The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

£27.5million boosts financial resilience for heritage organisations 


Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced £27.5million of grants to help eighteen heritage organisations across the UK build future financial resilience. 

The grants have been awarded through the Catalyst Endowment programme, a joint initiative between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Designed to bring new money into the cultural sector, the programme offers match-funding to help arts and heritage organisations secure their financial stability by building a new endowment fund or developing an existing one. The organisations will use the grants of between £500,000 and £5million to attract money from private philanthropic sources. 

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The Catalyst: Endowments programme is part of our response to helping boost private giving across the heritage sector. Alongside our plans to build the fundraising capacity of smaller groups, we expect the programme to form part of a shift in approach to philanthropic giving that will help build financial resilience and attract new money to heritage groups of every size.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Boosting private giving for culture is key to putting arts and heritage organisations on the path to long-term financial stability. It is very gratifying to see that so many have already been successful in attracting match-funding and I am very grateful to all those companies and individuals who so very generously support our arts and heritage bodies.”

Successful HLF applicants include:

Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust in Bristol will receive £500,000 to help build an endowment that will help secure the future of the 45 acre site, saved from commercial development by local people, where a sensitive restoration programme is now underway. Opened in 1839, the site contains 25 Grade II or Grade II* listed monuments along side monuments to more than 600 British and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen from both World Wars along with Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo.

The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham will receive £1million towards creating an endowment fund that will generate income to support the Museum’s internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts including famous The Silver Swan, a musical automaton dating from 1773.

Linen Hall Library in Belfast will receive £1million towards creating an endowment fund that will help secure the future of this historic institution. Founded in 1788, its unparalleled Irish and Local Studies Collection, ranging from comprehensive holdings of Early Belfast and Ulster printed books to the 250,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection, is truly our community archive.

Abbotsford Trust will receive £1million towards creating an endowment to help secure the future of Abbotsford, Scottish Borders home of Romantic writer and poet, Sir Walter Scott.

Chair of the Catalyst judging panel, Michael Portillo alongside the Culture Minister, Jeremy Hunt announced the full list of Catalyst Endowment awards at a ceremony held the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

The full list of awards announced today are:

  • Strawberry Hill Trust (£500,000)
  • Windermere Steam Boat Museum (£500,000)
  • Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust (£500,000)
  • Lincoln Cathedral (£1,000,000)
  • Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College (£1,000,000)
  • St Martin’s in the Fields (£1,000,000)
  • National Portrait Gallery (£1,000,000)
  • Mary Rose Trust (£1,000,000)
  • Pallant House Gallery (£1,000,000)
  • The Holburne Museum of Art (£1,000,000)
  • Bowes Museum (£1,000,000)
  • Sir John Soanes Museum (£2,000,000)
  • Dulwich Picture Gallery (£2,000,000)
  • The British Library (£2,000,000)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (£5,000,000)
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy (HMS Victory) (£5,000,000)
  • Linen Hall Library, Northern Ireland (£1,000,000)
  • The Abbotsford Trust, Scotland (£1,000,000)

The Heritage Lottery Fund will run a second round of Catalyst Endowments in the autumn, with awards to be announced in spring 2013.

Abbotsford - one of the heritage organisations which will benefit from a Catalyst grant 
Abbotsford - one of the heritage organisations which will benefit from a Catalyst grant. Copyright The Abbotsford Trust