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University of Leeds receives funding to boost digital development in heritage organisations


The University of Leeds has been awarded funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to participate in the vital work of the Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, which aims to improve digital literacy and raise confidence in employees and volunteers across the UK heritage sector.

Heritage organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic are building more innovative working practices, and digital skills are proving more necessary than ever. In October 2020, The National Lottery Heritage Fund published the findings of its survey of over 4,000 staff, trustees and volunteers at 281 heritage organisations, identifying the current digital skills and attitudes of the sector.

The survey results highlighted what tools and training were needed to help heritage organisations weather the coronavirus pandemic and look towards a creative and resilient future. We’re delighted that Leeds is among those selected to address these organisations’ needs and provide digital solutions.

The Leeds project, The Question of Digital: Building the digital capabilities of the heritage sector, is one of 12 grants awarded to address three distinct areas; driving digital innovation and enterprise, providing answers to organisations’ most pressing concerns, and empowering collaborative work to achieve common aims.

Using its extensive experience of co-produced research, Leeds will work in partnership with Museum Development Yorkshire, Cause4 and the Welsh heritage sector to identify the most pressing questions related to digital leadership.

The Question of Digital project will equip sector staff and volunteers to utilise digital tools and management data effectively. By providing accessible resources and new working methods across the sector, the project will increase access to heritage by building resilient, self-supporting organisations with broader digital reach, varied mechanisms of engagement and more accessible, inclusive services.

Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Education said:

This grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is exciting news for the University of Leeds and the heritage sector. It promises to be a fascinating project and a great opportunity to collaborate with our academic and heritage sector partners on building digital leadership, something that is vitally important for many organisations right now.

Read more about the National Lottery Heritage Fund awards here

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund and #HereForDigital.