Group of people standing in front of church building with plants in front of them
Members of the St Mungo's volunteer gardening group at St Peter's Church, Castle Park, Bristol © Historic England DP248591
Members of the St Mungo's volunteer gardening group at St Peter's Church, Castle Park, Bristol © Historic England DP248591

New Pilot Scheme Explores Inclusive Ways to Empower Community Organisations Across England and Scotland

‘Outreach to Ownership’, an innovative cross-border research pilot has been announced by Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland. The project will run until September 2022 and is being funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Community empowerment is a key focus for UK and devolved governments. Increasingly we are asking and empowering communities to shape, participate in, and even take responsibility for the design and delivery of cultural services.

This pilot will enable communities to undertake research into these trends across the heritage and cultural sectors encompassing galleries, libraries, archives, museums, heritage organisations, historic places, parks and gardens.

Using an innovative ‘hub and spokes’ structure, Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland will support eight partner organisations across England and Scotland to explore a variety of inclusive approaches to community engagement.

Across the course of the next year, grants totalling £125,000 will be given to the partner organisations to support their research. Alongside this funding, Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland will facilitate a programme of workshops to build connections, answer the training and skills needs of partners and allow them to share their knowledge with a view to demonstrating the contribution that an inclusive, community-engaged culture sector can make to local development and national policy.

We are delighted to have this opportunity to support the sector and to learn from smaller organisations already achieving great things with and for their local communities.

Apply to take part

Historic England are delighted with the award from AHRC and the opportunity to partner with Historic Environment Scotland on this innovative research pilot.

Encouraging inclusive, active participation with local heritage and working closely across the heritage and culture sectors are key priorities for us. We’re committed to empowering partners and their community networks through the programme to demonstrate the important value of inclusive engagement to people and places.
Amy Pitts, Director of Communications and Public Engagement Historic England
We’re delighted to be partnering with Historic England to deliver Outreach to Ownership.

Community groups are at the forefront of tackling inequality, and promoting environmental, social, and economic regeneration. By supporting them to undertake and share their own research into how heritage contributes to these goals, this project will help to share good practice across the UK and enable us all to work more productively together in future.
George Findlater, Head of Community and Economic Development Historic Environment Scotland

Outreach to Ownership