Application guidance: National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 (November 2020 - February 2021)

Effective 25 November 2020 - 7 February 2021

Resilience and inclusion project funding to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in.

Overview

We are accepting applications for grants from £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 for projects that:

Support organisations working with heritage to adapt and recover in the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This work could include:

  • reviewing existing business models and plans
  • developing new approaches to opening to the public during social distancing
  • developing new, creative and more resilient ways of working
  • ensuring your organisation is well-equipped to engage a wider range of people with heritage in future

or

Are focused on inclusion, led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage (for example, young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds). Refer to our inclusion guidance for further information. This work could include:

  • exploring different generations, communities and their history
  • mental health and historic environments
  • youth-led history focused projects
  •  LGBT+ heritage

We expect to receive more good applications than we can support in this first phase of our reopened National Lottery Grants for Heritage funding. Good applications not funded within this first phase may be considered within the second phase of funding due to open on 8 February. Find out more.

This is a rolling programme so there are no deadlines. You can apply whenever you are ready, and we will assess your application within eight weeks. Your proposals will then be discussed at the next decision meeting. 

Read the below guidance before you apply for a grant. The guidance tells you more about the types of project we can fund during this phase.When you are ready, apply on our application portal

Please note: The National Lottery Heritage Fund uses the same application forms across a variety of programmes we administer, and some questions need to be answered differently for these funds. You must carefully read this guidance and the Application Questions and Help Notes before you start your application.

Contents

What we mean by heritage

Heritage can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. Heritage can mean different things to different people.

As a guide, heritage could include:

  • people’s memories and experiences (often recorded as ‘oral history’)
  • cultural traditions (for example, stories, festivals, crafts, music and dance)
  • nature (for example, habitats, species and geology)
  • natural and designed landscapes such as parks and gardens
  • community archaeology
  • historic buildings, monuments and environments
  • collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives
  • histories of people and communities or places and events
  • the heritage of languages and dialects
  • places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

If your project will benefit people in Wales, you must use the Welsh language when you carry out your project. Refer to our guidance on using the Welsh language in your project for more information.

Who can apply

We are accepting applications from:                       

Not-for-profit organisations, local authorities, public sector organisations or private owners of heritage needing to access support for adaptation and greater resilience. Or, partnerships led by any of these organisations/owners.

or

Organisations or partnerships leading inclusion focused projects led by and/or engaging diverse groups (such as young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds). This includes organisations that own, manage or care for heritage, or organisations which deliver activity that engages and connects people with heritage. Applications are welcome from community groups that are not heritage-based but can deliver heritage focused activity and have not previously received a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

As a guide this includes:

  • charities, trusts and charitable incorporated organisations
  • community and voluntary groups
  • community/parish councils
  • community interest companies
  • faith based or church organisations
  • local authorities
  • other public sector organisations
  • private owners of heritage (for example, individuals)

Organisations will be a lower priority for support if they had significant and ongoing resilience issues prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. If this applies to your organisation, we recommend you access support through our business support and enterprise development programmes.

Private owners of heritage

As a private owner of heritage, you must demonstrate the public benefit of your project outweighs any private gain.

Partnerships 

For projects over £10,000, we encourage you to work with other people to develop and carry out your project. If you plan to work with another organisation to carry out a significant proportion of your project, we advise you to formalise your relationship with a partnership agreement. If your project partners will provide goods or services paid for through our grant, we will need to see your partnership agreement as part of your application.

If you are making a joint application, you will need to decide which organisation will be the lead applicant. The lead applicant will fill in the application form and, if you are successful, receive the grant and report on progress. We usually expect the owner of the heritage to be the lead applicant. If the owner of the heritage is not making the application, then we will ask them to sign up to the terms of grant.

Your contribution

For grants between £3,000 to £100,000, we do not require a contribution from you. However, you should consider whether other funders, organisations or people might be able to support your project, either with cash, or non-cash contributions. 

Cash contributions

This might be from your organisation’s own reserves, a donation from a benefactor, a grant from another funder or other fundraised support (for example, crowd funding).

Non-cash contributions

This is anything you need for your project that you do not have to pay for (for example, room hire or equipment). We can only accept non-cash contributions if they are direct project costs that could have been part of your project budget.

Volunteer time

This is the time that volunteers give to support the delivery of your project. We use a standard rate to calculate the value of your volunteer time:

  • professional volunteer (for example, accountancy or teaching): £50 per hour
  • skilled volunteer (for example, leading a guided walk): £20 per hour
  • volunteer (for example, administrative work): £10 per hour

What we can fund

This funding will support activity that:

  • helps organisations and communities working with heritage to begin to recover and adapt to the continuing COVID-19 crisis

or

  • is led by and/or engages diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage, such as young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Examples of costs

To help you plan your application, we have included some examples of the type of costs you may want to include. We can cover any reasonable cost that helps your organisation recover and become viable, such as:

  • re-opening costs
  • business model, strategic plan or governance review
  • refreshing business plans, operational or activity plans
  • introducing new ways of working
  • advice from professionals, for example, on risk, safety, how to support your staff or on new business models
  • increasing your digital capacity and activities
  • testing and consulting on new activities that will help your organisation to adapt or recover
  • activities to enable your organisation to reach and engage audiences through digital routes
  • activities to develop or broaden your audiences
  • activities that engage diverse groups in heritage
  • adjustments and support for access and participation
  • skills training, including paid training placements, particularly for people at increased risk of being adversely affected by the economic challenges brought about by COVID-19 (for example, young people)
  • full cost recovery (for projects over £10,000)

The majority of your application costs should relate to resilience or inclusion focused work.

COVID-19 guidance

As part of your planning, you will need to factor in assumptions about social distancing which do not entail significant financial risks for your organisation. Please refer to national and local guidance and restrictions about incorporating public health measures into your assumptions. 

Organisations should also ensure that they do not propose activity which cannot be adapted to minimise significant risks if the situation worsens. 

What you can’t apply for

  • operational deficits and emergency costs
  • loan repayments
  • redundancy costs
  • costs that are eligible to be covered by Government support (for example, furlough)
  • the remaining salary costs for staff on furlough not covered by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or any additional salary costs above the furloughing cap
  • anything that contravenes Government advice on COVID-19
  • recoverable VAT
  • costs related to promoting the cause or beliefs of political or faith organisations
  • costs already covered through emergency support funding, for example, through our Heritage Emergency FundCulture Recovery Fund (England)Heritage Recovery Fund Northern IrelandWales Culture Recovery FundRecovery and Resilience Fund (delivered by Museums Galleries Scotland), Historic Environment Recovery Fund (delivered by Historic Environment Scotland)
  • capital costs including urgent repairs and maintenance activities

How to apply

Before you apply

Please note: The National Lottery Heritage Fund uses the same forms across a variety of programmes we administer, and some questions need to be answered differently for this fund.

You must carefully read the Application Questions and Help Notes documents for applications of £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 to understand what information is required where. Do not use the help icons embedded in the online form.

You can apply for a grant whenever you are ready.

Pre-application advice is available for projects over £10,000. If you would like help to develop your idea before you start your full application, you can submit a project enquiry form. Please ensure that your project proposals address the mandatory inclusion outcome.

Projects under £10,000 should proceed directly to full application. If you do submit a project enquiry form for a project under £10,000, you will not receive a response. A copy of the form can be found on our website.

Your project must:

  • take into account the specific requirements of this funding
  • not start before we’ve notified you of the decision on your funding application (notification timing will depend on when you apply and how much you apply for)
  • have a clear plan, with a defined start, middle and end (if successful, we will expect your project to start within three months of decision)

For technical support, or assistance with accessibility, please contact our customer service team by email: enquire@heritagefund.org.uk

Project outcomes

Our outcomes

This funding is designed to focus on your organisational resilience or on projects that deliver inclusion in heritage. The mandatory outcome must be achieved in all projects:

  • a wider range of people will be involved in heritage (mandatory)
  • the funded organisation will be more resilient

To find out more information on what these outcomes mean and what we are looking for, please refer to the Application Questions and Help Notes documents. Further information on inclusion and organisational resilience can also be found on our website.

Environmental impact

We expect applicants to consider what steps they can take to create positive environmental impacts and reduce negative environmental impacts through their project. The measures that you implement should be appropriate for the scale of your project.

We provide guidance on environmental sustainability on our website.

How we will assess applications

When assessing your application, we will consider whether you meet the essential criteria for the fund. If you do not meet the essential criteria, we will not assess your application further.

We will also consider if your plans and risk level are proportionate to the amount of funding you are applying for.

Essential Criteria

You should only apply for this funding if you are able to meet all of the essential criteria. To apply you must be in need of funding to:

  • Support activity that will help you to adapt and recover in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. This work could include reviewing existing business models and plans, developing new approaches to opening to the public during social distancing, developing new, creative and more resilient ways of working, and ensuring your organisation is well-equipped to engage a wider range of people with heritage in future.

or

  • Deliver inclusion focused activity led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage (for example, young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds). Refer to our inclusion guidance for further information.

You must also be:

  • Able to demonstrate that your funded activity will deliver on our inclusion outcome. For resilience activity, this could include diversifying trustees, volunteers, supporters, workforce or audience reach, which can help to improve your organisation’s resilience.
  • An owner, manager or representative of heritage, or be able to show you can deliver activity that engages and connects people with heritage. Applications are welcome from community groups that are not heritage-based but can deliver heritage focused activity and have not previously received a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
  • A not-for-profit organisation, local authority, public sector organisation or private owner of heritage needing to access support for adaptation. Or, a partnership led by any of these organisations/owners.

You must meet all of the eligibility criteria above to apply for funding. The majority of your application costs should relate to resilience or inclusion focused work.

Priority criteria

If we have a high volume of applications that meet the essential criteria above, we will prioritise applications from organisations that:

  • Have not received funding through our Heritage Emergency Fund or the cultural recovery and emergency funds distributed by the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments: Culture Recovery Fund (England), Heritage Recovery Fund Northern Ireland, Wales Culture Recovery Fund, Recovery and Resilience Fund (delivered by Museums Galleries Scotland), Historic Environment Recovery Fund (delivered by Historic Environment Scotland).
  • are working within one or more of the 13 Areas of Focus we identified in our Strategic Funding Framework
  • are delivering the majority of project activity over the next year (to end 2021) to address the impacts of COVID-19

If your proposed activities could be supported through current recovery funds being offered by the UK and devolved governments, we will expect you to apply to those funds and you will be a low priority for this funding.

Balancing criteria

After the priority criteria have been applied, our decision makers will use the following criteria to balance the investment and differentiate between fundable applications:

  • We will prioritise where applications are from areas of the UK that received less Heritage Emergency Fund and UK and devolved government culture recovery emergency funds.

Supporting documents

Refer to the Application Questions and Help Notes for more information on supporting information required for £3,000 to £10,000 applications and £10,000 to £100,000 applications. 

Please have your mandatory supporting documents ready as your application is not complete without them and your application cannot be assessed:

£3,000 to £10,000 application supporting documents

Mandatory documents:

  • governing documents (for example, constitution)
  • your most recent financial accounts

£10,000 to £100,000 application supporting documents

Mandatory documents:

  • governing documents (for example, constitution)
  • your most recent financial accounts
  • Project Plan

Optional documents if applicable to your project:

  • partnership agreements
  • job descriptions
  • briefs for internally or externally commissioned work
  • calculations of full cost recovery
  • Word document 1-side A4 only (additional space for Application Question 1b: Describe your project)

It is not mandatory for you to submit the additional Word document to describe your project if you feel you have provided enough detail within the application form. However, we strongly advise that you use this opportunity to provide assessors with more detail about your project so that they can fully understand how you will address the outcomes for this phase of funding. More guidance can be found in our Application Questions and Help Notes.

If these documents are not with your application, we will be in contact with you and you will need to provide them within five working days.

Once you have submitted your application

Once you submit your application online, we will check everything is in place and will be in touch to let you know when you can expect a decision.

We will check that your organisation and application meet the criteria outlined above. If your application does not meet the criteria, we will not be able to assess your application and we will let you know this.

If your application meets the criteria, we will use the information provided in your application and supporting documents to assess your application.

We will assess your application within eight weeks of receiving all your supporting documents. Your proposals will then be discussed at the next decision meeting.

Due to the national restrictions put in place across the UK in late December and early January, we contacted all organisations that submitted an application before 6 January 2021 to give them a chance to review their application, in light of new restrictions, and let us know of any changes that might need to made.

To allow assessors enough time to consider any changes, the first decision meeting date will be at the start of February and the final decision meeting during this phase will be in mid-March.

As an organisation that gives out public funds, we carry out some checks on the information you provide to us when you apply (for example, we may check your history with us or carry out identity or fraud checks).

Our application process is competitive, and we cannot fund every good quality application that we receive.

Changes to this guidance

We have developed this funding programme very quickly in order to respond to the immediate needs of the heritage sector. We will continue to review our processes to ensure we are able to provide support where it is needed.

We reserve the right to make any changes needed to this guidance. We will communicate any changes as quickly as possible via this webpage.

Additional guidance

Good Practice Guidance

Outcomes

Digital Guidance

Guidance for all projects can be found on our website

We have requirements that apply to any project ‘digital outputs’ designed to give access to heritage and/or to help people engage with and learn about heritage. For example, photographs, text, software, web and app content, databases, 3D models, sound and video recordings.

Items created in the management of the project, for example emails between team members and records of meetings, are not included in the requirement.

If you receive a grant between £3,000 and £100,000, all digital outputs must be:

  • ‘available’ (the outputs are freely available online and you can give access to the digital files on demand) for five years from the project completion date
    • if the lead applicant is a private owner of heritage, the terms of grant will last for ten years from the Project Completion Date
  • ‘usable’ (the outputs function as intended and are kept up-to-date)
  • ‘open’ (digital outputs are licensed for use by others under the Creative Commons ‘Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY4.0) licence, with the exception of code and metadata, which should be release under a Public Domain Dedication unless we have agreed otherwise)
  • All projects must aim to be as accessible as possible. Projects over £10,000 will need to meet at least the W3C Single A accessibility standard.

State Aid 

State Aid is a European Community term which describes forms of assistance (usually financial) from a public body given to undertakings on a discretionary basis with the potential to distort competition and affect trade between member states of the European Union.

State Aid rules prevent undue competition arising when organisations have a significant economic advantage by having all or some funding provided from state resources to the detriment of other organisations who can only use their own private funding.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is a public funder and our grants are subject to State Aid rules. If we awarded a grant that was subsequently found to be in breach of State Aid rules, we would be required to reclaim those funds from the grantee.

In most cases, projects supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund are not State Aid because they:

  • are not considered to be economic activity
  • are considered non-selective in that the main beneficiary is the general public
  • would not have a measurable effect on intra EU trade

These projects are considered “no aid” as they fall under the Notice on the Notion of State Aid (NoSA).

National Lottery Heritage Fund grants towards land acquisition and natural heritage projects are normally considered “no aid” as their primary objective is about conservation and/or restoration of landscapes, habitats and species for the benefit of biodiversity.

In some instances, where projects are of a significantly large scale, economic in nature and therefore could attract commercial challenge, Article 53 of the 2014 General Block Exemption Regulation (EC) No. 651/2014 (GBER) allows for aid towards the capital costs of a cultural or heritage project for up to €100m and operating costs of up to €50m subject to the demonstration of suitable funding gaps in each case. These projects can be supported under a block exemption.

It is an applicant’s responsibility to check whether State Aid clearance is required. Applicants should seek independent legal advice if they are unsure whether a project will require clearance.

For more information about State Aid please visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid