People walking past market stalls in Rupert Street, Soho. 1955-1965

Historic England grant scheme to uncover ‘everyday heritage’ of local environments

Image: People walking past market stalls in Rupert Street, Soho. 1955-1965. © Historic England Archive

The new grants, of up to £25,000, are designed to support community-led projects with a particular interest in celebrating working class histories.

Historic England has announced new pilot grants for community-led and people-focused projects that aim to further the nation’s collective understanding of the past.

The ‘Everyday Heritage Grants Scheme: Celebrating Working Class Histories’ pilot grants will focus on heritage that links people to overlooked historic places, with a particular interest in recognising and celebrating working class histories.

Historic England will look to uncover the stories including that of local railways, mines, and factories alongside coastal and rural towns and local architecture.

Successful applications, from community or heritage organisations, will receive grants up to £25,000 to fund projects.

It said qualifying projects should enable people to “creatively share overlooked or untold stories of the places where they live and encourage communities, groups and local people to examine and tell their own stories in their own ways”.

It is also looking for projects that provide volunteering opportunities for young people or people facing loneliness or isolation, as well as contribute positively to participants’ wellbeing.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The histories of castles and great houses and their inhabitants are well documented, but we know far less about our everyday heritage.

“From council estates, pubs and clubs to farms, factories and shipyards, these are the places where most people have lived, worked and played for hundreds of years. We want to explore these untold stories and celebrate the people and places at the heart of our history.”

The newly announced grants are the first of a series of cultural projects designed to shine a light on the diversity of England’s heritage over the next three years.

The grants are being delivered as part of our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy published in November 2020.

Nigel Huddleston, Heritage Minister, said: “Our heritage belongs to us all and should be accessible to everyone. I welcome plans for new community-led projects to tell the story of working people across the country, bringing our collective and shared history back to life.”