Learning from Microgrants Pilot in Barrow-in-Furness #BarrowsHeritage

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At the end of 2017 and early 2018, Heritage Lottery Fund delivered a pilot scheme in Barrow-in-Furness for grants under £3,000. [see our press release on the launch here and here]  Since the programme closed to applications, we have awarded 20 grants totalling £51,000. We been thrilled to fund a really wide range of projects, from supporting local churches and creative ways of engaging with the natural heritage of the areas. to exploring the LGBT Heritage of the area and capturing peoples stories of working and living in the area [read about all the funded projects on our #BarrowsHeritage blog]

It has been a great learning curve for everyone involved, both as the grant funder and for our applicants.  We received really useful and valued feedback on HLF’s application process and have been evaluating how we might use this approach in our forthcoming new Funding Framework.

There are more blog posts about the process and approach we took, and the sorts of sessions we ran for local groups and organisations to come and talk to us about their project ideas.  We thought it would be useful to share some of top tips that emerged from our work on the microgrant approach that could help your organisation apply to one HLF’s smaller grant programmes, Sharing Heritage or First World War, which are open until January 2019 [more info on that here]

  • You don’t need to cram lots and lots of things into one project – your activities and plans should link up
  • Don’t feel you need to fill in your application in ‘funding speak’ – let the passion you have for your project come through, it will make it easier to read for the assessing officer
  • Plan your time – think about the order in which you need to do things and how long everything is going to take
  • If you have a question, speak to the funder – we love to hear from you and if you have a question, it is better to ask before you submit an application
  • Finally, we always say this, but read the guidance and make sure you are answering the question in the form.  It is not there to catch you out but we do need to know what you plan to do with National Lottery money


NB: this discussion has been reposted after the original version was unintentionally deleted.

View Louise Sutherland's profile Louise Sutherland Jul 24 2018 - 9:25am
  1. We're currently evaluating the #BarrowsHeritage pilot, and initial fundings show it is very successful and has resulted in:

    • 20 diverse projects being funded. Projects vary from the type of heritage involved, the participants engaged, and the nature of the work undertaken.
    • New applicants to HLF, with 14 of the 18 organisations who applied for a grant having not applied to HLF before.
    • An increase in confidence with 15 out of 18 survey respondents stating that they were now more confident to apply to HLF and all of the focus group participants saying that they would apply again to a similar scheme.

    If all of the projects deliver as planned, the impact could be substantial with not only 20 new projects being delivered but:

    • 69 people will be trained
    • 174 volunteers will devote time to heritage activities
    • A wide range of our outcomes being delivered. The projects funded intend to deliver on at least 11 of the 14 HLF outcomes.

    Exciting times and we will keep you posted on the evaluation!

  2. View Amelia Robinson's profile Amelia Robinson
    Offline | Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
  3. PILOTNW- HLF Talking Histories Project…

    Our project with Furness Multicultural youth club is going really well and we have done research at the local archives under the watchful and knowledgable steer of Sue, created models of people, backdrops and scenery from various materials and started to make stock animation to tell our stories! We have interviewed a couple of memerbs of our community to find out about their experience, memories and recollections of living in our town and we have planned our film screening!

    This project has enabled us all to learn about or local heritage and history- finding out fascinating facts about our town past and present! And it has inpsired us to think about future heritage projects!

    Working with Louise and her team from start to finish on the NWPILOT has been so straight foward and this process has led us to consider how we can incorporate future heritage and history projects into our future programme curriculums as this exploration of our town's past and present has both inspired and motivated young people and youth work staff alike!

    We are so looking forward to sharing our film and learning at our screeing with our wider community!






    • Signal Film & Media Animation Session
    • Mapping our places of birth, our racial and cultural heritage
  4. View Natalia Wealleans-Turner's profile Natalia Weallea...
    Offline | Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
  5. Big Ideas offers small-scale funding (up to £1,000) and free resources for groups across the UK to engage with First World War community commemoration projects. 

    The projects are diverse, including commemorating the labour corps of the First World War, the diverse achievements of women during the period, the role of the air services and the formation of the RAF, Walter Tull and his landmark achievement as the first man of black heritage to become an officer in the regular British Army and lead his men into battle, and exploring the impact of the war on mothers who lost their sons and daughters during the conflict. 

    Find out more about the project www.big-ideas.org or email contact@big-ideas.org for more information.

  6. View Big Ideas's profile Big Ideas
    Offline | Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
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