The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

Heritage organisations to benefit from Lottery funding to boost financial resilience 


Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) launched Catalyst heritage: building fundraising capacity, £3m of new investment designed to help heritage groups across the UK build future financial resilience by improving their ability to access private giving. 

The programme will specifically provide heritage umbrella organisations with grants between £100,000 to £500,000 to deliver in partnership new and innovative capacity building services, training and networking opportunities to heritage organisations to give them the vital tools they need to increase their ability to tap into private sources of support.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Building fundraising capacity is key to ensuring our heritage organisations remain on a stable financial footing. There are a lot of innovative examples of fundraising across the heritage sector and it is important that the best examples are developed and shared as widely as possible. These Catalyst grants will allow that to happen."

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the HLF, said: "If we are to secure a sustainable future for our precious buildings, landscapes and collections, building financial resilience must be a priority. At the Heritage Lottery Fund we recognise there is already a wealth understanding and expertise around accessing private giving within the heritage sector. This programme will help unlock this know-how by providing high quality networking and training opportunities through which heritage organisations can come together to share their skills and knowledge."

Catalyst heritage: Building fundraising capacity is 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.

Catalyst heritage: Building fundraising capacity is HLF's second strand of its Catalyst programme to be launched. In June 2012, HLF awarded the first round of Catalyst Endowment grants up to £5million and grantees included Arnos Vales Cemetery Trust in Bristol, the Holburne Museum; and HMS Victory in Portsmouth.

The deadline to register to apply for a Catalyst heritage: Building fundraising capacity grant is 31 January 2013. Full application deadline is 31 March 2013 with first decision in summer 2013.

Notes to editors

Catalyst: 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 £27.5million to support 18 organisations

View the 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 leaning and knowledge sharing. View details can be found on the press release

HLF's second round of Catalyst: Endowments programme, offering grants between £500,000 and £1million is currently open. Applicants have until 31 December 2012 to registers. The deadline for full applications is 28 February 2013 and awards will be made in May 2013.

View details of our Catalyst programmes.

Further information

Heritage Lottery Fund: Natasha Ley on 020 7591 6143, email: