Kick the Dust

HLF invests £10m in its Kick the Dust programme for young people

Main Image: IGNITE - An Industrial Revolution for the 21st Century, IVE Yorkshire

A total of 12 projects across the UK have been awarded grants of up to £1million through the HLF’s new Kick the Dust programme

Kick the Dust is a pioneering new funding programme distributing £10m from the National Lottery to heritage and 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.

The money will fund 12 projects all testing different ways of making heritage more inclusive for people aged 11-25. These include a ‘Dragons’ Den’-style heritage funding project in Leicester; an England-wide plan to connect young people from less affluent areas with their local green spaces; and a scheme inviting young people to create training for museum staff.

“We know that children often get a lot from heritage by visiting sites and attractions with schools or their families, but these opportunities decrease dramatically during teenage years and typically don’t return until later in life,” said Jo Reilly, Head of Participation and Learning at HLF. “Kick the Dust is about bridging that gap. I’m extremely proud that HLF is funding these ambitious, youth-focused projects, which will transform how heritage organisations involve and work with young people.”

Scotland Creates - young curator Bethany Lane

HLF’s Heritage Ambassadors played an important part in allocating the grants. The 17 self-titled ‘Dust Kickers’ aged 16-25, recruited from across the UK to work with HLF on making heritage more inclusive for people in their age group, advised HLF’s decision panel on the projects they found to be most appealing.

Heritage Ambassador Jack Welch, 24, said: “The panel was very supportive of our contributions to the decisions on successful projects. It’s wonderful to see young people’s participation in heritage is being prioritised with this funding so we can continue breaking down barriers across the ages.”

Norfolk Museums 

In partnership with YMCA Norfolk and Creative Collisions – Great Yarmouth, Norfolk Museums Service has been awarded £776,500 for the Norfolk Journeys project. Taking place at heritage sites across the county, including Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and Norwich Castle, nearly 8,000 11 to 25 year olds will have the chance to play a role in shaping their heritage. Joining the scheme at a level that suits them, young people can become: a Player, taking part in events, volunteering opportunities and work experience; a Shaper, completing Arts Awards, creating new social media content and exhibitions; a Leader, taking on a work placement, becoming the youth voice on committees and leading new projects.

National Museum of Scotland 

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 the National Museum of 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.

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “This funding, from National Lottery players, will create exciting opportunities for young people across the country to enjoy and learn about heritage outside of school. It is something that we promised to do as part of the Cultural White Paper, and I know that all the successful projects will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of young people.”

Kick the Dust contributes to the Government’s agenda around supporting young people, as set out in the Culture White Paper.