A photograph of three people recording a podcast. A man on the left of image is wearing headphones and holding a microphone
Recording for Reading Sound Walk. © James John, Sound UK
Recording for Reading Sound Walk. © James John, Sound UK

Community Research Grants

Grants are available for organisations working with underrepresented communities and partnering with researchers or historians to uncover the stories of people who have played a significant role in history.

We are offering funding for research projects that will enable groups to work with a researcher to unearth the stories of people who are important to their community and deserve to be recognised, but may be missing from history books.

The national blue plaque scheme celebrates people who have made a significant contribution to human welfare and happiness. We want to ensure the plaques we commission reflect the broad range of people who have made these contributions, especially those who may have been overlooked previously. It is also important that the people commemorated with a plaque are chosen by communities today, and bring renewed pride to their area.

Our Community Research Grants are designed to help uncover hidden histories and encourage more diverse nominations for our blue plaques.

What are Community Research Grants?

The aim is for the funded research to pave the way for communities to submit nominations for national blue plaques in the future. We also hope to create opportunities for the research to be shared with local communities and shine a light on significant people from their area or heritage.

This funding is specifically for research taking place outside of Greater London, or on projects where the potential national blue plaque would be installed outside of Greater London.

Grants of £3,000 to £7,000 per project are available. We aim to fund 10 projects in this first year.

Who can apply

All organisations and groups are eligible to apply, including:

  • Community interest groups
  • Education institutions
  • Charities
  • Local authorities

They must be working with an experienced researcher or historian as part of the project.

We will look to fund groups who can provide evidence of working with underrepresented communities, including:

  • Diverse and minority ethnic communities
  • LGBTQ+ people
  • Disabled people
  • Neurodiverse people
  • Women

How to apply

You might want to apply for funding to:

  • Access local or national archives to discover more about the life of a significant person and the building/place they are connected to
  • Spend time researching the scale of significance a particular person or group had and discovering how their activities had national influence. This might be something like an invention or scientific discovery, or a style of art or music that went on to have great significance
  • Conduct research into a particular community to discover people from that group who have had national significance
  • Research with communities, capturing oral histories or collecting evidence about a particular person or group

If you are interested in applying for a Community Research Grant, please read the full guidance, which provides more information. To apply, please complete the application form and budget spreadsheet.

Funding will be available in September 2024, and all projects must be completed by July 2025.

National blue plaque scheme nominations submitted as a result of funded research will be assessed in line with all other nominations made that year. This may not necessarily result in a national blue plaque, but we expect that through funding this work, we will see an increase in the diversity of people nominated.

The Community Research Grant scheme closes for applications at 23:59 on Sunday 28 July 2024.

Contact us

National Blue Plaque Scheme