Two people examining archive images of their local colliery.
Young participants from AutismAble in South Shields examine archive images of their local colliery.
Young participants from AutismAble in South Shields examine archive images of their local colliery.

History in the Making

History in the Making is a grant that enables underrepresented young people (aged 13-25) to research, discover and mark local histories. It’s about giving young people a sense of belonging by exploring local identity and immersing them in local stories. Each project we fund creates a place marker to celebrate where these stories took place and share them with the whole community.

The first round of History in the Making was exclusive to the North of England, but in 2024 the programme is going national. We’ll fund 15 new projects across England in areas of high social deprivation.

Applications to the grant are open from 16 July 2024 to 2 September 2024.

Who and what we fund

We are looking to provide grants of up to £15,000. Successful applicants will work directly with young people out-of-school hours in areas of high social deprivation (we’re currently defining this as anyone in a Levelling Up Level 1 area*). Projects must be co-created, with young people’s voices at the heart of decision-making. We’re also partnering with Bradford 2025 on a special edition of History in the Making, so applications from Bradford to the main grant are not eligible.

*Although the Government has now confirmed Levelling Up is no longer used as a term, we are using the categorisation to help us prioritise applications according to need.

For detailed information please read the guidance notes below.

Apply for the fund 

To apply for a History in the Making Grant, first read the guidance notes and submit the application form below by midnight on Monday 2 September 2024.

Help with applying 

We’ll be running two online support sessions to help you with the application process. Details of how to sign up are in the guidance notes.

Examples of previous History in the Making projects

History in the Making has previously funded projects that have explored topics as diverse as multiculturalism at Hadrian’s Wall, the history of Sunderland’s musical past, Blackpool’s historic connection to tourism, and the theme of pride within the seaside communities of Redcar.

Examples have included:

Life of the Wall, Newcastle

Life of the Wall started with a young people’s group paying regular visits to an allotment near Hadrian’s Wall. They were fascinated to find out more about this ancient structure on their doorstep. History in the Making funded them to work with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums to explore Roman history and devise a way of sharing it with their local community.

Inspired by what they found out; they decided their place marker should take the form of a pizza oven. It now sits on their allotment where it brings both local history (and pizza) to the community.

Sounds of Westoe Colliery, South Shields

Autism Able stands on the original site of Westoe Colliery. History in the Making funded them to work with a group of neurodivergent young people to investigate the rich history of the area. They worked with local musicians to create music inspired by the stories that they had heard. These soundscapes were mixed with spoken word and music from the local colliery band to create an audio tour of Westhoe.

This tour can be accessed via plaques in the area or on cassettes decorated with the young peoples’ heritage-inspired artwork.

Big History, Bright Future, Rotherham

Young people in Rotherham wanted to challenge the often-negative perceptions of their hometown, celebrate the diversity of cultures in the borough, and build connections between communities. History in the Making funded Imagine Rotherham to work with young people to research local history and co-create a mural that speaks to young communities living in the area.

A young apprentice was hired to support the work. The mural features the words of the young people involved and celebrates the Slovak and Roma communities who live in the area.