Economic Insight into the impact of COVID-19, March 2020

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

Since 1994, The National Lottery has raised more than £40 billion for good causes in the areas of heritage, arts, sport, and community. In practice this means the National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK’s heritage. Since 1994, £8billion has funded more than 44,000 projects across the UK. We support the full breadth of heritage, from historic sites and areas, industrial and maritime, museums, libraries and archives and parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Heritage-based tourism is worth £20.2billion to the UK economy per annum. Overseas visitors to UK cultural, historic and natural heritage attractions spend more than double per visit (an average of £560) compared with their domestic overnight counterparts (an average of £210 per trip) (our research, 2016).

On 20 March we emailed a short questionnaire to understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the organisations we support who have received a grant of £250,000 or more in the last 10 years. This survey was also issued externally to the sector through our communication activity. The survey closed on 27 March and we received 1,253 responses.
We also commissioned a parallel survey via Wildlife and Countryside Link and their sister LINKS across the UK. The survey was sent to their 100+ members and 60 responses