Four extraordinary years

Over this period of time Burberry Inspire

  • reached thousands of students
  • continued, undeterred, through a pandemic
  • expanded to New York City
  • boosted the skills and confidence of young people through The Arts


When Lord Holmes launched Burberry Inspire in 2018, we knew what we wanted to achieve: a programme of arts and culture which would change the way young people viewed the world – and themselves. We wanted these young people to understand their potential and grow to meet it. And we knew it was possible.

The Burberry Inspire programme, funded by The Burberry Foundation, worked with eight schools from Leeds, Keighley and Castleford in Yorkshire. These are areas where Burberry have had a manufacturing or corporate presence, but the schools were primarily selected because they serve areas that are recognised as some of the UK’s most deprived. We knew a programme of creative education and experiences could empower the young people here, offering them a chance for social mobility, new ideas and wider career choices through exposure to arts organisations and their people – successful working creatives.

The schools were asked to respond to a different creative brief each year and supported to achieve this by a Cultural Partner, leaders in the fields of theatre, dance, art and film: Leeds Playhouse, Northern Ballet, The Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds Young Film. Each school was assigned an artist-in-residence, who worked with students and educators alike, delivering workshops and continuous professional development respectively.

Covid tested the programme format to the limits, and yet we successfully adapted, continuing to reach schools and students through ‘creativity kits’ (delivered to students’ homes) and hybrid sessions. Of course, we were overjoyed to be able to return to schools at the first opportunity.

However, to understand the true impact of Burberry Inspire required measurement. During the four years of the programme, the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Bean Research conducted over 21,000 surveys of the Burberry Inspire students to compare the effect of the programme with those in other schools which did not take part.

Key findings are exciting and impressive:

  • The programme has reached more than 10,000 students
  • In four years, there have been an estimated 73,007 individual interactions between the Burberry Inspire Programme and students
  • 100% of teachers involved believe the Burberry Inspire programme increased students’ ability to take risks and try something new
  • 82% of teachers say student confidence has improved
  • 622 CPD sessions were delivered over four years through a mix of face to face and virtual sessions

These reports, alongside case studies from the schools and Cultural Partners, can be found below:

Executive Summary
Hepworth Wakefield
Leeds Playhouse
Leeds Young Film
Northern Ballet
Carlton Keighley
Castleford Academy
Co-op Academy
Airedale Academy
South Craven
Reel Works
Studio In a School
Burberry Inspire Case Studies

click on the logos to see student work from each arts partner:

Northern Ballet (logo)
The Hepworth Wakefield (logo)
Leeds Young Film
Reel Works NYC (logo)
ABT - America's National Ballet Company (logo)

In July 2022 the 8 schools and 4 Cultural Partners came together to create a final celebration performance to showcase the creative work they had created. Students performed at Leeds Playhouse to an audience of around 500 people, showcasing a mix of their own dance, poetry, performance, film and moveable sculptures.

Burberry Inspire (logo)
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