Check what we fund

Funding Check what we fund


The National Lottery Grants for Heritage are currently closed to new applications. Read more about our funding programmes

What we fund

We fund a broad range of projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK.

We fund heritage projects. Heritage can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations.

Your heritage project could include:

  • nature works to improve habitats or conserve species, as well as helping people to connect to nature in their daily lives
  • designed landscapes improving and conserving historic landscapes such as public parks, historic gardens and botanical gardens
  • landscapes and the countryside large-scale rural projects that help improve landscapes for people and nature, by for example, restoring habitats and celebrating the cultural traditions of the land
  • oral history recordings of people’s stories, memories and songs, as a way of communicating and revealing the past
  • cultural traditions exploring the history of different cultures through storytelling, or things that you do as part of your community. This could be anything from dance and theatre, to food or clothing It could also include the heritage of languages and dialects
  • community archaeology involves the active participation of volunteers in archaeological activities, everything from investigating, photographing, surveying to finds processing. Can occasionally include excavation. Sometimes called public archaeology
  • historic buildings, monuments and the historic environment from houses and mills, to caves and gardens. Areas that are connected to history and heritage
  • museums, libraries and archives making the collections that museums, libraries and archives hold more accessible through new displays, improving public buildings and galleries, or engaging people with interpreting new and existing collections
  • acquiring new objects help towards the cost of acquiring one-off objects or collections as part of a collections development policy
  • commemorations and celebrations telling the stories and histories of people, communities, places or events related to specific times and dates
  • industrial, maritime and transport this might be places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

What you can spend the money on

The money you get for your project can be used for:

  • activities
    to engage the wider community in your heritage. They might include guided heritage walks, sharing oral histories, or workshops. Your activities should link to the heritage focus of your project and be tailored to the needs of the audiences you want to work with.
  • repairs and conservation
  • this could be digital images, sound files or data, a website with heritage material, an app, or a film made using digital technology
  • new staff posts
    this could include part of a current employees’ role, if they were dedicating a specific amount of time to the project
  • this could also include training for existing staff, to support the aims of the project

  • professional fees
    includes anyone related to your project in a professional capacity, from architects and heritage professionals to teaching staff

Money for Heritage Enterprise projects can also be used:

  • to buy a heritage asset in need of investment
  • for essential conservation work, such as structural repairs to a historic building
  • to repair and adapt empty and derelict buildings and sites. So that they are financially viable and commercially viable if appropriate
  • fit-out of a building to a basic level, this is sometimes called Category A
  • urgent repairs to prevent deterioration of the asset while you complete detailed planning work
  • new temporary structures designed to be used for relevant project development, to support meanwhile uses during the project development phase

You can’t spend the money on

  • existing staff posts or organisational costs

    Unless calculated through Full Cost Recovery which means securing funding for all costs involved in running a project. So you can request funding for direct project costs and also for part of your organisation’s overheads.

  • repairs to your own home
  • legal and/or statutory responsibilities
    Includes anything that would be paid for regardless, whether the project went ahead or not. For example, rent, utilities, building maintenance, unless you have a Heritage Enterprise grant.
  • promoting the causes or beliefs of political or faith organisations
  • recoverable VAT
  • costs for any activity that has taken place before a grant is awarded

Before you apply

Your project must:

  • not start before we’ve formally made a decision about your funding application.
    When this happens depends on when you apply, and how much you apply for.
  • have a clear plan, with a defined start, middle and end.

    The amount of time a project lasts should be proportional to the grant amount.

    for example

    • a grant of £3,000 to £10,000 a project can last up to one year
    • a grant of £10,000 to £250,000 a project can last up to five years
    • a grant of £250,000 to £5 million, a project can be in development for up to two years and delivered in up to five years
    • a grant of £5million and over, a project can be in development for up to two years and delivered in up to five years
  • fulfil at least one of our outcomes.