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Youth ambassadors appointed to allocate millions in heritage funding

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The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has appointed 17 young people from across the UK as heritage ambassadors, with the group selected to allocate millions of pounds in lottery funding to youth-focused heritage projects.

An effort to increase participation in heritage for under 25s, the £10m (US$12.6m, €11.3m) Kick the Dust grant programme will help heritage organisations evaluate programming they are currently offering to younger people.

Funds worth between £500,000 (US$631,000, €566,000) and £1m (US$1.3m, €1.1m) are available to projects where heritage and youth organisations collaborate to create opportunities for 11 to 25-year-olds to engage with heritage.

The newly-appointed ambassadors will advise the HLF’s Trustees on awarding grants by sharing their experience, reviewing applications and providing opinion on project appeal. Through the pilot scheme, the HLF aims to increase the scale and ambition of heritage organisations’ work with young people.

Grants will be awarded to projects that aim to transform how heritage organisations involve young people. Any successful new ideas for engaging young people will be embedded in heritage organisations and can be shared with other cultural organisations across the UK.

“We know that children often get a lot from heritage by visiting sites and attractions with schools or their families, but these opportunities decrease dramatically during teenage years and typically don’t return until later in life,” said Jo Reilly, head of participation and learning at HLF.

“We know young people themselves are the best advocates for heritage, able to inspire others with ideas and understand the role heritage can play in creating pride in local places, greater self-confidence and routes into training or employment.

“It’s thrilling to have young people working with us and we’re sure they’ll learn valuable new skills along the way.”

Ambassadors have been given formal training to make their decisions, taking part in induction workshops to understand what factors are important to consider when assessing projects for funding. They will work with the HLF until March 2018, also championing their local heritage and helping organisations within the sector better understand the benefits of engagement with young people.

An HLF panel, including the newly-appointed young ambassadors, will meet on 28 June to discuss projects, with an announcement on the successful applications coming in July.

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The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has appointed 17 young people from across the UK as heritage ambassadors, with the group selected to allocate millions of pounds in lottery funding to youth-focused heritage projects.
VAT,HAM,TRA
The newly-appointed ambassadors will advise the HLF’s Trustees on awarding grants by sharing their experience, reviewing applications and providing opinion on project appeal / Jeff Gilbert

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