National Lottery Heritage Fund resumes grants for heritage

The Fund says new funding round is not a return to ‘business as usual’ and announces new priorities for the 2021-22 programme.

A view of Glastonbury Abbey.

Glastonbury Abbey was one of many sites which received emergency help from the Fund during the coronavirus pandemic (Photo: Michael Gaylard via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

By Annette McGill

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) has reopened its Grants for Heritage programme, which offers grants from £3,000 to £5million for heritage projects.

The Fund says during the next 12 months it will prioritise projects that contribute to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Winning projects will demonstrate the value of heritage to national life and support local economies, places and communities. 

 The NLHF is the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK’s heritage: since 1994 it has awarded more than £8bn to some 44,000 projects across the UK.

NLHF CEO Ros Kerslake said: “During 2020 we focused on supporting heritage across the UK to adapt and respond to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis. By the end of this financial year, we will have supported more than 1,500 organisations across the heritage sector with over £500million of National Lottery and Government funding.

“Our focus now is to support the heritage sector to strengthen its recovery and to build back for positive change – reopening applications for heritage projects is key to the success of this.”

The Fund says it expects to receive a high number of applications and will need to prioritise projects where its investment can make a significant difference.

Top priorities

Between April 2021 and March 2022, the NHLF will prioritise heritage projects that:

  • boost the local economy
  • encourage skills development and job creation
  • support wellbeing
  • create better places to live, work and visit
  • improve the resilience of organisations working in heritage

All projects must limit any potential damage to the environment  and make a positive impact on the environment and particularly on nature 

The goal of inclusion remains mandatory for all projects.

Read the updated application guidance.

During 2020 theNHLF opened a £50m emergency fund to support the heritage sector during the coronavirus pandemic.