£10million National Lottery Funding To Involve More Young People In UK Heritage

Image: Young dancers at Glasgow mela courtesy of the British Council
Image: Young dancers at Glasgow mela courtesy of the British Council

Twelve projects across the UK have been awarded grants of up to £1million* through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) new Kick the Dust programme.

Kick the Dust is a pioneering new funding programme distributing £10million from the National Lottery to heritage and youth organisations across the UK. At its core is a group of young Heritage Ambassadors who are on a mission to ‘stir up heritage’, and have helped advise on how the money should be allocated.

The money will fund 12 projects all testing different ways of making heritage more inclusive for people aged 11-25. These include a ‘Dragons’ Den’-style heritage funding project in Leicester; an England-wide plan to connect young people from less affluent areas with their local green spaces; and a scheme inviting young people to create training for museum staff.

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said:

“This funding, from National Lottery players, will create exciting opportunities for young people across the country to enjoy and learn about heritage outside of school. It is something that we promised to do as part of the Cultural White Paper, and I know that all the successful projects will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people.”

HLF’s Heritage Ambassadors played an important part in allocating the grants. The 17 self-titled ‘Dust Kickers’ aged 16-25, recruited from across the UK to work with HLF on making heritage more inclusive for people in their age group, advised HLF’s decision panel on the projects they found to be most appealing.

Heritage Ambassador Jack Welch, 24, said:

“The panel was very supportive of our contributions to the decisions on successful projects. It’s wonderful to see young people’s participation in heritage is being prioritised with this funding so we can continue breaking down barriers across the ages”.

Among the organisations receiving grants are:

Y Heritage – The Y, Leicester

The Y has been awarded £707,500 for the Y Heritage project. The project will bring together expertise from voluntary sector organisations with the aim to increase the sectors’ ability to effectively work with disengaged young people aged 16-25yrs many of whom will have little experience of the vast heritage on offer within Leicester and Leicestershire.

Heritage organisations will be given the chance to pitch new proposals to the ‘Ye Olde Dragon’s Den’, made up of a panel of young people who will both challenge their proposal and ultimately decide which organisations will be funded to develop their projects further.

The young people involved also have the option to apply for training opportunities, bursaries and work placements. Additionally The Y Heritage Project will provide them with skills in leadership, project management and curation.

 Future Proof Parks – Groundwork UK (cross-territory)

Groundwork UK has been awarded £919,200 for a project addressing the accessibility of green space for young people, particularly in less affluent areas.

Working across England, the project will involve nearly 1,000 young people in supporting the upkeep of historic parks and green spaces. Participants will gain skills such as practical conservation, species recording, volunteer management, event management, fundraising and leadership.

Our Shared Cultural Heritage – British Council

The British Council has been awarded £868,600 for a project focusing on the shared heritage of the UK and South Asia, in this UK-India Year of Culture.

Taking place over three years in Manchester and Glasgow, the project will invite young people to create training programmes for museums and heritage staff, building awareness, confidence and skills in both groups. A series of community events will be designed by young people, allowing 11-21 year olds of South Asian descent and from wider communities to explore shared cultural heritage.

Other projects receiving grants are:

  • Norfolk Journeys: empowering young people to develop their own pathways into Norfolk’s heritage, Norfolk Museums Service – £776,500
  • Keeping it Wild, London Wildlife Trust – £886,600
  • SHOUT OUT LOUD: giving young people a voice in heritage, English Heritage – £994,500
  • Reimagine, Remake, Replay, The Nerve Centre – £949,600
  • Hope Streets, Curious Minds – £1,000,000
  • Scotland 365, National Museums Scotland – £776,000
  • The Radical Heritage Project, Beatfreeks Arts Ltd – £696,700
  • IGNITE – An Industrial Revolution for the 21st Century, IVE – £962,300
  • Hands on Heritage, National Museum Wales – £874,554

More Information on Kick The Dust

*Kick the Dust applications are assessed by the Heritage Lottery Fund in two rounds.  A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass also includes an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.


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