Aspiring young film-makers showcase youth heritage projects

Aspiring young film-makers showcase youth heritage projects

The film gives information about the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Young Roots programme which provides funding for young people to get involved with local heritage projects.

The Northern Stars, based at the Tyneside Cinema took on the roles of director, sound recordist, producer and camera operator. The young film enthusiasts travelled the country documenting a variety of HLF funded Young Roots projects, finding out about and filming the people involved.

Rachel Dixon, 17, director of The Young Roots Files, said: “I have learnt so many new skills by making this film and it is great experience for me as I want to work in the film industry. The HLF Young Roots programme is a fun way for young people to explore heritage. I think it’s important that young people see this film to witness the massive benefits that can be gained from taking part in projects like these.”

The projects featured in the film reveal the breadth and diversity of HLF funding and range from exploring the fascinating history of Kings Cross in London to the experience of young people with Asperger’s Syndrome plotting their family trees in Cambridge.

HLF’s Young Roots programme gives grants between £3,000 and £25,000 and encourages young people aged 13-25 to take a lead in heritage projects. With the support of youth and heritage organisations, young people volunteer time and ideas, develop new skills, build confidence and engage with local communities, learning about and shaping their heritage along the way.

Dr Jo Reilly, Head of Participation and Learning at HLF, said: “We were delighted to give the Northern Stars creative control over the film as part of our commitment to youth participation. They were really enthusiastic about our Young Roots programme and have done a great job in telling other young people about it. In times when added skills and volunteering experience can be vital to securing jobs or course places, projects like the ones featured in our film can offer invaluable opportunities for young people.”

Young Roots is a rolling programme with no deadlines for applications. Decisions are reached within just 10 weeks. 

Notes to editors

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK with £209 million in the North East alone.

Young Roots is a grant programme designed to engage young people aged 13-25 with their heritage. Young Roots projects stem directly from the interest and ideas of young people, who are supported by youth and heritage organisations to develop skills, build confidence, and connect with their local communities.

HLF has awarded over £20million to Young Roots projects across the country.

Northern Stars young filmmaker’s academy for the NE region’s most committed and talented 15-18 year-olds who are truly passionate about filmmaking, supported by Tyneside Cinema, andYIPP Films.

Red 2 Green – This project enabled 20 young people with Aspergers Syndrome to learn about their family history and to explore how their local community has changed over time. The project was delivered in partnership with Cambridgeshire Family History Society who advised the young people on how to research their family history and look at the social context in which various family members lived.

Kings Cross: Urban Pioneers – Six young people, or ‘Urban Pioneers' researched the architectural heritage of the Kings Cross area. Kings Cross is currently undergoing a period of regeneration and offered a great opportunity to critically examine 19th and 20th century buildings, exploring their relationship with the developments planned and the extent of their historic influence. Key sites of interest to the project include The German Gymnasium (1864-5), St Pancras International Station (1868), Regeneration House (1850) and three Victorian gas holders.

Further information  

Laura Bates, HLF Press Office on 020 7591 6027 /

Holli McGuire, Tyneside Cinema on 0191 227 5511/