Over the next year, hundreds of young people will have the chance to develop new skills, explore their heritage and help influence museum programmes thanks to a new grant worth over £868,000 from the Heritage Lottery fund’s Kick the Dust programme.
The British Council ‘Our Shared Cultural Heritage’ initiative will give young people aged 11-21 from around the UK, the chance to come together to explore the shared cultural heritage of the UK and South Asia and develop new methods for museums to engage with people. The project is run in partnership with Manchester Museums and Galleries Group, Culture and Sport Glasgow, Rathbone Training and UK Youth.
Thanks to National Lottery players young people and heritage staff will learn new skills through workshops, training, research and shadowing opportunities. Activities will include developing apprenticeships and social action projects through working with world-class museums in Glasgow and Manchester, giving them new ideas for connecting with the next generation. Results will be measured through evaluation traineeships developed by the young participants.
The funding has been awarded through HLF’s Kick the Dust grant programme, a pilot scheme which aims to transform how heritage organisations engage with young people. At its core is a group of young Heritage Ambassadors, who are on a mission to ‘stir up heritage’, and played a major part in allocating the grants.
Louise Taylor, a 23-year-old Heritage Ambassador from Manchester said:
“It has been a brilliant experience learning how grants are awarded, and helping HLF to allocate £10m to projects involving more young people in heritage. I’m thrilled that the Our Shared Cultural Heritage project has secured funding, as we found the British Council’s plans to involve young people in exploring the shared culture, history and heritage between the UK and South Asia really exciting and appealing. Making heritage easier to participate in for more people my age is very important to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the projects progress in the future.”
Dana MacLeod, British Council, Director Arts, South Asia, said:
“We believe that around four million British people are able to trace their heritage to South Asia. This generous grant will offer young people – from a wide range of different backgrounds - the chance to explore their identity and belonging in today’s world.
“Supporting a cohesive society by connecting people through the culture they share is central to the British Council’s work. This is especially relevant in British cities with prominent South Asian roots offering a rich cultural, political and economic history to explore.”