Inclusive heritage

Inclusive heritage

Young women in a wood
Young women at the SHEROES natural heritage project. Credit: Wayfinding
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.

Four young people chatting and looking at a display of a small historical model settlement
Curating for Change Fellows at the Museum of London. Credit: Museum of London

Stories

How to make recruitment fair and open to all

Curating for Change – the National Lottery-funded work placement programme for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent curators in museums – is challenging the heritage sector to consider equitable recruitment.
Leaders of the project pose for a group photo
From left to right: Scott Cuthbertson, Director of The Rainbow Project, Mukesh Sharma, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland NI Committee Chair, Cara McCann, Director of HERe NI and Adam Murray, Community Development Manager at Cara-Friend.

Projects

Creating Northern Ireland’s LGBTQ+ heritage archive

A collaborative effort will record and share Northern Ireland’s modern LGBTQ+ history.

Adults with complex care needs in a garden
It can be hard for people with complex disabilities and medical conditions to access nature and heritage.

Projects

Sense’s project blossoms in National Trust gardens

‘Internal Gardens’ used wearable technology to help people with complex disabilities create tactile connections with natural heritage.