20 years in 12 places

Watch the 20 years in 12 places video
New research reveals the UK’s heritage helps make us happier about where we live, and puts heritage firmly at the heart of shaping and improving quality of life across the UK.

In our latest and biggest research study, we commissioned research company BritainThinks to carry out research in 12 locations across the UK. They undertook both surveys and workshops, to find out what people now think about heritage and the local projects HLF has supported. In all we heard from over 4,000 people.

Key findings

  • 93% see heritage as important to ‘the country’

  • 81% see heritage as important to ‘me personally’

  • 80% say local heritage makes their area a better place to live

  • 64% think local heritage has got better while they have lived in the area

  • 76% of Lottery players rate the HLF-funded projects in their area as good or excellent value for money

“Your heritage or history defines you. If you have no heritage…If the past gets lost in translation – what is the future?”

People see heritage: delivering benefits that relate directly to their quality of life; bringing economic benefits like tourism and creating good jobs; making places more visually attractive; providing family leisure opportunities; helping people to understand where they come from, instilling local pride and encouraging social cohesion.

Find out more

The research has generated a rich set of resources, data, quotes, visuals and footage providing a fascinating insight into the relationship between heritage, people and place

  • Essay summarising the main findings and conclusions, co-authored by HLF’s Head of Research Gareth Maeer, BritainThinks Founder Deborah Mattinson, and BritainThinks Research Lead Anastasia Knox.
  • UK summary report from BritainThinks – collating findings from across the UK
  • Summary slides for both qualitative and quantitative findings
  • Reports for each of the places with footage where workshops were held and details of local projects
  • More about the methodology of the study including how we selected locations and people, the exercises and outputs from workshops


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