THE Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £74,600 to enable Leek to commemorate the start of the First World War.
A joint bid by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Leek Town Council, the county libraries service, Leek town schools, Friends of the Nicholson War Memorial and the Royal British Legion had been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The groups have now received notification that they have been successful.
Leek Town mayor, John Fisher, said: "I am very pleased indeed that Leek Town Council has been part of the success in gaining this Heritage Lottery Fund grant, to properly commemorate the commencement of World War One in Leek.
"The £74,600, which is the full amount we bid for, will go a long way to ensuring that young people in particular are able better to understand the sacrifice of so many young men from our town 100 years ago.
"The next step is to appoint an activity co-ordinator to work with the schools and to help deliver the project. Among events planned will be a Community Parade to commemorate Leek C Battery's march through Leek in August 1914 on their way to war.
"A total of young people, one to represent each of the fallen from Leek, will march from the site of Alma Street Barracks to the Nicholson War Memorial for a service of remembrance.
"The King's Royal Troop Horse Artillery has been invited to lead the parade."
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, said: "It's great news that our joint bid to the HLF has been successful and that we'll be able to put together an exciting programme of exhibitions and events that remember the lives of Moorlanders who lived through this momentous period in world history and, in some cases, paid the ultimate sacrifice. It's fitting that our plans will involve young people and that the stories of some of the people whose names are remembered on the Nicholson Memorial, along with the local heritage that is their inheritance, will be brought to life for a new generation."
A Heritage Lottery Fund spokesman said: "The First World War touched the lives of everyone in this country and the community of Leek paid a very heavy price with the loss of more than 400 local young men. This gives the whole community the opportunity to commemorate their sacrifice, learn more of the history of that period and become involved in a range of activities."
Firm took on First World War work: Turn to Page 6