Image from the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme in East Asia which promotes cultural heritage and supports the livelihoods of women artisans in Vietnam ©

Nic Shonfield

Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth is a British Council initiative exploring the use of cultural heritage for growth that benefits all levels of society.

Cultural heritage in this context means many things, from the built environment through to cultural traditions such as music and language. Inclusive growth means working with and for all levels of society in order to reconcile the divide between economic growth, and rising poverty and inequality.

We believe that when people engage with, learn from, value and promote their cultural heritage, it can contribute to both social and economic development. An inclusive way of working, that engages individuals at every level, can lead to economic growth and better social welfare. Heritage employed in this way can be a source of sustainability; a way to embed growth in the fabric of society and to celebrate the past in today’s evolving world.

Researching Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth 

The British Council has produced a report to share findings of a recent sector consultation and international research into cultural heritage for inclusive growth. It presents a pioneering approach to inclusive growth that sees the social and economic benefits of cultural heritage for all levels of society. It advocates for a way of working that is wide reaching and mutual, building trust and connections between the UK and overseas.

The full research report, which includes UK and international case studies, can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. 

A new pilot programme 

We have recently launched a new £3m pilot programme to explore the notion of cultural heritage for inclusive growth in three regions across the world. We are currently working with our counterparts in Colombia, Kenya and Vietnam, to collaborate with local partners to deliver initiatives that explore this concept. The programme is in the early stages and more details will be announced soon.