National Lottery Heritage Fund

Since the National Lottery was launched 25 years ago, the National Lottery Heritage Fund has distributed more than £8 billion of funding to a vast array of heritage projects across the United Kingdom. Throughout this time the HLF (as we’ve come to know it) has been the heritage sector’s primary funder and the catalyst for many successful and rewarding capital campaigns.

In 2019, following extensive consultations not only with people involved in heritage but also with National Lottery players, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (as it will now be known) has published its new Strategic Funding Framework for the next 5 years.

Focused on people rather than buildings

In our Spring 2019 Newsletter, we advised that the most significant change is that the Fund is now very clearly focussed on outcomes for people rather than buildings and that all funded projects must clearly demonstrate that the results of their investment will not just see heritage restored. Of far greater importance to the Heritage Fund are the wider benefits that will result. These include developing skills and improving wellbeing, boosting local economies and creating jobs, sustaining biodiversity and encouraging a sense of identity and belonging.

Inclusion is everything – from the early stages of planning a project using broad consultation through to involving as many people as possible, from diverse communities, in its delivery.

A simplified process

At the same time, the Heritage Fund has recognised that it should offer a more straightforward and simple application process, particularly for smaller grants. More decisions will also be taken at a regional rather than national level. These changes should be warmly welcomed by people involved in heritage across the country.

Unsurprisingly, however, applying to the Heritage Fund remains a daunting process. At Gifted we are committed to working with our clients to deliver exceptional fundraising partnerships that deliver positive results. That’s why we think that is so important for us to explain to existing and potential clients how the new Heritage Fund strategy will work, what you will need to consider when thinking about making an application and how you can shape your application to have the best possible chance of success.

If you have a heritage project that needs funding, we recommend you take a look at our downloadable resource which summarises the most important features of the new guidance. We would also be delighted to have a no-obligation conversation with you about your project and how we might help you to achieve Heritage Fund success. Just get in touch with one of our Directors or fill in our website contact form.