Windrush Day funding increased to £750k
Thousands of communities across the UK will have the opportunity to bid for a share of the newly increased Windrush Grant Scheme to stage local events to celebrate the 75th Windrush anniversary this year.
The Department for Levelling Up has announced that the Grant Scheme has been increased to £750,000, up from £500,000, and will be open to applications from Northern Ireland for the first time.
The fund was opened on January 18 and will provide money to local councils, charities and community organisations seeking to hold commemorative and educational events to mark the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks. This could include exhibitions, seminars, school projects and street parties that focus on the contributions of the Windrush generation and their descendants.
First launched in 2018, the Windrush Day Grant Scheme helps ensure that people across the country have the opportunity to take part in celebrations and commemorations on National Windrush Day, which is held on June 22.
Communities Minister Lee Rowley said: “The 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the port of Tilbury marks a seminal moment in our nation’s shared history.
“This government is fully committed to honouring the Windrush generation and their immense contribution to this country. This funding will really help local communities come together, honour the past, and celebrate our country.”
A release from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said that to date, the government has dedicated £3.75 million in funding towards honouring the Windrush legacy.
This includes £2.75 million across five years of the Windrush Day Grant Scheme, and £1 million allocated to the National Windrush Monument in Waterloo Station. Last year 35 groups across England were given a share of £500,000 funding to help commemorate Windrush Day. The projects included the establishment of the Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir, a six-month project that included vocal workshops and specially commissioned music; a one-day festival at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, celebrating many aspects of UK Caribbean life, from music and dance to food and storytelling; and a Windrush exhibition across museums, cultural centres, schools and colleges in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, together with live performance and online workshops.
TheMV Empire Windrush’s disembarkation at Tilbury dock on June 22, 1948, carrying passengers from the Caribbean, invited by the UK to fill labour shortages, is considered a pivotal moment in modern British history.
The ship with nearly 500 passengers from the islands was the start of a post-war migration wave that is credited with shoring up Britain’s workforce and helping the country rebuild following the Second World War.