Cultures and memories

Cultures and memories

Young people reading poetry around a microphone
Routes2Roots project in Birmingham
These are the customs and traditions, skills and knowledge, passed down to us through generations.

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 which help to explore, save and celebrate the traditions, customs, skills and knowledge of different communities.

This cultural heritage is sometimes referred to as intangible or living heritage. This is because it is constantly changing and kept alive when practiced or performed.

We also fund projects which document and share people’s memories. This often involves capturing oral histories and ensuring they are accessible now and in the future.

Project ideas

Our funding could help people:

  • research and share oral traditions, such as storytelling or local dialects
  • train others in traditional skills and crafts, from dry stone walling and blacksmithing to basket weaving and textile making
  • research the origins of culture, such as music, theatre or dance, and create performances influenced by past styles
  • share the history and fun of celebrations, festivals or rituals with new audiences, from games and cooking to carnivals and fayres
  • capture accounts of traditional knowledge or pass it on, such as woodland management or home remedies
  • record the stories of ordinary people through oral histories, for example about growing up, migration or work
  • retell people’s memories about a place or event, such as a long-stay hospital, the miners' strikes or the punk movement

How to get funding

Our National Lottery Grants for Heritage programme is open for applications.

Groups of older people sitting eating at tables at the Migration Museum
Elders Day event at the Migration Museum.


Connecting Lewisham to its Migration Heritage

This 18-month project explores and shares the history of migration to the UK, in particular the stories of people who settled in Lewisham.

Obby Oss folk culture costume from Minehead festival. Includes multicolour brightly coloured ribbon and materials.
Obby Oss folk culture costume from Minehead festival. Credit: Centre for Fashion Curation


Making Mischief: the living heritage of folk costume in Britain

This collaborative project aims to document the colourful, community-based celebrations of Britain's folk heritage and bring it to life at two exhibitions.

Group of people standing outdoors in front of industrial heritage
Roma community visiting industrial heritage in the South Wales valleys.


Bringing to life Roma stories in Newport, South Wales

‘The Roma of Newport, South Wales’ project will record and share the personal stories, culture and heritage of the area’s Roma community.

Person looking at a brightly coloured globe sculpture
Echoes in the Present, Larry Amponsah in Leeds


The World Reimagined: Journey of Discovery

A vibrant art education project aiming to transform understanding of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its significant global impact.

Two people smiling and standing in front of a museum entrance
Heritage Fund colleagues Mwiche and Alisha at the David Livingstone Birthplace


A brave new tribute to a famous Victorian explorer

How an independent museum in Scotland is preserving and re-examining the legacy of the nation’s most renowned explorer and anti-slavery campaigner