Applications now open for Historic England's new £25k Everyday Heritage Grants

A crowd of people watching a tug of war match during the opening of a new sports ground at Elstree, 1949.

A crowd of people watching a tug of war match during the opening of a new sports ground at Elstree, 1949. - Credit: © Historic England Archive / John Laing Photographic Collection

Heritage should be for everyone. From palaces to terraced houses, stately homes to barns, our towns and landscapes are filled with symbols of our past.

But not everyone’s stories are told and not everyone’s history is remembered.

New grants are now available from Historic England to support community-led projects to further the nation’s collective understanding of the past.

Four young girls lined up at the start of an egg and spoon race during a Laing sports day at Elstree.

Four young girls lined up at the start of an egg and spoon race during a Laing sports day at Elstree. This image was published in July 1961 in Laing's monthly newsletter 'Team Spirit'. - Credit: © Historic England Archive. John Laing Photographic Collection

Called ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories’, the funding will focus on heritage that links people to overlooked, ordinary places that celebrate working class histories.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available to community or heritage organisations in the East of England, to unlock untold stories of local places and buildings, with a particular emphasis on those where “ordinary people” have worked, lived or socialised, such as terraced houses, pubs, clubs, farms, and railways.

A man conducting a brass band during a sports meeting held at Laing's Sports Club in Elstree.

A man conducting a brass band during a sports meeting held at Laing's Sports Club in Elstree. This image was catalogued as part of the Breaking New Ground Project in partnership with the John Laing Charitable Trust in 2019-20. - Credit: ©  Historic England Archive. John Laing Photographic Collection

Applications for funding for smaller grass roots projects of less than £10,000 are also welcome. 

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. 

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“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.”

Each project 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.

Historic England is also hoping for applications for projects that provide innovative volunteering opportunities for young people or people facing loneliness or isolation, as well as contribute positively to participants’ wellbeing.

A worker welding in a workshop at the Easiform Depot in Elstree, 1954.

A worker welding in a workshop at the Easiform Depot in Elstree, 1954. - Credit: © Historic England Archive. John Laing Photographic Collection

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston 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.”

Does your local railway, mine or factory have a fascinating story to be told? Is your rural town filled with tales about the people who previously lived and worked there?

Have you always wanted to celebrate the architecture of the area where you live?

The Everyday Heritage Grants aim to address these questions by engaging with the widest possible range of heritage and helping to further the nation’s collective understanding of England’s past.

Applications are now open and will close on Monday, May 23.

For more information visit www.historicengland.org.uk or email EverydayHeritage@HistoricEngland.org.uk