Research and evaluation

Our research and evaluation helps us to understand our past work, and use that to inform how we work going forward.

Research helps us to understand the value and role of heritage in modern life, as well as exploring and testing ideas for future funding. 

While we undertake evaluation to understand the outcomes and impacts of our past investment. It helps us to learn and improve.

64 publications listed.


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  • Great Place Scheme Nations interim report

    Between December 2017 and March 2018, The Fund awarded through Great Place Scheme Nations (GPS Nations), grants ranging between £150,000 to £500,000 to 18 places in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. (Evaluation : )

  • Year of Young People evaluation: young people rise to the challenge

    ‘Let young people shine’ was the theme of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, and shine they did, our evaluation report found. (Evaluation : )

  • Results from the first UK-wide survey of digital in heritage

    The Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey report offers vital insight into how heritage leaders can support their staff, trustees and volunteers. (Research : )

  • Resilient Heritage programme evaluation

    To discover if our funding enabled grantees to increase their organisational resilience, increase their capacity or achieve significant strategic change.  (Programme evaluation, Evaluation, Targeted programmes, Insight : )

  • eNGO Coronavirus Impact Survey Report

    Between 20 and 24 March 2020, Wildlife and Countryside Link (Link) worked with, NI Environment Link, Scot Link and Wales Environment Link and our members to conduct a UK-wide survey of the impact of the coronavirus on the environment sector. (Research : )

  • Economic insight into the impact of COVID-19

    This briefing summarises The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s evidence of the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on heritage UK wide. (Research : )


  • Space to Thrive report

    A rapid evidence review of the benefits parks and green spaces have for people and communities. (Research : )

  • Great Place Scheme evaluation (England)

    BOP Consulting evaluation of the Great Place Scheme, an initiative which is piloting new approaches to putting culture at the heart of communities and local policy-making. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Heritage Endowments evaluation

    This is the second interim report from our evaluation of the Heritage Endowments Programme. The findings in this report are divided into two sections: early findings and interim findings. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • International working helps build a stronger heritage sector at home

    Our research highlights opportunities and barriers involved in international working. (Research : )

  • SFF consultation report: executive summary

    An executive summary of the report into HLF's role prior to the launch of the Strategic Funding Framework in January 2019. (Research : )

  • Public Perceptions of Heritage 2018

    This research was commissioned to provide an updated understanding of public perception of heritage and how it is valued. (Research : )

  • First World War Centenary activity evaluation

    From April 2010 to March 2018, HLF awarded over £94 million to more than 1,900 First World War projects. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Kick The Dust year one evaluation

    Our ambitious £10million Kick the Dust (KtD) programme is transforming how heritage organisations engage with young people. (Evaluation : )


  • What have we done for nature?

    This research looks at the impact that our investment has had since 1994 on landscapes, nature and the organisations that champion nature. (Research : )

  • Planning for the future

    To help us plan for the future, we have been finding out what National Lottery players see as priorities for our funding. (Research, Insight : )

  • The story of us: heritage and communities

    Research from Esme Ward, Clore Fellow, into how to best support communities in creating new heritage activity. (Research, Insight : )


  • Funding for community asset transfer

    Research examining how National Lottery funding has provided for projects that enable, support or follow a community asset transfer. (Research, Insight : )


  • State of UK Public Parks 2016

    This report shows that there is a growing deficit between the rising use of parks and the declining resources available to manage them. (Research, Insight : )

  • Catalyst Endowments evaluation

    A match-funding initiative offering heritage organisations in the UK the opportunity to create an endowment and bring additional private money into the heritage sector. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Economic impact of UK heritage tourism economy

    Our latest report on the economic impact of heritage-based tourism in the UK. (Research, Insight : )


  • Non-grant finance and the heritage sector

    Research into the heritage sector's interest in non-grant sources of finance, and the attitudes of social investors to heritage organisations. (Research, Insight : )

  • State of UK Public Parks 2014

    A study into the condition, quality and resourcing of the UK’s public parks. (Research : )


  • Parks for People evaluation

    This programme aims to regenerate public parks and cemeteries of national, regional or local heritage value for the enjoyment and recreation of local people. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Collecting Cultures evaluation

    This research follows the progress of the 22 Collecting Cultures projects we have funded over the last four years. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Townscape Heritage Initiative evaluation

    The evaluation of the THI programme covers 17 case studies, across a wide mix of towns and cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • Oral history projects

    Review of HLF's investment in oral history projects, including how this investment helped to deliver HLF's 2002-2013 strategic aims. (Evaluation, Insight : )

  • New ideas need old buildings

    Research into how commercial businesses based in the historic buildings can be more successful than other commercial businesses. (Research, Insight : )



  • The social benefits of involvement in heritage projects

    We have looked at the social benefits of involvement in HLF projects through two different pieces of research. (Evaluation : )

  • Landscape Partnerships evaluation

    This report, produced by the Centre for European Protected Area Research at London University Birkbeck, presents an evaluation of HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme, together with a review of the participative approach to evaluation which informed this work. (Evaluation : )


  • Heritage and the economy

    These reports present the results of case studies that look at the economic impacts of tourism that HLF investment has had. (Evaluation, Insight : )


  • Challenge and change, November 2004

    In 2004 Demos produced a report looking at the ‘cultural value’ of heritage. The authors distinguished between the intrinsic, instrumental and institutional impacts of heritage, and recommended that HLF needed to take each into account when making grant awards. (Research : )

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