Inclusive heritage

Inclusive heritage

A group of female mountaineers on an expedition in the Himalayas in 1962
We helped the Pinnacle Club mark 100 years since the women's rock-climbing club was founded.
Heritage has a crucial role to play in contributing to a more equal society.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is about taking action to ensure that contemporary society in the UK is better represented in your heritage project.

We believe everyone should be able to benefit from our funding, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, faith, class or income.

"Heritage activities bring people and communities together in so many brilliant ways. We are constantly inspired by the many creative ways previously hidden histories are shared, helping us all learn more about each other and our differing personal lives, experiences and memories."

Liz Ellis, Heritage Fund Policy Project Manager for inclusion

The terms we use:

Some of the terms we use include:

  • diverse ethnic communities, or ethnically diverse communities. In Scotland we use MECC (minority ethnic and cultural community). We have revised our usage of the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).
  • LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities)

We use these terms because we believe they are widely understood. Identities can be complex and intersectional, and we are also aware that for many these terms may feel inadequate or limiting. We keep the language we use constantly under review.

What we expect from projects

Inclusion, access and participation is one of four Heritage 2033 investment principles that guide our grant decision making. Every project we fund must take into account how they will support greater inclusion, diversity, access and participation in heritage.

We want to see every project taking steps to reach out to new people, to share heritage beyond their organisation, and to embed inclusive practice as far as they can.

In planning your project, ensure that everyone you work with feels a sense of welcome and belonging. Take a look at our inclusion good practice guidance for advice and ideas.

Scroll down the page to see some of the inspiring projects we have funded.

What you can expect from us

We want to make sure our funding is open and accessible to all. We have set out a plan to meet people’s access needs, from translation services to digital application support.

Sikh men looking at a book

We support all sorts of projects which explore and celebrate the heritage of diverse ethnic communities.

We also want to help the sector itself to better reflect the UK population.

Group of young people

Since 1994, we are proud to have invested over £60million across the UK in projects working with children and young people. This includes the £10m Kick the Dust programme.

People using wheelchairs at heritage project

Disabled people are under-served in every area of the heritage sector, including people who are learning disabled, people with physical or sensory disabilities or those living with dementia or using mental health services.

We are working in partnership with disabled people to change this unfair situation.

Young people with rainbow bubble

Since 1994 we've invested over £12million across the UK in sharing stories of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities) heritage, creativity, activism and much more.

Young people with rainbow bubble

Heritage can build connectedness to where you live, to people around you or to a community online. It can support individual confidence and self-esteem, and provide opportunities to be mentally and physically active.

Heritage can also help us find meaning and purpose in our lives. Both are significant aspects in how we experience wellbeing.

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.


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


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.

Image of two people in historic nursing outfits depicting Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale, holding a frame to their faces
People dressed as Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale at the Florence Nightingale Museum. Credit: Florence Nightingale Museum.


From Scutari Hospital to NHS Nightingale: the British Hotel to Seacole Recovery Centres

Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole were pioneers in British military nursing and social care, following their work in the Crimean War in the 1850s. This project by the Florence Nightingale Museum explores their achievements and legacy.

Women attending Wayfinding project
Wayfinding: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Great Outdoors


Wayfinding: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Great Outdoors

The Wayfinding project created opportunities for people from diverse ethnic communities in the North East of England to engage with the outdoors and wildlife in their local area.

The left side of the image shows a traditional Traveller wagon, painted with decorative designs, and the right side of the image shows a man leading a pony and trap which a girl is riding
The project held an outdoor fair-style event in June 2023.


Roma and Irish Travellers: A Shared Story

People from different cultures and backgrounds came together for workshops and celebration events about Roma and Irish Traveller cultural heritage organised by Armagh Roma Traveller Support.

Three musicians with guitars and an accordion and four women dancers wearing traditional Eastern European dress.
Romane Cierhenia are a family group of Roma musicians and dancers from Poland.


Roma Empowerment Through Heritage

This pilot project trained volunteers including young Roma people to record heritage and ran a Roma cultural heritage festival.

Two people in historic nursing outfits depicting Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale, holding a frame to their faces
People dressed as Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale at the Florence Nightingale Museum.


Ten stories for Women’s History Month

Explore inspiring projects we’ve funded that recognise women’s impact throughout history – and empower women to get involved in heritage today.
A large artwork of the moon hanging in Ely Cathedral
Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram is 6m in diameter and shows the moon’s surface using stunning NASA imagery. Credit: James Billings.


Discover the pioneering woman scientist who mapped the moon

Mary Blagg is being celebrated by her hometown with activities to get people interested in her story and scientific heritage.
Two people preparing for a party. One person is having a temporary transfer applied to their face.
Two people preparing for a party hosted by Homotopia.


The Power of Holly Johnson

This project aims to explore the rich history and lasting influence of Holly Johnson and the LGBTQ+ community on the cultural fabric of Liverpool.

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