National Lottery funding to involve Scottish young people in heritage
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National Lottery funding to involve Scottish young people in heritage


Young people in Scotland will be shaping the future of the country’s historic collections. National Lottery funding of £776,000 has been awarded to National Museums Scotland and £868,600 to the British Council to lead projects which will empower young people to change the face of heritage.

As creators, decision-makers and trainers, the young people will be devising and testing fresh approaches to exploring the country’s incredible heritage collections so that their peers are inspired to join in. Whether through stories, crafts, dance or social history, exploring heritage provides a unique route to intercultural understanding. With young people at the helm, new events, interpretation and technological innovation will make those messages relevant to today. 

The money has been awarded through HLF’s new Kick the Dust programme, HLF’s pioneering new grant programme distributing £10m from the National Lottery to youth organisations across the UK. At its core is a group of young Heritage Ambassadors, who are on a mission to ‘stir up heritage’, and have helped advise on how the money should be allocated. 

HLF’s Heritage Ambassadors played a major part in allocating the grants. The 17 young people aged 16-25, recruited from across the UK to work with HLF on making heritage more inclusive for people of their age group, advised HLF’s decision panel on the projects they found to be most useful and appealing. 

Eleanor Styles, Heritage Ambassador from Edinburgh, said: “It has been a brilliant experience learning how grants are awarded, and helping HLF to allocate £10m to projects involving more young people in heritage. I’m thrilled that two Scottish projects have won funding, as we found the National Museum of Scotland and British Council’s plans to involve young people in both Scottish and wider cultural heritage especially appealing. 

“Making heritage easier to participate in for more people my age is very important to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the projects progress in the future particularly as Scotland celebrates the Year of Young People next year.”

Ruth Gill, Director of Public Programmes at National Museums Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive such generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project. 

“Kick the Dust will enable us to engage young people across Scotland with their heritage. We are delighted to be working with and learning from the expertise of our partners, Young Scot and Project Scotland, and other specialist agencies. I am hugely excited about the possibilities for this project both for our young participants and for the future of our heritage and national collections”.


The British Council’s project, Our Shared Cultural Heritage, will engage young people aged 11-21 and focus on shared cultural heritage between the UK and South Asia. It will be delivered in Glasgow and Manchester by the British Council and a consortium of heritage and youth sector organisations including Glasgow Life, Manchester Museums and Galleries Group, Rathbone and Ambition.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said of the project: “Our Shared Cultural Heritage will amplify the voices of young South Asian Glaswegians living across the city and create fantastic opportunities to improve intercultural understanding and engagement between our youth communities. We’re looking forward to supporting Glasgow’s young South Asian audiences through this wealth of cultural heritage and by sharing histories and exploring topics such as identity and social cohesion over the coming three years.”

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