Diverse Heritage

The Diverse Heritage project works with minority-ethnic, LGBTQIA+ and disabled people, people with intersectional identities, and new arrivals in Scotland, who are underrepresented and underserved by built and cultural heritage. The project aims to encourage active participation and co-production and to ensure that diversity is recognised and celebrated and Scotland’s historic places are welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for everyone. 

A rich range of co-designed projects has included work with:

  • West of Scotland Regional Equality Council as a trusted community partner to make new connections and develop our networks.
  • Action for Children and minority-ethnic young women at Broughton High School in Edinburgh to discover Scotland’s multicultural history and heritage.
  • Author, poet and historian, Lisa Williams, and young people from Strengthening Communities for Racial Equality Scotland in Edinburgh to create content for Black History Month.
  • Inspiring Families Development Network Scotland and Open Ayr CIC photographer, Becky Duncan, to deliver a series of online photography-skills workshops for Black families living in Renfrewshire.
  • OurStory Scotland and LGBT Health and Wellbeing hosting mapping and storytelling workshops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayr to record and celebrate Scotland’s queer heritage.
  • with Glasgow Disability Alliance to draw attention to disabled queer people’s experiences of the city and to foster participation in cultural heritage by older, minority-ethnic, disabled people.
  • the Virtual Open Worlds computer-science team at University of St Andrews and disabled people’s organisations to create and collate virtual tours of some of Scotland’s best buildings
  • the British Deaf Association, the Refugee Survival Trust, the Sikorsky Trust and Glendale Women’s Café, among others, to expand Doors Open Days building tours into British Sign Language and languages such as Farsi, Polish and Urdu
  • the Virtual Open Worlds team to design and deliver a series of online, digital-skills workshops to enable wider participation by community groups in digital Doors Open Days 2020.

The Diverse Heritage project has organised two conferences with Scottish Civic Trust colleagues: Our Past, Our Future: Young People and Heritage in 2019 and, responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, Race and Heritage in Scotland in 2020. 

Good practice from the Diverse Heritage project has also been included in two Council of Europe-funded European Heritage Days research and engagement initiatives co-led by Scottish Civic Trust. Sharing Stories sought to better understand the barriers to and enablers for wider minority participation in built and cultural heritage across Europe. We Are Culture is a toolkit to help European Heritage Days coordinators co-create, deliver, and evaluate events that include and reflect the diversity of cultures in Europe.

We’re always keen to work with more partners to co-create heritage projects – drop us a line at sct@scottishcivictrust.org.uk to talk about your ideas with our Diverse Heritage Officer.