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Centenary of Northern Ireland

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 20 January 2021

There are a number of important strands to our centenary programme, including historical understanding and engagement, and supporting trade and investment, which showcase Northern Ireland’s rich potential. We also want to focus on the future, especially Northern Ireland’s young people, and will ensure that their voices are heard in the centenary programme. We recently announced £3 million to support this work, including a £1 million shared history fund, supporting the engagement of non-profit organisations across the UK with the centenary. We are continuing to develop the centenary plans and will publish them further over the coming months.

The year 2021 marks 100 years since the creation of Northern Ireland, which paved the way for the formation of the United Kingdom as we know it today. In Burnley and Padiham, we are proud Unionists and want to share in the celebration of this momentous date, so will my hon. Friend set out what steps he is taking to make sure that all parts of the United Kingdom can share in this celebration?

My hon. Friend raises a really important point. Given the significance of this anniversary, we want to ensure that marking the centenary has a lasting legacy both in Northern Ireland and right across the UK. The shared history fund will support the engagement of a wide range of arts, heritage, voluntary, community and other non-profit organisations across the whole United Kingdom. We are engaging with Departments across Government, including the other territorial offices, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as we continue to drive forward on this and other elements of our centenary programme.