable, members of the
public will also be able to upload their own information. 
The Doncaster Council bid is one of the latest successful
bids that Focus Consultants has been involved in. Since it was founded 20 years
ago, it has helped to secure more
than £925 million of grant assistance for a range of projects and businesses
across the UK and delivered more than £1.0 billion worth of projects and
programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the
It specialises in working with councils, arts and heritage
organisations, leisure complexes, religious and secular groups, and tourism
outlets to put together innovative bids for funding packages for development
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “This is fantastic
news for people in Doncaster and we are extremely grateful to the Heritage
Lottery Fund for this generous investment. Doncaster has a rich heritage and it
will be interesting to see what we can add to the understanding of it over the
course of the five years.”
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and
the Humber, said the HLF was delighted to announce support for the project. 
“Doncaster Museum holds some fascinating archives exploring
the history of the conflict on the Home and Western Fronts – from rationing and
zeppelin raids, to family memories and life in a battalion,” she said. “This
project will enable the community to access them, bring stories to life and
contribute to a digital legacy that will preserve a unique insight into the
Doncastrian memory of the First World War for generations to come.” 
Press release issued by Nottingham PR firm Perfect 10 PR