Funding for Northern Ireland's cultural and heritage sectors

The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage provides an opportunity to celebrate diverse cultural heritage across Europe.

Together with Tourism Northern Ireland and Department for Communities Historic Environment Division, we’ve set up a funding pot of £400,000 to help explore Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage in 2018.

This new short-term funding is available to help the cultural and heritage sectors respond to the opportunities the European Year of Cultural Heritage brings and explore Northern Ireland’s heritage in a variety of new and interesting ways.

This year presents the Northern Ireland heritage sector with the opportunity to:

  • unlock the heritage potential by providing engaging visitor experiences, reinvigorating interpretation and storytelling, animating sites, creating new products, events, partnerships and ways of working
  • use 2018 as laboratory: to gain new insights and apply these to the heritage sector
  • use 2018 to enhance new marketing strategies that will promote and celebrate Northern Ireland’s rich heritage

The challenge for the heritage and cultural sectors is to think about how we make more of our individual sites, things, places and stories; and work together to create a more joined up narrative, which will improve experiences for visitors (both local and from further afield).

How to apply for funding

This funding is being offered to the heritage and cultural heritage sector to explore the challenges and opportunities that have been outlined in the Tourism NI reports:

We will be accepting applications for projects from £10,000 to £100,000 through the existing Our Heritage programme. We want to see what ideas are out there and how the sectors think they can best respond to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 so we are keeping the process simple. All projects must ensure:

  • Collaboration within or across different cultural and heritage sectors
  • Tourism expertise is part of the collaborative team
  • Proposals address the diversity of people who can engage with Northern Ireland’s heritage

Application Timeline: 17 January 2018 – Expressions of Interest to be submitted to HLF via email to

If you are asked to proceed by HLF then just will receive the detailed EYCH18 programme application guidance via email.

All applications must be submitted by 12pm on the 12 February.

If you have not been asked to proceed, please do not submit an application.

If you have missed the opportunity to apply for this grant programme, please take a look at the rest of HLF’s grant programmes as we expect to support a range of heritage projects throughout the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Feeling inspired?

Get in touch with us to discuss your ideas.

Tourism Northern Ireland and Historic Environment Division are taking the lead on the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in Northern Ireland. More details about the Northern Ireland-wide response and activities can be found on the Tourism Northern Ireland website.

Activity is being planned for 2018 in Northern Ireland by a range of bodies – Events will be posted on the Department for Communities and Discover Northern Ireland websites.

Follow the campaign

Keep up to date with the year, follow @hlfni on twitter and look out for the hashtags #EuropeforCulture and #EYCH18

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