The Heritage Debate 2020

  • 12 Nov 2020
  • Article

The Heritage Alliance - Heritage Debate 2020

“Young People and Heritage: Creating Lifelong Supporters?”

The Heritage Alliance, England’s largest coalition of heritage interests, uniting over 150 independent heritage bodies, is holding its first virtual Heritage Debate on 23 November 2020, supported by Ecclesiastical Insurance Group. 

The event titled “Young People and Heritage: Creating Lifelong Supporters?” will bring together experts from across the heritage sector including:

  • Alison Bowyer, Executive Director, Kids in Museums 
  • Ana Persinaru, Youth Engagement Consultant
  • Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of Strategy and Engagement, YHA
  • Grace Connelly, EUROPA NOSTRA UK Support Officer and SPAB Scotland Officer 

At a time when 16-24-year-olds are the least likely adult age group to visit a heritage venue, now is the time to ensure that the heritage sector is reflecting on its practice and engaging young people as audiences and collaborators. 

The annual debate will take place 4-6 pm on 23 November and will discuss how the heritage sector can engage young people and create lifelong supporters.  

The last few months have seen incredible resilience from the heritage sector, yet with new ways of working and the need to adapt to our changing society, the sector must ensure it has young advocates for its continued growth.

The event’s keynote will be from English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud Young Producers Programme which has been designed to support young people who are passionate about the role of heritage in society. This will be followed by an in-depth discussion from our panellists and a Q&A session. If you have a question you want discussed at the event, please contact Carmen Talbot.

The Heritage Alliance is very grateful to Ecclesiastical Insurance Group for sponsoring the event. The specialist heritage insurer is a long-term partner and sponsor of the Heritage Debate and is involved in the organisation of the event again this year. Ecclesiastical regularly produces insight for the sector and the Heritage Alliance often collaborate on projects related to the heritage sector.


CEO of The Heritage Alliance, Lizzie Glithero-West said: “We know that young people are still underrepresented as audiences and participants at heritage sites across the country. I am delighted that The Heritage Alliance is hosting our annual debate on this topic to showcase the voices of young people and equip the sector with ideas around how to engage this group, creating lifelong ambassadors and advocates.” 


Faith Kitchen, Heritage Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, we’re passionate about protecting Britain’s heritage. We’re delighted to continue to support the Heritage Alliance’s annual Heritage Debate. Our latest research discovered that young adults today are even less likely to visit heritage attractions in the future than ever before due to coronavirus fears. Finding new and innovative ways to engage young people in heritage is more important than ever before.”


Hearing from Young People - What Does Heritage Mean to You?

The Heritage Alliance is also seeking blogs and vlogs from young people in the UK aged 16-24 with an interest in heritage to answer the question ‘What does heritage mean to you?’ The organisation is inviting people who fit these criteria to share stories about how they became interested in heritage, their perspectives on what the heritage sector can do to attract more young people, or why they see value in heritage. All blog and vlog submissions will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad Air. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Monday 16 November.

All blogs/vlogs will be available to view here

Further details about the prize draw, this event and The Heritage Alliance’s annual Heritage Debate can be found on The Heritage Alliance website.

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