The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

£7.5million boost to build financial resilience for the UK's heritage 


Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) launched a second opportunity for heritage organisations from across the UK to apply for grants of £500,000 or £1m to help them build financial resilience through its Catalyst Endowment programme. 

Catalyst: endowments offers heritage organisations a match-funding challenge to diversify their income streams and increase their fundraising potential by enabling them to build a new endowment fund or develop an existing one. For every pound a successful grantee raises from private or philanthropic sources, HLF will match it, up to £1million.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the HLF, said: "We are all operating in an extremely challenging economic landscape so building financial resilience is vital to ensure the future of our precious buildings, landscapes and collections. With Catalyst, the Heritage Lottery Fund is offering heritage organisations the tools to develop longer-term financial independence. Due to the high demand for the first round of endowments awarded this year, Trustees have decided to increase the money available in this final round to £7.5million. This will enable more of the custodians of our heritage get fit for the future."

This second round of Catalyst Endowments, which offers grants between £500,000 and £1million, is solely funded by HLF. It forms part of the wider Catalyst programme, a £100million+ investment partnership between the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and HLF designed to enable arts and heritage organisations to develop and explore innovative new approaches to securing private giving.

This round of Catalyst Endowment funding follows the success of grants announced in June 2012, including:

Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust in Bristol was awarded £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 alongside monuments to more than 600 British and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen from both World Wars along with the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo.

The Holburne Museum was awarded £1million to enable it to build its existing endowment fund and help it secure a reliable stream of regular income to support its on-going work to extend and enrich public engagement. The museum, which reopened in May 2011 following an ambitious renovation, houses an important art collection formed by Sir William Holburne in the 19th century and includes works by Gainsborough, Guardi, Stubbs, Ramsay and Zoffany.

HMS Victory (National Museum of the Royal Navy) was awarded £5million to create an endowment fund to help safeguard Nelson’s flagship following the transferral of its custodianship from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to the museum earlier this year.

Sir John Soane’s Museum was awarded £2million to help create an endowment that will enable this remarkable collection stay intact and open to the public. Originally the home of architect Sir John Soane, he designed and built the property as a setting for his collection of antiquities and works of art. Following his death, Soane determined to establish the house as a museum to which 'amateurs and students' should have access.

HLF’s Catalyst Endowments programme opens today and applicants have until 31 December to register to apply. The deadline for full applications will be 28 February 2013 and awards will be made in May 2013.

Notes to editors

The first round of Catalyst Endowments was announced by Jeremy Hunt, the former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at the Victoria and Albert Museum in June 2012.

  • ACE awarded a total of £30.5million to 18 organisations
  • HLF awarded £25.5million to support 16 organisations in England, and a further £2million to organisations in Northern Ireland and Scotland

More detail can be found in the DCMS press release.

As part of that earlier announcement, the former Culture Minister unveiled details of the overarching £100million Catalyst fund to be invested through:

  • Catalyst: Endowments: a £55million scheme jointly funded by Department for Culture Media and Sport, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Catalyst Arts: a £30million Arts Council capacity building and match funding scheme
  • Catalyst Arts and Catalyst Heritage fundraising capacity building programme: a £7million Arts Council fundraising capacity building small grant scheme; and a £5million HLF investment in capacity building, including a small grant scheme
  • The Arts Council will also invest £3million in a programme of learning and knowledge sharing.

On 29 October, ACE announced its Catalyst capacity building programme and its £3million programme of learning and knowledge sharing. More details can be viewed on ACE's press release

HLF’s new Catalyst programmes for building fundraising capacity, designed to help heritage organisations develop their skills and resources in attracting private funding, will launch soon. They are:

  • Catalyst heritage: building fundraising capacity - umbrella grants of £100,000 to £500,000. Available 2012
  • Catalyst heritage: building fundraising capacity - grants of £3,000 to £10,000. Available 2013

Further information

Heritage Lottery Fund: Natasha Ley on 0207 591 6143, email:
Information about HLF's Catalyst's programmes can be found at the Catalyst page.

Holburne Museum of Art 
Holburne Museum of Art, one of the successful applicants in the first round of Catalyst: Endowments