Historic England funds working class heritage projects - Museums Association

Historic England funds working class heritage projects

Schemes supported under the Everyday Heritage grants programme
Quadrant Park nightclub in Bootle, Merseyside
Quadrant Park nightclub in Bootle, Merseyside © Andy Carroll

Stories about a nightclub in Merseyside, a pen factory in East Sussex and a former rhubarb farm in Leeds are among the projects being supported in the second round of a funding programme designed to highlight working class heritage.

Historic England’s Everyday Heritage grants programme supported 57 projects following its launch in 2022.

In this latest round, Historic England received more than 380 applications and chose to fund 56 schemes. The total amount of funding awarded is £875,000, ranging from £6,800 to £25,000 for each project.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “There are so many hidden histories to uncover here in England. Every community has a story to tell and we want to hear them. This is the strength of our Everyday Heritage grant programme, which funds projects that are community-led and really engage with local people by empowering them to research and tell their own stories.”

The projects funded in the latest round include a scheme to co-create a touring exhibition telling the story of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities living in Greensand Country in Central Bedfordshire. The year-long project will take place on three local sites, where children and families from GRT communities will be creating content alongside visiting artists, forming a body of work to be shared with the public. 

There is also a project to create a community documentary about roller skating in Birmingham. This history started in 1871 with the building of the Tower Ballroom at the Edgbaston Reservoir in Ladywood. 


In Calne, Wiltshire, there is a scheme to create an archive of oral history exploring the work, life and friendships of those who worked at the C&T Harris Bacon Factory. The factory opened in the 1770s and was demolished in the 1980s. 

A project in Bootle, Merseyside, will explore the history of the former Quadrant Park nightclub in the 1980s and 1990s.

In East Sussex, Press Play Films will bring together different generations to record community oral histories and create short stop-motion animations in clay to uncover the working-class history of Newhaven's Parker Pen factory. Volunteers at Newhaven Museum are among those involved.

Hollybush Farm in Leeds, part of West Yorkshire’s “rhubarb triangle”, is home to the Conservation Volunteers, which is dedicated to restoring, protecting and connecting people to nature. The charity wants to tell the story of Hollybush, a former rhubarb farm that is now a conservation and wellbeing centre. 

Pigeon fanciers in Blyth – © Joanne Coates

Other projects will explore the experience of people working in London’s Chinatown from 1985 to 2025; the working class histories of drag in Newcastle’s Pink Triangle; pigeon racing across North Yorkshire; and the 70-year history of the Leicester Caribbean Cricket and Social Club.

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