The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

£20million Lottery money to boost heritage philanthropy 


Today the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a £20million commitment to Catalyst, a joint funding initiative with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England, to help build the long-term financial resilience of cultural organisations 

This means that heritage organisations will also have access to funding designed to drive long term investment in the arts and heritage sectors through the provision of challenge funding for endowments and grants to help build fundraising capacity and expertise. 

Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) funding, announced today by Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt at the Whitechapel Gallery, brings the total available through Catalyst to £100m which is expected to lever in an additional £100-£150m of private donations.

HLF will be working with heritage organisations to finalise the details of the initiative, with a view to opening for applications in early September 2011.  £15m will be used to create challenge endowments of £500,000 upwards, with the remaining £5m for capacity building to increase the ability of heritage bodies to fundraise and encourage giving. 

Eligibility, criteria and timings for applications for this funding will be set out in detail following further consultation. It is currently envisaged that the endowment challenge funding will be available for existing HLF-funded voluntary sector and charitable organisations across the full range of heritage supported by HLF – including natural heritage bodies - throughout the UK. 

Under the ‘Catalyst’ banner, Arts Council England (ACE) and HLF will assess respective arts and heritage applications for both Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and their own funding pots. The ACE and HLF decision taking bodies will be advised by an independent Advisory Panel, which will make recommendations on the Catalyst endowment funding.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “Being part of the ‘Catalyst’ initiative is a real opportunity to build financial resilience in the heritage sector.  This £20m Heritage Lottery Fund investment challenges voluntary and charitable organisations of all sizes to focus on engaging with new supporters and benefactors.  Catalyst demonstrates how Lottery, government and private funding can come together to create fresh and innovative ways to sustain cultural organisations of all kinds.”

Further details of the Catalyst scheme and how applicants can apply will be unveiled in September 2011 via a single web-based applications portal.  

Notes to editors

• Today, in a speech at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Secretary for State for Culture, the Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP welcomed HLF’s and ACE’s commitment to the Catalyst endowment challenge fund and outlined details of DCMS’s commitment to incentivising philanthropy in the heritage and arts sectors.  Full details of his speech can be found at
• Catalyst funding breakdown: HLF £20m; ACE £50m; and DCMS £30m
• HLF funding for Catalyst will be UK-wide, while ACE and DCMS funding will only be available to organisations in England
• Museums and galleries are expected to apply through the heritage element of the Catalyst scheme
• ACE announced a capacity building and match-funding scheme as part of the Catalyst initiative on Wednesday 29 June 2011.  For more details visit
• Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.6billion across the UK.

Further information

Please contact Natasha Ley, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6143 or or Lydia Davies on 020 7591 6032 / 07973 613 820 or