New cohort of creatives for University’s heritage project

The University of Bedfordshire’s Arts & Culture Projects team has announced the second cohort of community practitioners for its Heritage Impact Accelerator project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the University of Bedfordshire successfully applied for funds from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) in 2021 to extend activity and deliver an enterprise-focused support project for cultural practitioners and organisations working in the heritage sector in Luton and wider Bedfordshire.

Overseen by the Arts & Culture Projects team, the Heritage Impact Accelerator offers practitioners a 10-month incubator programme which aims to build the capacity of 12 local practitioners and/or organisations to deliver enhanced heritage-focused projects, develop new partnerships and increase levels of contributed and earned income.

After successfully supporting six local creatives as part of the first 10-month cohort last year, the project’s next participants have been announced as visual artist Abi Spendlove, activist and changemaker Claire Abji, artist and political activist Abigail Adams, writer David Landau, heritage pioneer Shabeena Parveen and community worker and artist Fiona Martin.

Emma Gill, Manager of Arts & Culture Projects, said: “After an extensive recruitment process, I am pleased to announce our latest cohort who will be working alongside the University of Bedfordshire as part of Heritage Impact Accelerator. These individuals demonstrate the range of heritage practice, projects and ideas that are flowing out of Luton, with rich opportunities for local people to access, participate in and learn more about the tangible and non-tangible heritage found around us.

“I am grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in continuing to support us, as well as my team who work tirelessly to provide a responsive and meaningful learning process for those attached to the programme.”

Over the next ten months the six participants will explore new avenues of their practice through co-working, attend workshops with leading professionals in the Heritage sector, pilot outreach programmes in educational settings and receive tailored one-to-one support in developing and submitting bids for their projects.

Click on the names below to discover more about the latest Heritage Impact Accelerator cohort:

As well as supporting the new Heritage Impact Accelerator practitioners, the Arts & Culture Projects team are providing specific support to all shortlisted applicants to ensure they can grow their practice over the coming months in a targeted manner. This support is delivered through the Heritage Enterprise Hub – a needs-led, free programme of activity for the public, run by the University. Support available through the Hub includes practical advice about applying for funding, profiling of local and national funding bodies, one-to-one support, networking opportunities and panel events with cultural, heritage and education professionals.

For more information about the University’s Arts & Culture Projects and the Heritage Impact Accelerator, click here.

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