Mayflower 400 Southampton

Funding available for Southampton’s community groups to take part in the Mayflower 400

27 Mar 2020

Southampton City Council is leading a city-wide partnership to mark Mayflower 400. The programme was launched in early March with 1,000 school and college pupils taking part in A Musical Odyssey, at The Mayflower Theatre, led by the Southampton Music Hub. Projects were due to continue throughout the year, but in light of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus), a decision has been made to postpone events at least until late July or early August depending on government advice available at the time

However, today a new funding scheme is announced to enable local groups and communities to get involved.  A total of £60,000 will be available through combined funds from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Southampton City Council.  Grants are to encourage Southampton residents to explore heritage stories through community activity – this could be anything from a quilt that tells the story of a community’s journey to Southampton, filming and archiving oral histories of community elders, holding an exhibition about the history of a faith building and its congregation.

Applications are invited for grants of between £1,000 – £3,000 for projects which take place between August and December 2020. In particular, all-being well, the Council is keen to support activities for Heritage Open Days in September. The scheme is open for applications between 27 March 2020 and 4 August 2020.

Councillor Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “It’s so important that our Mayflower 400 programme is meaningful to everyone and that we have opportunities for all our diverse communities to get involved. We are thrilled to be working with The National Lottery Heritage Fund on this new funding programme, to help make this happen. Southampton is a vibrant and diverse city with a strong cultural heritage and our aim for the Mayflower year is to encourage people from all ages and backgrounds to join in, not just as audiences but as participants, and leading their own projects. Now is the time to develop ideas, plan a project and start making an application; our Mayflower 400 team is here to help.”

Stuart McLeod, Director London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “An internationally significant time in history with many local stories and legacies to share, Mayflower 400 offers an incredible moment to explore the heritage of Southampton and beyond. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are delighted to support this programme.”

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower and her sister ship, The Speedwell, leaving Southampton’s West Quay for the New World (15 August 1620). A national compact has been agreed to deliver a year of events to mark the anniversary, with Plymouth appointed the lead for the UK.  The programme will link four nations, 12 destinations, and millions of people through a series of arts, heritage, community and sporting events.  Southampton City Council sees the Mayflower anniversary as an opportunity to work with communities to creatively explore self-identity, migration and transmigration, to celebrate the people of the world, such as the Mayflower passengers, who throughout history have come to, or through, Southampton in search of a new life, helping build our enviable reputation as ‘Gateway to the World’.

Communities and groups can find more information about the scheme and how to apply on or by emailing Support will be available on the phone or by Skype for communities interested in planning a project and making an application, later in the year, it will hopefully be possible to run workshops to support community applicants, subject to the COVID-19 guidance at the time.

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