What is Kick the Dust?

Two young women
In 2016 The National Lottery Heritage Fund launched a £10million investment to make heritage relevant to the lives of young people aged 11-25.

We had already invested in work with young people and heritage for a number of years. However, our research found that young people were still under-represented as audiences, participants and volunteers at heritage sites and services.

The result was Kick The Dust - a programme named by young people. Since 2016, it has invested in 12 large-scale projects across the UK. Grants of £500,000 to £1m were awarded by a team of 15 young people called the #DustKickers who were part of the decision-making process.

Kick The Dust is now closed to applications, but many of the projects are only just getting started. These are the 12:

Don’t Settle, BeatFreeks – Birmingham and Black Country

Don’t Settle empowers young people of colour to tell, through art and curation, the stories of communities that have been neglected in heritage. It works with institutions that represent history in Birmingham and the Black Country.

Our Shared Cultural Heritage, British Council – Glasgow and Manchester 

The British Council's Our Shared Cultural Heritage project gives young people 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.

Keeping it Wild, London Wildlife Trust – London

Keeping it Wild empowers and inspires young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in natural heritage to gain vital skills while discovering, conserving and sharing their experiences of the capital’s wild spaces. 

Ignite, IVE – Yorkshire

Ignite Yorkshire works with young people to take inspiration from the industrial past to develop new skills for the future. It aims to change the way young people understand and connect with Yorkshire’s heritage, and spark an industrial revolution for the 21st century.

Reimagine, Remake, Replay, The Nerve Centre - Northern Ireland

Reimagine, Remake, Replay connects young people and heritage through creative media, using cutting-edge digital technologies while delving into museum’s collections in new ways.

Scotland 365, National Museums Scotland – Edinburgh

Scotland 365 works with diverse young people to explore contemporary Scottish heritage.

Hope Streets, Curious Minds – North West England

Hope Streets takes young people on an expedition into the past, to delve into the hidden history of their local Hope Street. It provides a platform for young people from diverse backgrounds to work with heritage organisations, artists and experts to interrogate, agitate and 're-present' their local heritage to produce Festivals of Hope.

Future Proof Parks, Groundwork UK – England

Future Proof Parks focuses on historic parks and heritage landscapes in five 'hub' locations across England.  In each hub young people will be supported give their time and talents to support local groups and heritage organisations.

Shout Out Loud, English Heritage – England

Through Shout Out Loud, young people will be able to take part in a range of activities to discover and share the hidden stories of their local communities and English Heritage sites. The young people are working with the Shout Out Loud team, English Heritage staff and volunteers.

Norfolk Journeys, Norfolk Museums Service – Norfolk

Kick the Dust - Norfolk Journeys is a youth-focused project run in partnership by Norfolk Museums Service, YMCA Norfolk, Creative Collisions and Norfolk Library & Information Service

Y Heritage, Leicester YMCA – Leicestershire

Y Heritage puts the decision making into young people's hands running “Dragons Den” style pitches. Leicester/Leicestershire-based organisations can apply for funding up to £30,000 from a panel of young people. Organisations must build opportunities for work or training into their project-funding application.

Hands on Heritage, National Museums Wales – Wales

Hands on Heritage connects young people with history. Young people have the opportunity to handle and conserve some of the museum's 5m objects and curate displays, get involved in marketing and digital activity.

Got an idea for a project?

Our open programmes are a dynamic way to get funding for heritage projects involving young people and children.