Inclusive heritage

Inclusive heritage

Young women in a wood
Young women taking part in 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

Every project we fund must reach our mandatory outcome that "a wider range of people will be involved in heritage". Find out more in our inclusion guidance.

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 below at 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.


Heritage of diverse ethnic communities

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.

Children and young people

Group of young people

Over the past 25 years, 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.

Disability heritage

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.

LGBTQ+ heritage

Young people with rainbow bubble

Over the past 25 years we've invested over £5million across the UK in sharing stories of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities) heritage, creativity, activism and much more.

Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline
Enjoying the outdoors in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline. Credit: Carnegie Dunfermline Trust


Dunfermline & West Fife - Wellbeing Through Heritage

The innovative project will help people improve their mental health and wellbeing through access to heritage.

A photo of a wall painting, showing a lighthouse with the word 'hope'
A photograph from the project titled 'Hope'. Credit: Derrick Kerr


Picturing Our Past

A participatory photography project is supporting disabled people and those from socially deprived areas to engage with their local and national heritage.

Young people in a wood
Young people involved in Middlesbrough Environment City's Green Shoots project


Bringing people together in green spaces

How funding for nature in urban areas is helping unemployed young people and refugees find a fresh start.
Three children hold tomatoes to their noses


Green Valley Conservation and Heritage Project

A derelict site in Cynon Valley has been transformed into a community garden full of people, nature and wildlife – and is now the perfect place for boosting mental health.