National Lottery Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024

We are developing our plans for the future, and how we support organisations working with heritage.

Our next five-year strategic funding framework will launch in early 2019.

Earlier this year we asked for your views on our future vision and role, how we can support heritage and how our funding programmes might work. The consultation built on our research with National Lottery players as well as the recommendations from the Tailored Review of HLF.

We ran two surveys and over 3000 people responded. Over 1500 of these responses were to our longer questionnaire, which looked in more detail at our proposals. We worked with independent research consultants on this, and some of the initial results are emerging.

Our vision and role

“HLF should inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities.”

 82% of people responding to the survey agreed with this description of our future vision and role. Supporting the capacity and resilience of the sector and advocating for the value of heritage were seen as the most important parts of HLF’s future role beyond grant-making.

Priorities for heritage

The survey also found that people think the UK’s top three most important heritage needs or opportunities are community and local heritage, natural and environmental heritage and built heritage, followed by the diverse range of heritage and ensuring that heritage is inclusive and accessible.

Over 70% of respondents thought that HLF should give some priority to heritage that is at risk through physical, environmental or financial challenges.

Access to funding

We monitor levels of grant funding across the UK, and 73% of people think that we should address areas of the UK that experience deprivation, and have received less money from us in the past.

We asked about what our grant programmes in the future might look like, and how we can simplify our processes, and there was a positive response to the proposal for an open grant programme for all types of heritage project. 83% also support us introducing a screening stage for larger grants. The response on whether we should set an upper limit for grant applications was mixed. 50% think that we should, but there was no clear agreement on what the limit should be.


In the survey we proposed a new list of outcomes – things we expect funded projects to achieve. 86% of people agreed with this approach.

Strategic interventions

The survey also covered key policy areas including place-making and resilience and capacity building. 80% of respondents agreed that HLF should focus on putting heritage at the heart of place-making across the UK. The top two ways HLF could support heritage organisations to become more sustainable were to provide funding to build fundraising capacity and skills and to test new ideas. On working internationally, the most popular way for HLF to support the heritage sector was to work with partners to develop heritage-led inbound tourism.

All of the responses are being carefully analysed. There is more work to do and more detail will emerge. This will all feed into the plans we will develop over the next few months.

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