Kick the Dust challenges organisations to improve youth engagement

Young people involved in a heritage project
Young people are at the heart of Kick the Dust
We have launched Kick the Dust, a £10million pilot programme aimed at encouraging the heritage and youth sectors to explore new ways of working with young people.

Supporting the Government’s Culture White Paper priority to involve young people more effectively in the UK’s culture, it will see youth and heritage organisations work together to make heritage relevant and inclusive for 11 to 25 year olds.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “HLF enthusiastically shares the conviction that enabling young people from all backgrounds to establish a deeper relationship with culture will improve their life chances. It will do this by increasing their enjoyment, deepening their understanding of the opportunities on offer, inspiring new thinking about career options and creating valuable educational opportunities outside of the curriculum.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve seen this working in our Young Roots programme which has demonstrated the incredible energy and enthusiasm young people can bring to heritage. Time and again it’s also shown the benefits for them, from developing new skills and becoming more employable to gaining in personal confidence and authority.”

[quote=Tracey Crouch, Heritage Minister]“It’s so important that we encourage everyone, especially young people no matter what their background, to explore our nation’s incredible heritage.”[/quote]

HLF has invested in young people for over a decade. Through the Young Roots programme more than 1,700 projects have been awarded £42.5m – exploring everything from Birmingham's suffragettes and the Geordie dialect to the natural landscape beneath London's streets. Kick the Dust will build on that success with larger-scale, longer-term projects.

Consortia of three or more organisations, including heritage and youth organisations, can now apply for grants of £500,000 to £1m to deliver ambitious and sustainable projects focused on increasing the scale and quality of youth engagement with heritage.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “It’s so important that we encourage everyone, especially young people no matter what their background, to explore our nation’s incredible heritage. By offering cultural experiences and educational opportunities, heritage can play a hugely positive role in people’s lives.

“I’m delighted that Kick the Dust will provide new opportunities for young people to engage with the places and stories that make up modern Britain and bring exciting ideas to open up our historical places to new audiences.”

As part of HLF’s commitment to young people, Kick the Dust will see young people join the programme’s decision-making panel and become ambassadors for heritage.

Sir Peter Luff added: “Kick the Dust is both a challenge and an opportunity for the heritage and youth sectors to explore new and creative ways of working, forge mutually-beneficial partnerships and of course ensure young people can play a role in the future of their heritage.”

How to apply

Visit the Kick the Dust programme page to learn how to apply.