Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) provides £1m boost to diversity in the UK arts and heritage sector through CC’s Strengthening our Common Life (SOCL) programme

16th May 2014 

Cultural Co-operation’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce that CC and a partner consortium of 16 of the UK’s leading arts and heritage institutions is set to embark on an unique, ambitious 3-year training programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future (SfTF). SOCL will enable young people in sections of the population historically under-represented at decision-making levels in the UK heritage sector – particularly those of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic & Faith) origins - to receive bursary-supported, QCF-accredited work-based training in heritage skills.

SOCL’s consortium of arts and heritage partners is well positioned to offer SOCL trainees a rich grounding in the diversity of the UK’s shared heritage, and high quality expert training in heritage skills. The consortium comprises a range of national institutions; local community museums and specialist collections and archives:

  • Bristol Museums and Galleries (Bristol)
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth)
  • The British Museum (London)
  • National Trust (London)
  • Foundling Museum (London)
  • Norfolk Museums Service Forty Hall (London)
  • Royal Collections Buckingham Palace (London)
  • Historic Royal Palaces (London)
  • Southbank Centre (London)
  • Horniman Museum (London)
  • Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums (Newcastle)
  • London Transport Museum University of Cambridge Museums (Cambridge)
  • National Army Museum (London)
  • Wilton’s Music Hall (London)

51 Trainees (17 per year) will receive training and support throughout their 12-month placements from experienced heritage professionals within this consortium. Recognised, established heritage skills in areas such as archiving; community engagement (including new audience development); conservation; exhibition design and learning and interpretation will form the bedrock of the traineeships, whilst newer skills areas such as social media communication and digital engagement will be developed by the CC training centre team.

CC has established a strong track record in delivering accredited, work-based learning in partnership with arts and heritage institutions. To date, 26 young people have been trained through previous iterations of the programme (SOCL1 and 2: 2010 – 2014), of which over 90% were from BAME backgrounds:

'The SOCL 2 programme has enabled me to gain new skills and experience to succeed within working in the Cultural and Heritage sector. It has made me aware of the variety of roles there are for working in a museum and has given me the opportunity to explore a career as a museum professional'.

Fahima Begum - SOCL 2 trainee based at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.


For further information from CC about the Trainees, the consortium or the programme contact:

Leah Cowan (Programmes and Operations Manager) leah.cowan@culturalco-operation.org

For information about Heritage Lottery Fund or Skills for the Future contact: Sally Page, Team Assistant at HLF 020 7591 6134


Notes to Editors

1. Launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF programme supporting heritage organisations across the UK to create training opportunities in important or endangered heritage skills areas. HLF has awarded grants totalling £26.8m under this programme to date

2. About CC:

CC was set up in London in 1987 as an independent educational charity with a mission to unite people through high quality engagement with the world’s cultural heritage. In 2009/10 it brought several major heritage organisations together into a nationwide consortium that it continues to lead, in order to develop and deliver a pilot edition of SOCL

3. About the Heritage Lottery Fund:

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with £5.4bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. For more information please contact:

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