Inspiring, leading and resourcing the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Who we are and what we do

We are the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK’s heritage. Locally connected and with national expertise, we are a change-maker working to enhance and champion the value of heritage for all.

  • As The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we distribute National Lottery grants from £3,000 to £5million and over, funding projects that sustain and transform the UK's heritage.
  • As The Heritage Fund, we distribute non-Lottery funding, including grant-in-aid/government funding and loans, to heritage organisations.
  • We provide leadership and support across the heritage sector, and advocate for the value of heritage.

Heritage can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. Understanding, valuing and sharing our heritage brings people together, inspires pride in communities and boosts investment in local economies. We’re supporting the heritage sector to strengthen its recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and build back for positive change.

National Lottery funding

With every purchase of a ticket, National Lottery players raise money for good causes. We are one of 12 distributors of this funding.

Since 1994, the National Lottery has raised more than £43billion for good causes. Of this, we have distributed over £8.3bn to more than 49,000 heritage projects across the UK.


We are a non-departmental public body accountable to Parliament via the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Our decisions about individual applications and policies are entirely independent of the government.

The Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund is our legal body for the administration and supervision of all funds vested in us. It was set up by the National Heritage Act to administer the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund is our sister organisation. It distributes grant-in-aid/government funding to UK heritage at risk of loss. 

Find out more

We plan to distribute at least £1.2bn of National Lottery income between 2019 and 2024. Our Strategic Funding Framework sets out our vision and the principles guiding our investment over this period. We also refocused priorities for our heritage grants in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.