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

A pilot programme exploring ways in which local culture can improve the lives of individuals around the world.

Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG)

In a 2018 British Council report, we explored the notion that cultural heritage could contribute to inclusive growth. The report shares findings from a sector consultation and international research suggesting that when people or communities are given the opportunity to engage with, learn from and promote their own cultural heritage, it can contribute to social and economic development. 

By 'inclusive growth' we mean developing tangible opportunities which create economic and social growth that benefits everyone.

By 'cultural heritage' we mean any type of cultural object or activity that is connected to an individual’s history and identity. This could be anything from the built environment to cultural traditions such as music and language.

The programme

Through pilot projects in Colombia, Kenya and Vietnam, the action research programme explores cultural heritage for inclusive growth as a global concept with local solutions. The projects are community- and people-led, and are devised and managed with local partners on the ground, supporting local communities to promote their own cultural heritage, leading to economic growth and improved social welfare. 

We will share our findings from the programme to help to pioneer new ways of creating sustainable economic and social growth through cultural heritage.

Read more on the pilot projects below or get in touch. 

Heritage for Inclusive Growth: a report by the RSA in partnership with the British Council

In addition to the programme, we are continually working to develop understanding of the concept itself. A 2020 report by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) explores and learns from emergent approaches in the UK. Through case studies of initiatives using heritage to renew local areas, the research suggests that a new approach to heritage could play a role in rejuvenating communities and building inclusive local economies around the UK.

The report’s findings provide valuable learning, informing new approaches and ways of working in an international cultural relations context.

Read the report

External links