Community heritage

Community heritage

The interior of a 1950s hairdresser's shop. A visitor is having their hair styled by a stylist in vintage clothing. A child sits in a high chair next to the visitor.
Visiting the 1950s hairdresser at Beamish Museum. Credit: Nigel Roddis
Celebrating community heritage can help people come together, feel pride in where they live and save stories and traditions.

Since 1994 we have awarded £590million to more than 27,600 community and cultural heritage projects across the UK.

What do we support?

We fund projects that are researching, conserving and celebrating the heritage of a community or place.

These projects could include lots of types of heritage, such as people celebrating living customs or improving a historic green space. What's most important is that the project involves and benefits the community.

Project ideas

Our funding could help people:

  • research the impact of a historical event on their town, and share their findings through displays, talks and online
  • investigate the names on a war memorial
  • crowdsource documents and photographs linked to the LGBTQ+ community, creating an online archive and exhibition
  • set up an audio trail around a range of buildings, parks and monuments in a town
  • enable a youth group to research their local history and create an animated film about their learnings

For more inspiration, see the stories below or browse projects we've funded.

How to get funding

If you have an idea for a project, we would love to hear from you.

Ted at his shop in Forest Gate
Ted at Etty & Tyler motor and cycle repair shop in Forest Gate.

Projects

Full Cycle: a history of cycling in Forest Gate

This project will look at the cycling history of Forest Gate in Newham – an important cycling epicentre in the late 19th century close to Epping Forest.

Life-sized statue of a woman in a small, landscaped garden
More than a cell – statue of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) by Helen Wilson-Roe in Royal Fort Garden, Bristol. Photo: Bhagesh Sachania Photography.

Stories

Bringing Henrietta Lacks’ story to life in Bristol

Explore how the University of Bristol is spotlighting Henrietta’s controversial contribution to medicine and inspiring future scientists.
A group of children posing for a photograph, some holding family objects
Children at a workshop held during the project.

Stories

Cocorico! Exploring the heritage in our homes

A Congolese community organisation in Swansea brought people together to learn about and share their heritage through personal items.
A group of swimmers in red swimsuits jumping out of the water at Cleveland Pools
Swimmers celebrating Cleveland Pools being open for swimming once again.

Stories

Cleveland Pools opens for swimming after 40 years

The UK's oldest open-air swimming pool has reopened, following a £9.3million restoration project that brought the site back to life.
Two cambodian women giving oral history testimony
Two women giving oral history testimony.

Projects

Cambodian Recollections

Cambodian people living in the UK shared their memories of their experiences under the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime in this oral history project.