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Heritage Open Days 2022

Another year of Heritage Open Days! 

Our thanks go to the many organisers and visitors who participated in another fantastic Heritage Open Days festival (HODs).

This year in Leeds, numerous organisations and volunteers offered almost 200 different events to choose from over 10 days in September!

But how does Heritage Open days’ work? 

Every year in September thousands of volunteers across England organise events that celebrate our wonderful history and culture. This gives us all the chance to visit unfamiliar places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE! (though many do need to be booked in advance.)

People are often confused when they see the National Trust branding alongside the Leeds Civic Trust logo and ask about the relationship between us.

The National Trust leads the festival and all events must be registered with them. They run the website which collates details of all events and offers advice on how to ensure they are successful and safe. They also offer the familiar pink marketing materials or advice to organisers on making their own. The website has great filters making it easy to select a region, interest category, date etc. Some events require booking, which are mainly listed through Eventbrite, an online booking tool which is linked to the HODs website.


What does Leeds Civic Trust do for the festival? 

In many towns and cities, HODs events are managed by local authorities but in Leeds, we do things differently. The Trust has a team of six volunteers supported by Jodie and Mel Leeds Civic Trust staff. We remind, research, encourage, advise and support those who are prepared to make the time and put in the effort required in organising an event. Some organisers are happy to complete registrations, but we also undertake this task for those who feel less confident. We also produce both online and printed marketing content. When registration for the HODs events closes at the start of August we lift information from the HODs website to publish and distribute a Leeds booklet (7,000 copies this year) to show you the calendar of events available, where and when, with brief descriptions and images to tempt you to try new experiences. The booklet is great to browse over a coffee but we always advise checking the website for any last-minute changes.

We actively encourage new participants each year. Whilst trying not to be too prescriptive, it is vital that whatever activity is being offered – be it a walk, talk, visit, exhibition or performance – it needs to tell a story of heritage and cultural significance and be free to the public. Events must be safely managed (limiting numbers as appropriate) and have insurance coverage. A few event organisers are so generous that they even offer hospitality in the form of tea and cake but this is a bonus and not obligatory!


HODS 2023! 

Your HODs team is looking forward to finding some new and exciting events for you in 2023 and supporting regular participants. If you are a venue who would like to take part next year head over to the Heritage Open Days website here to find out more or give us an email and we can support you with your registration.

If you have spaces and places you would like to visit please send your ideas to office@leedscivictrust.org.uk and we will do our best to make it happen.

Don’t forget to make a note in your diary for HODs 2023 8-17 September. We look forward to seeing you then.

Best wishes from the LCT HODs team: Jodie; Meryll, Jane C, John H, Roderic, Alan S and Garance

With thanks to Graham Fotherby for capturing the HODs events.

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