Bradford’s diverse community heritage celebrated and shared thanks to local knowledge
Cultural hub The Leap is imbedded in Bradford, helping local people explore the diverse heritage that matters to them.
We awarded them £100,000 to use their local knowledge to direct the funds towards eight small projects. The projects recently took to the stage in a final celebratory event called The Heritage Showcase. We went along to discover their stories.
Ensuring local people’s voices are heard and their stories are shared can help to instil a greater sense of pride in communities.
Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Exploring heritage that is meaningful for communities
From Punjabi proverbs to scones and samosas, the community-led projects explored and shared the stories important to them.
Any Old Rag ‘n’ Bones
The project used an exhibition and dance show to explore the stories of scrap metal collecting in Bradford. It included the tale of a young traveller girl from a ‘rag-and-bone’ family who makes musical instruments from materials she finds. Devised by young people, it will soon visit Bradford’s libraries and community centres.
South Asian-heritage families who home school their children researched the history of ‘bussing out’, a controversial education policy of the 1960s and 1970s. The families recorded oral histories and created artworks, including a powerful audio-visual installation inside a replica school bus, that will go on tour across Bradford.
Pitch and Pair: Freedom Series
During art workshops organised by a women-led collective, local people interpreted what freedom meant to them. The project was part of the Bradford South Asian Heritage Festival, which marked 75 years since the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.
It’s been an eye opener engaging people within the community and witnessing how excited they are to realise that their voices and stories are important.
Rahila Hussain, Bradford South Asian Heritage Festival
Rahila Hussain, of Bradford South Asian Heritage Festival, said: “It's been an eye opener engaging people within the community, and witnessing how excited they are to realise that their voices and stories are important”.
‘Special’ Histories of Bradford
Participants worked with an archivist, writer, dancer and artist to create an exhibition of historic and modern accounts of life with a learning disability in Bradford.
Bradford Book Project
Pupils from Bowling Park Primary School worked with a local author, illustrator and historian to create an immersive picture book telling the story of Bradford.
Commonwealth Contribution Memories
Community archivists collated stories and memorabilia from veterans and their families with heritage in the Commonwealth, turning them into an exhibition and learning materials.
Palay dey Khan – Minority Proverbs in a New Land
Proverbs used by people in Bradford’s multilingual communities were explored through interviews which formed a touring exhibition.
Scones and Samosas
People from various backgrounds came together for weekly cooking sessions to explore heritage food memories. They created a recipe book.
Hearing local people's voices
Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Everybody has heritage, it is the fabric of who we are.
“Ensuring local people’s voices are heard and their stories are shared can help to instil a greater sense of pride in communities, and these eight amazing projects are perfect examples of why Bradford is truly a city to be proud of.”
Have a project idea?
If there’s heritage in your local area that you’d like to share, we can help. Explore our funding programmes to find out how we can support your heritage.