two ladies at a table making badges

Young People’s Engagements with Heritage: Tackling Inequality & Other Opportunities for Public Policy

In 2021 Historic England commissioned Arts Connect and the Institute for Community Research and Development to investigate and report on the value and impact of young people’s engagements with heritage. We had observed that there are clear signs of increasing interest in heritage amongst young people across both informal and extracurricular settings such as social media and in the street.

Whilst some research has shown that programmes designed to engage young people do support a range of personal, social, health, and learning benefits, existing evidence was thin in regard to the impact that a focus on heritage – especially outside of school – has in these areas.

Our research was given additional urgency by the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and the renewed focus on place, particularly those that are described as being ‘left behind’. In this context, understanding the role and value of heritage in generating positive social, economic, and health outcomes is vital in order to inform future activities, to influence public policy, and to better make the case for public investments into the heritage sector. We hope this research will be useful to those working as policymakers and practitioners in heritage and youth work.

a boy speaks into a mic

About Us

Historic England is a public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment.

Historic England – Championing England’s heritage | Historic England

The Institute for Community Research and Development works to improve the lives and life chances of people through research-driven policy development, promoting social mobility and delivering community based transformational projects, working collaboratively with local communities and partners.

ICRD – Institute for Community Research and Development – University of Wolverhampton

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