Heritage Enterprise and Education Hub

Participants at a symposium

The Heritage Enterprise and Education Hub, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, took the learnings of the Artist’s Enterprise Zone that was initially funded by Arts Council England through the Luton Investment Programme to provide a programme of needs-driven online and physical training sessions and events. The programme was delivered across Bedfordshire between January 2022 and May 2023 in dialogue with Heritage Impact Accelerator participants, regional delivery partners and colleagues from across the University's academic faculties and professional departments.

The Heritage Enterprise Hub was designed to help individuals and organisations interested in working across and/or engaging in the local heritage sector. This includes students/local graduates, those who work or volunteer in Bedfordshire’s heritage sector, and those seeking to informally extend their skills through informal and free provision. Working in partnership with Bedfordshire's Local Cultural Education Partnerships, the Heritage Education Hub also supported local schools, teachers and educational support staff in Bedfordshire to embed culture and heritage into pedagogic, curricular and enrichment activity.

Sessions included practical help with issues relating to working across heritage, completing bids, building strategic partnerships and networks, building digital infrastructure, engaging with schools, developing archives, and improving professional resilience and diversifying income. Watch recordings of previous events here and see the full list of past sessions on our events calendar

The Heritage Education Hub ran parallel to the Enterprise Hub. While Enterprise sessions were more business-focused, the Education Hub sought to meet the needs of educators across Bedfordshire; including teachers, researchers, and those involved in community initiatives and outreach. Sessions explored how to introduce heritage to a learning environment, how to create education partnerships, and how Luton and Bedfordshire’s heritage offer can be embedded into a curriculum. The Education Hub worked in partnership with Luton’s Local Cultural Education Partnership and Bedford’s LCEP, Bedford Arts and Cultural Education.

Alongside delivery, a range place-based heritage toolkits were developed in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to ensure a wider audience can continue benefit from project support.

Although the Heritage Enterprise Hub programme has formally ended, the Culture and Community Engagement team continue to deliver needs-led skills sessions to support the local heritage sector via our partnership project with the University of Northampton. Read more about the Heritage Skills Hub

  • Increased diversity in Luton's heritage sector, evidenced through participants engaging with Heritage Hub activities and events.
  • Engaged a wide range of people and supported them to develop/enhance their own heritage offers, which engages local communities further.
  • Impact will be made sustainable through continued partnership between UoB, project participants and various local peer-to-peer networks, including Luton’s Heritage Forum and through new opportunities harnessed by Luton Borough Council’s Heritage Enabler.

  • 140 hours of free workshops, seminars and panel discussions delivered across Luton and Bedfordshire exploring topics such as partnership development, bid writing and evaluation for heritage projects
  • 4734 participants engaged in needs-led heritage skills sessions delivered across Bedfordshire

The final evaluation report for the Heritage Impact Accelerator and Heritage Enterprise Hub projects, produced by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, can be downloaded here.

Download the Evaluation report [PDF]

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