As you’re no doubt by now aware, the funder formerly known as HLF has had a shiny new rebrand and is now called the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  This rebrand coincided with the launch of the new strategic framework for 2019-2024.

The rationale behind the new framework and rebrand is to respond to considerable consultation work with National Lottery Players about their perceptions of Lottery funding, and to address the outcomes of the DCMS tailored review.  The new brand foregrounds the National Lottery, putting Lottery players at the heart of the work done by the Lottery Good Causes.

There are some key changes as well as many similarities with the new framework, which I will outline here for you.

New, focussed outcomes:

Every heritage project has to be environmentally friendly
This is proportionate to the type and scale of the project, but an important consideration.  It could for example be fitting bat boxes for bat roosting, using compostable disposable plates and cups, planting trees or encouraging people to use public transport.

A wider range of people will be involved in heritage

Again, this is proportionate to the grant size and as appropriate to the project, but aims in particular to reach under-represented groups to engage with heritage and to encourage new partnerships.

With our investment, people will have greater wellbeing

Projects should demonstrate how they will help people feel more connected with one another or help them feel useful or valued.

Grant funding:
There are three levels of grant funding:

£3,000 – £10,000 £10,000 – £250,000 £250,000 – £5 million
Projects up to 1 year

No deadlines, apply when ready

Decision in 8 weeks

£10,000 – £100,000

No deadlines, apply when ready

Decision in 8 weeks

£100,000 – £250,000

Quarterly deadlines:
5 March 2019 for a decision in June 2019

28 May 2019 for a decision in September 2019

20 August 2019 for a decision in November 2019

19 November 2019 for decision in March 2020

Minimum of 5% match-funding required

Submit an Expression of Interest form first

Development phase up to 2 years, delivery phase up to 5 years

Quarterly deadlines:

5 March 2019 for a decision in June 2019

28 May 2019 for a decision in September 2019

20 August 2019 for a decision in November 2019

19 November 2019 for decision in March 2020

Up to £1 million – minimum of 5% match-funding required

£1 million or more – minimum of 10% match-funding required

Applications for funding over £5 million will be processed and decided at Board level.

Themed Campaigns
These are being introduced to encourage projects that target specific themes.  The first two will be:

  • Digital capability
  • Capacity building and organisational resilience

More information about these, including the time frames, will be released soon.

Areas of Focus:
The Heritage Fund is concentrating on 13 areas of deprivation and low uptake of funding opportunities across the UK.  For the East of England the areas of focus are Luton and Tendring.  This does not mean applications from those areas will get preferential treatment, it means more support will be directed to those areas to encourage more high-quality applications.

Application Process:
For applications of £10,000 – £250,000, send a Project Enquiry form first to get advice to help develop your ideas.
For applications of £250,000 or more, send an Expression of Interest.  This is a brief proposal only.  Eligible projects will then receive an invitation to apply.  Priority will be given to organisations that have not previously received Lottery Funding

New Approaches:
National Lottery Heritage Fund will be a strong thought leader and change maker for the full breadth of heritage.
There will be new models of investment – more details will be released shortly:

  •  Loans
  •  Partnerships

Cross-cutting project themes will be encouraged, for example projects that encourage international engagement and support digital campaigns.

What’s staying the same?

  • The main activity will still be grant giving
  • Funding still comes from the National Lottery
  • #ThanksToYou ideas to thank National Lottery players
  • £1.2 billion of funding to be distributed over the next 5 years and £200 million in the next year
  • Grants will continue to support the full breadth of heritage
  • For funding under £100,000 there are rolling deadlines, apply when ready

What’s different?
In addition to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there will be 3 new area committees that will make decisions on grant funding of £100,000 – £5 million.  East Anglia sits in the Midlands and East area.  The other 2 new areas are North, and London and South.  With more grant-making decisions being made at area committee level, there will be greater connection with the communities in those regions.

The Board will handle applications for funding over £5 million.

Strategic Objectives
It is essential to keep the Heritage Fund’s 6 strategic objectives in mind when planning your project and applying:

  1. Bring heritage into better condition
  2. Inspire people to value heritage more
  3. Ensure that heritage is inclusive
  4. Support the organisations we fund to be more robust, enterprising and forward-looking
  5. Demonstrate how heritage helps people and places thrive
  6. Grow the contribution that heritage makes to the UK economy

For more information, visit the National Lottery Heritage Fund website

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