Curious Minds awarded £1m National Lottery funding to improve young people’s involvement in heritage

Cultural education charity, Curious Minds, is delighted to receive news that it has been awarded funding from Heritage Lottery Fund’s Kick the Dust grants programme.

Hope Streets is a 5-year project that will transform the way museums work with young people. By working strategically in partnership with Museum Development North West (MDNW) and Youth Focus North West (YFNW), Curious Minds will test, refine and embed new models of youth engagement and leadership; to locate the heritage sector at the heart of young people’s services and young people at the heart of heritage. The lead museum partners in each sub-region are: The Atkinson, Cheshire West and Chester Museum Service, Lancashire Museum Service, Bolton Museum and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

Thanks to National Lottery players, Curious Minds can now confirm they will begin delivery of this project in August 2018.

To start with, Hope Streets will take young people on an expedition into the past, to delve into the hidden history of their local Hope Street. It will provide a platform for 11-25 year olds from diverse backgrounds to work with heritage organisations, artists and experts to interrogate, agitate and re-present their local heritage. By the end of 2019, young people across the North West will have led and produced creative events and festivals for public audiences.

Later phases will concentrate on museums harnessing the energy and insight of young people to provide hope for the future of heritage. Professionals and young people will together push boundaries and find new ways of enabling young people to make permanent change to the everyday lives of museums. Young people will take on paid roles, act as advisors to senior staff, sit on boards and contribute to strategic plans.

Kick the Dust is Heritage Lottery Fund’s pioneering new grants programme, distributing £10m from the National Lottery to youth organisations across the UK.

Commenting on the award, Curious Minds Chief Executive, Derri Burdon, said:

“Hope Streets will locate the heritage sector at the heart of young people’s services as a conduit of hope in post Brexit Britain. It’s an ambitious programme designed to deliver lasting transformational change. Young people will witness first-hand the social value of heritage and how it can bring communities together in new ways with what we anticipate will be astonishing results."

Laura Hill, 25, a Heritage Ambassador from Liverpool, said:

“It has been a brilliant experience learning how grants are awarded, and helping HLF to allocate £10m to projects involving more young people in heritage. I’m thrilled that Curious Minds has won funding, as we found its plans to involve young people in the heritage sector really exciting. Making Liverpool’s heritage easier to participate in for more people my age is very important to me, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the project progresses in the future.”

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Notes to Editors:

About the Curious Minds

Curious Minds exists to improve the lives of children and young people by increasing opportunities for their active participation in arts and culture. We do this by connecting schools and other providers of children’s services with a vibrant offer of cultural education and creative learning opportunities, to create the conditions where quality and collaboration flourish. We are proud to have been serving the North West of England as Arts Council England’s Bridge organisation since 2012.

Please direct any enquiries to or

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

About Kick the Dust

Kick the Dust was named by young people, because they wanted to stir up heritage. It is a £10m pilot grant programme, through which HLF aims to transform how heritage organisations engage with young people. Grants of between £500,000 and £1m are awarded to projects where heritage and youth organisations collaborate to create opportunities for 11-25 year olds. Through this pilot programme, HLF aims to increase the scale and ambition of heritage organisations’ work with young people, and show what this age group has to offer heritage.

Follow Kick the Dust and our young Heritage Ambassadors on social media using #KicktheDust and #DustKickers. Find out more about the #Dustkickers work and aims here.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Curious Minds, on Thursday 19 July, 2018. For more information subscribe and follow

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Curious Minds awarded £1m National Lottery funding to improve young people’s involvement in heritage