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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 07/12/2020 - 18:18

On this page
  1. Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture
  2. Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
  3. Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture


A number of publicly funded programmes and projects, outlined below, aim to counter obstacles in young people's access to culture. The focus of these programmes is largely on improving access to culture for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and in areas where provision is variable. Countering financial and geographical constraints is therefore a common theme.

  • Bookstart, which receives funding from the UK Government via Arts Council England, gifts free packs of books to children up to the age of 4, to inspire children with a love of reading from an early age.
  • the National Saturday Clubs, which is partly funded by the Department for Education and provides young people with the opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning for free in a local college or university.
  • Music For Youth, which offers young people free performance and audience opportunities through its annual season of concerts and festivals.
  • the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme, which was established in 2010, with initial funding from the then Department for Culture, Media and Sport, creates new, paid, entry-level roles in the arts for recent arts graduates from low income backgrounds who were in receipt of a full maintenance grant throughout university. Over 2020-2022, the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme will support 50 salaried jobs in arts and cultural organisations across the UK, for individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

Initiatives aimed at informing young people of opportunities to access cultural environments include:

  • the Family Arts Festival, which has been running since 2013, develops the range of arts event and activities on offer to families; the festival receives public funding through Arts Council England and its website publicises high quality arts activities across England, both whilst the festival is being held and throughout the rest of the year.
  • the Spark Festival, which presents theatre, dance, music, digital media and visual arts events for young people aged 0-13 years.

Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people


Programmes and initiatives aimed at supporting young people's discovery and appreciation of the cultural and artistic heritage of England include the following:

  • the Heritage Schools Programme, run by Historic England and funded by the Department for Education, involves heritage education managers working with up to 14 schools each to offer curriculum support, coordinate training and facilitate partnerships with local heritage providers; each of the schools involved has a lead teacher who is trained to embed local heritage in their school's curriculum.
  • the Young Roots programme, which uses lottery funding to provide grants for helping young people aged 11 to 25 explore their heritage by planning and delivering their own projects.
  • although not specific to young people, the BFI National Archive holds a large collection of British films and television programmes which have been preserved and restored; many British film and television clips can be viewed online.