Northern Heartlands works with local communities to celebrate and increase their understanding and appreciation of their natural, industrial and cultural heritage.

Current Funding available:

Northern Heartlands Community Initiative Fund

Round 3 of the fund opens on 1st September 2018. Through this fund, Northern Heartlands aims to:

  • Help people and communities influence future change by better understanding their past.
  • Help strengthen people’s sense of belonging and identity in the place/locality/landscape where they live
  • Provide opportunities for communities to come together in projects using arts, culture and heritage to support greater prosperity and/or improved health and well-being
  • Provide opportunities to help arts, culture and heritage organisations to collaborate with each other
  • Help people to have more access to arts, cultural and heritage activities, places and events.

Up to £5,000 (up to £10,000 in exceptional circumstances) is available and the grant runs up to 12 months from grant award date.

Projects should aim to fulfil one or more of the five aims through exploring the cultural heritage of the area, the landscape, its effect on health and wellbeing and celebration of local distinctiveness. Projects should include an element of arts, culture or heritage; by ‘arts’ we mean visual art, digital art, photography, film, theatre, music, dance, combined arts and crafts, circus skills.

Read more about one of the successful funding applications from Round One, Altogether Archaeology.

Examples of the types of projects we might support include:

  • Working with a professional artist or arts organisation to celebrate your local landscape, its stories and legends and its importance today
  • Working with agricultural shows to create new cultural elements within their programmes
  • Exploring traditional skills/crafts/music/dance/stories relating to the Northern Heartlands’ area
  • Exhibitions and/or performances that link with our aims
  • Projects exploring the role of the arts and culture and place in our physical and mental health
  • Support for local creative industries and arts/cultural/heritage projects that support economic growth
  • Transport initiatives that enable more people to access arts/cultural/heritage events
  • Projects that include enabling people from outside the area to discover and learn more about the Northern Heartlands area and to visit the area
  • Projects that link with and add value to existing arts and heritage projects and the Durham Festivals such as Brass Festival, Lumiere and Durham Book Festival
  • Projects that link with and add value to the Northern Heartlands Main Programme (Opera North Community Opera/The Bowes Museum Outreach/Remote Villages Projects. See Northern Heartlands’ website for details and latest updates)
  • Projects that help people find out more about their landscape. This could include using a professional artist or arts organisation to help your group undertake a Local Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA)* or create a neighbourhood plan.
  • Projects that use arts, culture or heritage to develop ideas for the future or influence policy making and decisions.

Thank you to all who have applied for round one and two of funding.


Beyond The End of the Road

November Club performing arts company brought their storytelling rabble to weave a tale about the residents of their village

The Man Engine in Willington

We were delighted with the response to the only visit to County Durham of The Man Engine on Saturday

Heart of the Matter

Discussion Event, Monday 27th November, St Catherine’s Community Centre, Crook This was the first of our ongoing series of