'Huge demand' for new Heritage Horizon Awards

Ros Kerslake
The first stage of the new Heritage Horizon Awards has now closed, with initial interest showing a huge appetite for National Lottery funding for heritage. 

The Heritage Horizon Awards, launched in June 2019, are designed to revolutionise the UK’s heritage through investment of £100million over three years in ambitious, innovative and transformational projects.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund asked for Expressions of Interest – a light-touch way of identifying proposals with strong potential – for the first £50m investment. In total, 146 expressions of interest have been received, with a total ask of £1.3bn.

"We will be funding and providing guidance to a group of major projects that will set a new benchmark for what can be achieved through investment in heritage."

Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund CEO

Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund CEO, said: “The high level of interest shows that, despite us investing £8bn over 25 years in the UK’s heritage, there’s still a huge amount of demand for our funding. This is really encouraging – it suggests widespread awareness of the value of heritage to tourism, jobs, economic prosperity and wellbeing. 

“We have asked in particular for ambitious, innovative and transformational projects, substantial proposals for recognising the contribution of The National Lottery and a particular focus on our strategic priorities: landscape and nature, heritage at risk and inclusion. Early indications are that we are seeing some very interesting and exciting ideas.

“It’s great that our new, light-touch Expressions of Interest stage has encouraged so many organisations to put forward their ideas. With such a high level of interest, we will inevitably have to make some difficult decisions but ultimately we will be funding and providing guidance to a group of major projects that will set a new benchmark for what can be achieved through investment in heritage.”

What next

Ideas that show strong potential will be invited to present to a panel of decision-makers in late 2019. Those that are shortlisted by the panel will be invited to submit a development phase application by September 2020.

The Heritage Horizon Awards

The Heritage Horizon Awards are each worth a minimum of £5m. A total of £50m has been made available in the first year (2020-2021). 

Find out more about the application, development and delivery phases.

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