Making a complaint: Scotland

Making a complaint: Scotland

The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) are committed to providing high-quality customer services. We use information from complaints to help us improve our services.

If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us. This page describes our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint. It also tells you about our service standards and what you can expect from us.

Making a complaint will not affect, in any way, the level of service you receive from us nor will it affect your chances of getting a grant from us in the future.

What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us.

What can I complain about?

You can make a complaint about your contact with our staff, a grant application that you have made or a grant awarded to you by us.

You can complain if you think that:

  • ‘maladministration’ has taken place (for example, if we have delayed, made mistakes in, or failed to follow the procedures in our application process)
  • we have failed to give you access to information or have given you incorrect advice or information
  • we have not treated you politely
  • we have discriminated against you or not treated you fairly

You can also complain about our published policies and any UK government or Scottish Government policy on heritage.

If your complaint is about policy set by the UK government contact: Department for Culture Media and Sport, 100 Parliament Street London SW1A 2BQ, Email:, Phone: 020 7211 6000

If your complaint is about policy set by the Scottish Government contact: Culture Europe and External Affairs Directorate Scottish Government, St Andrew’s House Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG, Email:, Phone 0300 244 4000

If your complaint is about an application for funding, we can only review our decision on your application again if:

  • we discover (through dealing with a complaint) that we did not follow the published procedures for assessing your application
  • you can show that we have misunderstood a significant part of your application
  • you can show that we did not take notice of relevant information

What can’t I complain about?

There are some things we cannot deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:

  • our decision on a funding application if we have followed our decision-making process correctly
  • Any fraud you think may have taken place. You should report this to our Finance Department: Email: or notify the police.
  • Any interaction with us which is outside of our grant-making process. If you do have a concern that falls outside our grant-making process, please read our Raising a Concern leaflet or contact the Customer Services team: Email: Phone: 020 7591 6044.

How do I complain?

To make a complaint you should contact our Edinburgh office who will try to put things right:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland

Regus Office, 93 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3ES


Phone: 0131 225 9450

When complaining please tell us:

  • your full name and contact details
  • as much as you can about the complaint (tell us what happened, when it happened and who dealt with you)
  • how you want us to resolve the matter

If you are unsure who to speak to or if you do not want to speak to the person involved in your complaint, contact the Customer Services team:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, 4th Floor, Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA


Phone:  020 7591 6044

If you have a complaint relating to NHMF please contact us by:


Phone: 020 7591 6113

How long do I have to make a complaint?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaint procedure has two stages.


If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, contact our Edinburgh office and they will try to resolve your complaint. This could mean an explanation and apology and immediate action to resolve the problem. We hope that we can settle complaints as quickly as possible in this way. It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them soon after any issues arise.

At stage one we will:

  • give you our decision in five working days unless there are exceptional circumstances
  • let you know if we cannot resolve your complaint at this stage and what you can do next
  • where appropriate, suggest that you take your complaint to stage two if the issue has not been resolved


Stage two deals with two types of complaint:

  • those that have not been resolved at stage one
  • those that are complex and require detailed investigation

At stage two we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
  • where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and usually within 20 working days
  • let you know if our investigation will take longer than 20 working days and agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

If, after we have fully investigated, you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO cannot normally look at:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
  • a matter that has been, or is being, considered in court.

You can contact the SPSO in person at:

4 Melville Street Edinburgh EH3 7NS

By post at:

Freepost EH641 Edinburgh EH3 0BR

By phone:

Freephone 0800 377 7330

Or online:



We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have any particular communication needs, or need information in other languages or in another format, please contact our Customer Services team.


Phone: 020 7591 6044


All personal information will be treated in line with our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act. We will do our best to keep all complaints confidential. However, we may need to release limited information so we can investigate the issues you have raised.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, we may also have to release certain information if we are asked for it. You can get information on the Freedom of Information Act from the Information Commissioner’s Office. Their contact details are:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF


Phone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

Fax: 01625 524 510