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

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

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.
An event at Newham Chinese Association
An event at Newham Chinese Association. Photo: Newham Chinese Association.

Projects

Malaysian Angels of the NHS

Newham Chinese Association are gathering oral histories of 20 Malaysian nurses who arrived to the UK to work for the NHS from the 1950s onwards.

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.

A child being shown how to make kimchi

Projects

Kimjang, Making and Sharing Kimchi

The practices of a UNESCO-recognised Korean tradition were recorded and preserved for the future and celebrated with the wider community.

A group of six women standing side by side with raised tea cups in their hands

Projects

You, Me and Tea

Exploring Northern Ireland’s association with tea, its trade links with India and China, and bringing diverse communities together.

Person taking a picture of the South African flag on a phone camera at The Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning event
People at a community event discussing The Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning.

Projects

The UK’s first centre dedicated to anti-apartheid heritage

This project will restore the former headquarters of the African National Congress at 28 Penton Street, London, creating a new centre to share the stories of South Africa's liberation.

Two people holding a sign for a local community organisation standing outside a historic pub building
Work is starting to restore the Y Plu pub and transform it into a local cultural hub

Projects

Saving a 200-year-old community pub on the Llŷn Peninsula

Our funding is helping the Menter y Plu Community Benefit Society plan how to save and re-develop a Grade II listed pub – Y Plu.

If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.