National Lottery funding allows Luton Council to appoint first ever ‘heritage enabler’

Image: (L-R) Paul Hammond, Lilly Smith and Cllr Paul Castleman in front of This Is A Promise, a mural by Mark Titchner and Jonathan Barnbrook, commissioned by The Culture Trust Luton © Jonathan Trotman

In a newly-created role funded entirely by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Lilly Smith will work to positively influence lives in Luton through her work as the Bedfordshire town’s first ever heritage enabler.

The role was created after Luton Heritage Forum, a group established ten years ago to protect and develop Luton’s heritage offer, identified the need to appoint someone able to connect the local community to vital cultural services.

National Lottery Heritage Fund then stepped in with the funding necessary to support the local council in creating a dedicated post.

Lilly Smith, who has worked on local and international arts and heritage projects, was selected as the inaugural heritage enabler for the town.

“We are dedicated to transforming lives through arts, culture and heritage because we know that investment in heritage can have a proven positive impact on innovation, investment and infrastructure within towns and cities,” she notes.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Heritage Forum to date, because without their tenacious effort, this post could not have been possible and this finally offers us real opportunity to make a tangible difference.”

Smith adds that her appointment is evidence the “value of heritage to tourism, jobs, economic prosperity and wellbeing is understood and supported within the Council’s policy, strategy and partnerships management team”.

Cllr Paul Castleman, responsible for driving Luton Council’s heritage agenda, asserts that in order to “embrace the super diverse population of Luton” local government needs to “engage on different levels”. Smith’s appointment, he believes, can play a big part in achieving this.