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From celebrating old factories and buildings to local activities and communities, Historic England has split £875,000 across 56 projects showcasing aspects of England’s working class history.

Detail of a bench in memorial to homeless people in London

Eleanor Bentall

Historic England has revealed 56 projects celebrating working class heritages that it will be funding across two years through its Everyday Heritage grants programme.

The body received more than 380 applications to the funding round, which is designed to support projects exploring diverse stories of people and places.

It has announced a total of £875,000, ranging from £6,800 to £25,000 per individual project.


“There are so many hidden histories to uncover here in England. Every community has a story to tell and we want to hear them,” said Historic England Chief Executive Duncan Wilson.

“This is the strength of our Everyday Heritage grant programme, which funds projects that are community-led and really engage with local people by empowering them to research and tell their own stories.”

Funded projects include the showcasing of a bacon factory in Calne, Wiltshire, a Grade-II listed former rhubarb farm in Leeds, the tradition of pigeon racing in Skinningrove, North Yorkshire and roller-skating in Birmingham.

Each project will work towards tailored outputs. In East Sussex, a project led by Press Play Films will create short stop-motion animations in clay to document the history of Newhaven’s Parker Pen factory, while a Lancashire-based project led by Salaam Festival will work towards producing events and exhibitions that showcase the heritage of local South Asian communities.

A project led by artists and Sefton Libraries in Bootle, Merseyside, will exploring the former site and surroundings of Quadrank Park nightclub to uncover the histories of working class life, labour and leisure. It will bring together those who frequented the club in the 1980s and 1990s and young people living in Bootle today, culminating in an exhibition and event at Sefton’s Borough of Culture 2025.

 A restored image from Quadrant Park nightclub in Bootle, Merseyside. Credit: Anthony Carroll

In Leicester, an interactive walking trail will mark the 70-year history of Leicester Caribbean Cricket and Social Club. The trail will use QR codes on plaques at selected sites linking to oral history videos, as well as historical images and interview transcripts.

Meanwhile, primary school students in Newcastle will co-create a performance and exhibition sharing discoveries of South Tyneside’s coastal history after visting Grade-II listed South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House.

Also in Newcastle, LGBT+ Northern Social Group will explore the working class history of drag in Newcastle’s Pink Triangle, also known as the Gay Village area of the city. The volunteer-led group will coordinate community workshops, working towards an online exhibition and live drag performances.

 LGBT+ Northern Social Group will lead an exploration of working class histories of drag in Newcastle’s Pink Triangle. Credit: Sofia Barton Lady Kitt. 

In London’s Waterloo, a project led by artists and people who have experienced homelessness will engage with people who lived in Cardboard City, a makeshift encampment made from hundreds of cardboard boxes in the underpasses between Waterloo Station and the South Bank in the 1980s and 1990s.

Launched in 2022, Heritage England’s Everyday Heritage grants programme awarded 57 projects a total of £774,000 in its first funding round.