Changes to our grant making

In early 2019 the Heritage Lottery Fund will begin a new, five-year Strategic Funding Framework that sets out how we will distribute National Lottery good causes money for heritage.

In addition, the UK Government has recently published its Tailored Review of our performance and the Mendoza Review of Museums in England.  Both of these recommend new ways of working, including simplifying our grant giving processes and operating even more efficiently, getting the most value from National Lottery funding.

We have consulted extensively on our new Strategic Funding Framework from 2019 and a summary of what you told us is available to read.

Planning an application to HLF

This year 2018-2019 is a transitional year and we have begun to simplify our grant programme portfolio ahead of the new Strategic Funding Framework. Last November we announced that Heritage Grants and Heritage Enterprise programmes would close to new applications in mid-August as we prepare to open the new Strategic Funding Framework in late January 2019. These programmes are now closed with the exception of second round applications from applicants holding first round passes.

We continue to be open to new applications for grants up to £100,000 (up to £250,000 for Resilient Heritage) under our current programmes until 18 January, for final decisions in March 2019.

In late January 2019, as we publish our new Strategic Funding Framework, we will open our new funding portfolio. This will be a simpler and more flexible funding offer, with a single open programme for all types of heritage project, and new resources and digital guidance on our website to support applicants. We will offer grants from £3000 to £5 million, with proportionate processes and requirements at different levels of grant.

Alongside this open programme, new strategic campaigns will be launched during the Strategic Funding Framework period – those for 2019 and 2020 will be announced in January. We will continue to fund innovation and work collaboratively with partners on strategic interventions, such as social investment, and will announce our approach to major awards over £5 million during 2019.  

We will strongly encourage applications for projects that will engage a wider range of people with heritage, and also welcome the types of projects we previously supported through targeted programmes, such as those focusing on landscapes or parks, or engaging young people, or increasing the resilience of heritage organisations, through the new open programme. We expect strong competition at all levels of grant and will introduce a new Expression of Interest stage for larger grants (over £250,000) to give an early steer on whether you are invited to apply.

More detail about application requirements will be published in January. We will not be able to give you detailed advice or comment on project proposals until then. If you wish to continue to work on your project with a view to applying next year, we suggest you think through the general principles of what makes a strong, viable, and inclusive heritage project.

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