Podcasts: how the heritage sector is embracing the trend

children gather round map of England
Credit: Bentley Priory Museum
Podcasts are on the rise. As well as engaging audiences who cannot physically visit a site, they can be a great way to continue delivering a project.

The London & South branch of The National Lottery Heritage Fund supports hundreds of heritage projects, from museums and places of worship to parks and arts and community centres.  

Despite being closed due to the pandemic restrictions, our grantees have shown a resilient spirit and quickly reshaped live exhibitions and in-person activities into digital alternatives such as podcasts to foster engagement and keep delivering their projects. 

Inspired listening

Here are some of our favourite and most inspirational podcasts: 

PECo Theatre in Bristol created City of Threads, a new 12-part immersive podcast series. Put together by a team of visually impaired and sighted artists and participants, City of Threads takes listeners on an exciting journey across Bristol through the perspectives of its visually impaired citizens. All of a sudden, the city is transformed into a place of sensory delights, navigational intricacies, challenges and shared discoveries.

Two women cross a street, one with a stick.
Credit: Alejandro Acin

The new podcast series by Bentley Priory Museum, Defending Britain from Nazi & Nuclear Threat, unveils the exciting stories of a top-secret Battle of Britain and Cold War bunker as well as its vital role for the RAF. It includes inspiring oral histories from the Royal Air Force, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Observer Corps personnel who played key roles in the operation at Bentley Priory’s bunker. 

Foundling: Found is a podcast series created by Julian Brown, a 20-year-old care leaver, in partnership with the UK’s oldest children’s charity: Coram. It features the emotional stories of children in care from 1739 up to the present day.  

Doorstep Arts, a non-profit organisation based in South Devon’s Torbay, organised a 'Cabbage Rebellion' last summer to provide its young participants with a creative outlet and a sense of community in times of adversity.

Inspired by ‘absent or silent protests’ from history, including those of the Paignton cabbage farmers, a group of 11 to 20-year-olds dressed as cabbage farmers took to the streets of Torbay to hand out cabbage seeds, dance and play music. History Repeats is the original concept album and podcast series telling their story.  

Young people dancing in a park with bunting
Credit: Doorstep Arts

Music enthusiasts will love Making Tracks ‒ a podcast and music-making project from Bristol Trinity Community Arts in partnership with academic, museum and youth partners from across the city. The project narrates the history of local community activism between 1918 and 2018.   

To support the restoration of the memorial Hunter organ at St Mellitus Church in London, St Mellitus Organ Podtours are designed to be downloaded and taken on location as a guided walk ‒ the perfect accompaniment to daily lockdown walks!

The tour focuses on the musical heritage of three significant communities in the Finsbury Park and Stroud Green area: African-Caribbean, Greek Cypriot and Irish. It takes listeners on an exciting musical journey from a piano factory and a former music hall all the way to the studios belonging to the oldest independent record label in the world. 

Find out more  

Since 1994 we have awarded over £3bn to more than 13,000 projects in London & South. 

To stay updated about this and other news of our London & South funding:   

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