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.

Celebrating Women's History Month

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

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.

Visitors exploring Kew Palace
Visitors exploring Kew Palace


Improving disabled access to Kew Palace

As part of a wider conservation project, Historic Royal Palaces is working with local disabled people to improve access to Kew Palace.

A person cleans a display cabinet in the Henshaws exhibition
An exhibition featuring oral histories about Henshaws


Henshaws: One Man's Vision

When Thomas Henshaw died in 1810, he left a legacy of £20,000 in his will to establish an 'Asylum for the Indigent Blind' in Manchester.

Children with leaf art


Beddington Park and The Grange Garden

This five-year project at Beddington Park and The Grange Garden combines ambitious park improvements with real engagement with the community.

An icon of a tree


Wild Place, Your Space

The RSPB and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority worked together on this three-year social inclusion project to reach new audiences.

Let's Play Stoolball


Let's Play Stoolball!

Sussex schoolchildren were introduced to stoolball, a medieval forerunner of cricket, in a wide-ranging sport and rural history project.

A menorah and wedding photograph from the Let The Elders Speak project.
A menorah and wedding photograph from the Let The Elders Speak project


Let your elders speak

This project captured the personal histories of 10 residents at Beenstock Home who had lived through the pre- and post-Holocaust periods.

Young woman holding sign
Lizzie Guntrip at our Heritage Ambassadors' induction.


How do we involve young people in nature?

One of our young heritage ambassadors Lizzie Guntrip on how we can make our natural world more accessible.