A photo showing hands holding a printed photograph of women at work in the 1980s.
'OUTWORK' captures the stories of the women workers of the Kenrick and Jefferson Printworks, in West Bromwich, produced by local arts organisation Multistory. © Caron O'Dowd
'OUTWORK' captures the stories of the women workers of the Kenrick and Jefferson Printworks, in West Bromwich, produced by local arts organisation Multistory. © Caron O'Dowd

New Funding to Champion England’s Working-Class Heritage

Working-class heritage is in the spotlight once again as Historic England announces further funding to uncover the stories of people and places often missing from the history records.

Castles, cathedrals and grand country houses are well documented but far less is known about ‘everyday heritage’ – the pubs, factories, football clubs and council estates where most people have lived, worked and played for hundreds of years.

Historic England is inviting community and heritage organisations to apply for funding through its Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working-Class Histories - for creative projects which will unlock and bring these stories to life.

Launched for the first-time last year, the scheme has already funded 57 projects, celebrating fascinating untold stories from across England.

The emotional memories of football fans are captured in ‘We.Are.Derby’; the experiences of nurses from the Caribbean at a hospital in Bristol are recorded in ‘Answering the Call’; and the blood, sweat and toil of the 17,000 migrant workers who build the 36-mile Manchester Ship Canal are honoured in a project called ‘Navvies’.

Each grant awarded last year has left lasting legacies for the communities involved.

They include traditional blacksmithing skills learned by young people in Winson Green, Birmingham, a documentary celebrating the proud working-class history of West Yorkshire’s boxing clubs, exhibitions of artwork, anthologies of creative writing and a community garden at Media City in Salford.

Heritage belongs to us all – so it's great to see how Historic England's Everyday Heritage Grants have helped to share untold stories from our collective past, and are boosting pride in places across the country. I encourage everyone who has a story they'd like to share to apply and help ensure their local heritage can be recognised too.

Lord Parkinson, Arts and Heritage Minister

We are delighted to announce further funding through our Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working-Class Histories. Heritage is all around us but often the stories of ordinary people and places aren’t included in the archives and memories of their extraordinary impact on history fade away. We’re looking for creative projects which bring communities together, unlocking the stories and celebrating the people and places at the heart of our history. They have shaped our local identities and are integral to our country and culture.

Sean Curran, Head of Inclusion Historic England