Area-based schemes and area action plans

Area-based schemes and area action plans

Two people look out over a balcony towards a natural vista
We recommend that you read this guidance in full before submitting your project enquiry or expression of interest and before filling in your application form.

This guidance will:

  • help you decide whether your project is an area-based scheme
  • provide you with information that will help you plan an application at both development and delivery phase
  • provide resources designed to help you plan your heritage project
  • provide examples of successful area-based schemes

What is an area-based scheme?

Area-based schemes take a holistic and balanced approach to improving a defined area of natural environment, built environment or peri-urban landscape.

An area-based scheme should be considered as part of a wider strategy or ambition to improve the condition and management of areas of historic or landscape value and help people connect with it.

Conserving historic areas whether in the built or natural environment is a long-term process. Whilst we can help support a period of more intense activity, our funding should be part of a wider vision that should stimulate further activity and have a lasting legacy.

We expect schemes to be led by partnerships of local, regional and national interests with the aim of reviving economically disadvantaged areas by conserving, repairing and enhancing their distinct character for the benefit of local residents, workers and visitors.

You can apply for a grant from £250,000 to £5,000,000.

The application process is in two phases.

Selecting your scheme area

By areas of historic or landscape value, we mean a geography with a clear boundary that has built and/or natural features and a distinct character that is recognised either formally or informally. For example:

  • Historic townscapes
  • Conservation areas where there is a mixture of buildings of different uses including community, residential, retail and business as well as public spaces
  • An area of landscape with natural, archaeology, built, and cultural heritage features that give it a unique character and sense of place

If your area does not have a formal designation such as conservation area or a landscape character area you will need to provide an assessment of the area’s special character. You will find further guidance on area appraisals in this guidance.

You will need to show how your scheme will support the environmental, social and economic enhancement of the area in line with wider strategies for regeneration or biodiversity improvement.

What we expect to fund

An area-based scheme is made up of a balanced portfolio of integrated projects that together could reinvigorate historic areas in need of investment.

These schemes should aim to halt and reverse the decline of historic landscapes and townscapes by capitalising on their unique character to create attractive, vibrant, and interesting places where people want to live work, visit and invest. Using our funding this can be achieved through:

Physical works to repair and enhance the historic area, including:

  • carrying out structural and external repairs and reinstating elements of architectural detail to historic buildings
  • conserving other historical structures and removing inappropriate structures, for example within a landscape
  • work to bring vacant buildings back into use or encouraging the re-use of vacant space above shops
  • works to enable “meanwhile” or “pop-up uses” of currently unused spaces
  • restoring or enhancing habitats found in the area
  • improvements to the public realm by conserving, restoring or reinstating heritage features
  • re-introducing traditional land management techniques
  • conserving and interpreting archaeology and geology
  • protecting and enhancing water supplies and drainage
  • felling trees, clearing shrub and restoring priority habitats
  • re-routing or re-locating statutory services that are detrimental to the landscape (where this is a small part of the scheme)
  • improving access for all, including people with disabilities
  • improving public facilities such as toilets, seating or picnic areas
  • improving the long-term management of the landscape or townscape and its future sustainability
  • good quality and sympathetic development in gap sites (where these do not form the main focus of the scheme)  

Activities to help people engage with the heritage, including:

  • providing training in traditional nature or building conservation skills for contractors and trainees
  • bringing the community together to explore their heritage through, for example, open days, exhibitions and tours
  • demonstrations of good maintenance techniques for property owners
  • recording, assessing and investigating what makes the area's character unique
  • activities and interpretation to increase the range of audiences
  • creating new formal and informal learning opportunities
  • providing people with skills and training that contribute to the area's conservation and long-term management

We also support work to help you develop and run your project, such as:

  • valuations, professional fees or the costs associated with getting statutory permissions
  • research and strategic planning work to safeguard the long-term approach to conservation
  • preparing an Area Appraisal and an Area Management Plan
  • employing project staff

If private owners or for-profit organisations are involved in your scheme we expect public benefit to outweigh any private gain.

Activities that are likely to be considered as lower priority:

  • the construction of a new building or structure
  • schemes too heavily weighted towards a single major project
  • schemes too heavily weighted towards land or property acquisition
  • schemes with little or no public benefit, for example current agricultural work or conserving buildings in active use for agricultural work
  • vehicles, machinery or transport for private use or benefit
  • ci vil engineering work related to flood relief, new roads, bridges or traffic systems

The benefits of taking an area-based approach

  • It can be an effective way of using heritage to help transform your local area socially and economically for the benefit of people and communities.
  • It can help halt and reverse the decline of historic townscapes and landscapes by creating attractive, vibrant and interesting places where people will want to live, work, visit and invest.
  • It can help halt and reverse of natural and biodiversity heritage on a landscape scale in a way that could align with the European Landscape Convention.
  • It is an opportunity to look beyond individual projects to take an integrated, holistic and strategic approach to improving all aspects of an area of historic and/or landscape value. The overall benefits should be more than the combined benefits of the individual projects within the scheme .
  • Area-based schemes must demonstrate clear and robust links to wider strategies, for example, regeneration, biodiversity, and skills, so that improvements achieved are more likely to be embedded in the local area and sustained into the future.
  • The diversity of heritage in a local area and the need to deliver a range of benefits to a variety of stakeholders requires and reinforces the need for effective partnership working.
  • It encourages a broader understanding of the dynamic relationship between natural heritage, the built environment, people and communities, local institutions and local businesses leading to a deeper understanding of the issues affecting a place and how these can be overcome.
  • By achieving consensus among different owners of heritage that heritage can help unlock the social and economic potential of an area, it is an opportunity to draw in investment from a wide range of sources including private individuals and commercial organisations.
  • Schemes can seek to achieve social and economic transformation of the local area through improvement in the wellbeing of local people, and an increase in jobs, business activity, tourism and the visitor offer.

Your Area Action Plan

If your development phase application for an area-based scheme is successful you must produce an Area Action Plan.

Your Area Action Plan is a document that helps you integrate all the different aspects of your scheme into a coherent and integrated whole.

It is your manifesto for your area, its people and communities.

It should embody the shared aspirations and intentions of the scheme partners and it should demonstrate a clear vision during and beyond your project.

Every scheme is unique, not only in terms of the physical characteristics of the area, but also the social context, the nature of the local economy, the composition of the partnership and the role of the partner organisations. Your plan should reflect the needs of your area and of your partnership.

Your Area Action Plan should:

  • explain the physical characteristics of the area, about different people and organisations with an interest in the townscape or landscape and the way those groups and individuals relate to it
  • summarise what it is about the area that matters and to whom and why
  • present your partnership's agreed vision for the area
  • identify and provide details of projects that will help the scheme achieve The National Lottery Heritage Fund outcomes
  • explain how your scheme will be delivered, including staffing, timetables, costs
  • outline the intended long-term legacy of your scheme and how this will be secured

I n preparing your Area Action Plan, you should consider how and what resources you will need to evaluate your area-based scheme.

In addition to meeting your delivery phase application requirements, a well-produced plan will:

  • demonstrate to everyone, including partners and other funders, that your scheme is well thought through, will achieve important outcomes, aligns with wider strategies, and will be delivered to the highest professional standards
  • be the focus of communication, both within the partnership and beyond
  • provide you with an essential project management tool

Structure and presentation of your Area Action Plan

Developing your Area Action Plan will help you plan, structure, cost and manage the delivery of your area-based scheme. It is the responsibility of the scheme partnership as a whole, and all members will need to provide input and take ownership of the final document.

Suggested structure:

1. T he Scheme Area
2. The Vision and Strategy
3. The Scheme Partnership and Partnership Agreement
4. The Scheme Plan
5. Engaging people and communities
6. Community Grants
7. Managing your area-based scheme

  • Project management structure
  • Scheme level risk assessment
  • Procuring goods, staff and services
  • Job descriptions and briefs for specialist work
  • Data quality and accessibility
  • Project timetable
  • Detailed cost breakdown
  • Project cash flow
  • Calculations for full-cost recovery

8. Appendix

  • Area Appraisal
  • Area Management Plan
  • Local, regional and national strategies

Suggested presentation:

  • Include an executive summary no longer than a single A4 page
  • Include a contents page
  • Consider including maps, photos, diagrams and tables. Your enthusiasm for your area will be brought to life if you include images from your area appraisal document such as historic maps, characteristic features or photos
  • Present your Plan as an electronic document such as a PDF. Think about the design including the choice of font size and the way you use colour. Your plan will need to be printed out or photocopied either in full or in part so you should think about how it looks when it is reproduced in print. The RNIB publish useful 'clear print' guidelines.

Your scheme area

Prior to your application you must identify an area that has a distinctive character that is recognised and valued by local people. By taking a character approach, you will be able to identify what makes the area unique and recognisable, what gives it its sense of place, and describe this in your application form and your Area Action Plan.

Your area-based scheme should demonstrate an integrated approach that considers the needs of the built and natural environment, management practices, the range of cultural practices associated with the area, and the communities that live there.

This section of your Area Action Plan should include:

  •   A summary that explains the distinctive character of your area and how this has evolved over time – including all land, biodiversity, structures, buildings and features that make or could make positive contributions to the area's overall distinctiveness
  • Information on how the area is currently managed and protected; including assessment of current  strategies and policies against appropriate sector benchmarks, and availability and need of heritage skills
  • Analysis of the area's demographic, social and economic conditions; an assessment of the different interest and concerns of stakeholders such as owners of heritage, local communities, business community, and visitors
  • Threats to the area and opportunities to address these such as climate change; broader political environment and policy issues; social and economic changes; and local attitudes and understanding of the heritage
  • Summary of the type and category of work which could be carried out to preserve and enhance the character of land, biodiversity, structures, buildings, features and the overall area
  • Your rationale for your chosen scheme boundary
  • An assessment of policies and statutory powers that need to be put in place to protect the area’s character and sustain the benefits of your scheme in the long-term for the benefit of the heritage and local communities
  • Information which will help you design activities which you will run as part of your scheme in order to raise awareness and understanding, and engage local people, with the area's heritage

Scheme boundary

We will expect your boundary to reflect the distinctive character of the area, the physical features on the ground, together with the views and values of local people. It should not be defined by administrative boundaries.

Schemes that are geographically concentrated to maximise impact have a greater chance of success. We recommend that your scheme boundary is tightly drawn and focused on one or more clusters of heritage in close proximity.

We do however recognise that in some areas, such as moorland regions, working over a large area can more effectively address the needs of the landscape.

You will need to justify your rationale for your chosen boundary and if it covers a large area this should include how you will ensure the benefits of our funding are not too thinly spread.

Area appraisal: appraising the character of your area

Your Area Appraisal is the foundation for developing your scheme in detail. There should be a clear relationship between the findings of the appraisal and the projects/activities of your scheme.


The appraisal provides a basis for making decisions about the future of your area and is an opportunity to record, understand and evaluate its special interest.


If your area is designated, such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or a Conservation Area, it is an opportunity to re-assess the existing designation.

  Your Area Appraisal should be based on surveys and investigations, as well as historical sources, maps and plans. You should illustrate it with photographs and, where possible, historical images and master plans. Make reference to more detailed supporting information such as heritage audits, inventories and any other relevant piece of research.

You will need to involve the community in preparing your Area Appraisal and consider their views and aspirations for the area.

Your Area Appraisal should be used to support relevant supplementary planning documents such as Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans and inform planning policy and planning decisions affecting the area.

Our conservation plans guidance can be useful for developing your area appraisal.

You will need to provide an outline description of the character of your area with your development phase application.

Your area management plan

Your Area Management Plan builds on your Area Appraisal and the assessment of your area’s heritage need. You must prepare your Area Management Plan while developing your scheme.

The benefits of your scheme will quickly disappear if the area does not benefit from management that respects its heritage and conservation value in the long term.

Therefore, you will need to develop a succinct management plan for your area, which sets out the measures you have or will put in practice to make sure that the benefits of your scheme are maintained.

  Your Area Management Plan must consist of:

  • a description of the heritage and conservation value of the area and the potential threats to it
  • policies and strategies
  • proposed planning measures
  • a framework for design and maintenance standards
  • community consultation and engagement
  •  a short statement about how you will put the plan into practice

Your Area Management Plan must also:

  • consider whether any training and learning activities are necessary to sustain a conservation-led approach to managing the area over the long term and build upon the training initiatives
  • set out good practice standards that owners of heritage will be expected to achieve in work to their land or buildings including the maintenance of heritage
  • e xpress how the long-term vision for your area will be achieved - the legacy of your scheme.
  • provide fully costed proposals for managing and maintaining your scheme area, to show how you will sustain the benefits of our funding


Your scheme partnership must formally adopt the management plan by the time we give you permission to start your scheme. This will be in the form of an adoption statement, and/or minutes of meeting of relevant committees which should be included in your final document.

  You must show that you have consulted widely on the plan while you have been developing it, and you must explain how the community will be involved in managing the area in the long term.

Putting the plan into practice for at least 10 years after your scheme has ended is a condition of our grant. If you fail to uphold its measures, we could decide to ask for repayment of our grant.

You must regularly review your Area Management Plan.

Your Area Appraisal and Area Management Plan, either as two separate documents or one combined document, must be included as an appendix in your Area Action Plan.

Designated landscapes and conservation areas

Designated landscapes

If your scheme is in a designated landscape such as an AONB you must produce your Area Appraisal in accordance with formal guidance from the statutory or other recognised authority on producing Landscape Character Assessments.

You can find this guidance using the following link s:

 Conservation areas

If your scheme is in a Conservation Area you must produce your Area Appraisal and your Area Management Plan in accordance with formal guidance from either Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, C adw or the Northern Ireland executive .

You can find this guidance using the following link s:

Vision and strategy

In this section, set out your aims or strategic objectives for the heritage of the area and how you will address the needs and aspirations of local people, local businesses and visitors to the area.

Provide any wider strategies for the area at the end of your Area Action Plan.

Your scheme partnership should have collective responsibility for the vision and strategy for the scheme and these should be clearly articulated in your partnership agreement.

It is important to show a clear link between the vision and strategy for your area-based scheme and:

  • local, regional, or national strategies (for example, regeneration, biodiversity, tourism, local development), and local social and economic needs
  • the reasons why people value their heritage
  • potential threats faced by the heritage in your area, and the opportunities to address these
  • addressing our outcomes

We recognise that heritage should respond to the current needs of people, communities and the environment. Your vision will need to strike the right balance between conserving heritage and ensuring heritage is a useful and sustainable resource that adds value to your area.

The scheme partnership

A partnership approach is central to developing and delivering a successful scheme.

This section of your Area Action Plan should provide:

  • A description of each partner and their contribution to the scheme
  • Structure and operation of the partnership board including frequency of meetings and any terms of reference
  • A signed partnership agreement
  • The role and composition of any stakeholder advisory group that will support the partnership board

We expect the scheme partnership to be made up of a variety of local, regional and national organisations who all have a shared purpose to develop, manage and deliver the scheme for the benefit of the area and local people.

The strongest partnerships are able to demonstrate a membership that is representative of the interest, communities and the full breadth of heritage of the area.

Lead applicant

You will need to nominate a lead applicant who should provide a signed partnership agreement or a partnership constitution showing the involvement of each partner and how the project will be collectively managed.

Partnership board

A partnership board should be formed of individuals or representatives from partner organisations who have the expertise or authority to advise on and support decisions on all aspects of the scheme.

You will need to submit a draft partnership agreement with your first-round application.

A confirmed partnership agreement that has been signed by all partners must be submitted with your delivery phase application.
The lead partner will take responsibility for the development grant award and administration. The partnership may however change between the development and delivery phase application.

Examples of partnerships:

  • A number of separate organisations or individuals linked together as partners through a written agreement, with a lead partner identified
  • An existing partnership whose role is to conserve an area of landscape, for example the conservation board for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • An existing partnership whose role is to improve an urban area such as a Local Area Partnership
  • A new organisation representing a number of partners set up specifically to deliver the area-based scheme

 If private owners or for-profit organisations are involved in a scheme, we expect public benefit to be demonstrably greater than private gain.

Your scheme plan

Your Scheme Plan is the plan for the group of capital projects and other activities that you intend to deliver as part of your area-based scheme, based on your Area Appraisal and stakeholder consultation.

In our assessment, we will look for a balanced portfolio of work that responds to the needs of your area, and that represents overall value for money.

Prioritising projects

To help you prioritise you could group the capital projects in your scheme into the following categories:

  1. high-priority projects: essential to the delivery of your scheme, making a fundamental difference to the overall area
  2. medium-priority projects: clearly contributing to the enhancement of your area
  3. reserve projects: worthwhile pursuing should funding become available

You should only include the cost of your high-priority and medium-priority projects in the cost breakdown for your scheme and in the project cost section of your application form.

In your delivery phase application you should provide us with outline information on the capital work that you intend to do in your scheme.

Structuring the Plan

Part 1

P rovide a detailed description of each individual project under the following headings:

  • A description of the heritage including any designations, its location, its condition and why it has been included in your scheme
  • The nature and scope of the work proposed
  • Results of surveys, investigations and development work
  • How the project will be delivered and managed
  • The main risks associated with the project
  • When the project will start and finish
  • The resources required to deliver the project e.g. costs and staff time
  • How the amount of community grant will be calculated, if applicable
  • How future management and maintenance will be delivered and who will be responsible for this

You must provide full details of all the projects you intend to deliver in the first two years of your area-based scheme.

Full details of future schemes should be provided as part of regular reporting on the progress of your project.

Part 2

Provide a table summary of all the capital projects in your area-based scheme. Please see the example below.

If you plan to carry out work on a collection of adjoining land or buildings you should provide information for each heritage asset.

Project Project description Priority Public/private ownership Estimate of costs
11 Bridge Street Repairs to upper story, including roof repairs, reinstatement of cornice details M Private £45,000
76 Storm Road Coppicing H Private £25,000
Total projects - - - Total costs

Engaging people and communities in your area-based scheme

We want to see that your scheme will create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

You will need to develop a plan for engaging local people as an integral part of your scheme. Activities should respond to the particular needs of your area and align with the vision, aims and objectives of your scheme.

Things to think about:

  • how and why local people currently interact with the heritage of their local area and how this can be improved
  • we expect that you will consult with all stakeholders in the community and that the outcome of these conversations will help shape your final plans
  • opportunities to embed good practice and provide new skills that maintain the benefits you've achieved 
  • improving civic pride and a shared sense of ownership in the wider community for the local area should be an important aspiration for your scheme and you should considers activities that could help you achieve this.

This section of your Area Action Plan should explain:

  • How local people, communities and businesses perceive the area and its heritage; how they engage with it and any barriers to engagement; identify communities that feel disconnected
  • How the action or perceptions of local people and visitors are affecting the condition of the heritage
  • How you have involved local people, communities and businesses in developing all aspects of your scheme
  • Work or research that has helped you better understand how local people engage with the area and its heritage
  • Activities you will deliver and the groups that will benefit and how this aligns with the vision, aims and objectives of your scheme overall. Consider how your activities link with wider local strategies, for example, education, training, young people and mental health.
  • The resources you require and any partnerships you have put in place or are intending to develop to help you deliver your activities.
  • How you will publicise all aspects of your scheme
  • How you will evaluate the success of your activities and information
  • How your activities could be maintained after you have completed your scheme
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund outcomes you will achieve

Action plan template

Should include:

  • Detailed description of activity
  • Audience
  • Benefits for people
  • Outcome
  • Resources
  • Costs in project budget
  • Timetable
  • Targets and measures for success
  • Method(s) of evaluation

Ideas for activities:

  • training for owners and custodians of heritage in management and maintenance practices
  • working with local communities to identify and record places and features that are important to them and making this information widely available including documenting languages or dialects, recording oral histories, surveying species or habitats, cataloguing and digitising archives, recording customs and traditions, or making a record of a building or archaeological site.
  • structured training leading to formal qualifications that would help ensure that the heritage is properly understood and maintained
  • formal and informal learning opportunities for adults and young people that could help them better understand the special character of their landscape or townscape so they can value it more. Activities could be tailored to the needs and interests of participants and align with local priorities such as engaging NEET (not in education, employment and training) groups and incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
  • a ctivities that use local heritage, culture and customs to improve how the area is perceived by people who live, work and visit it. For example, you could consider activities that help build a greater sense of civic pride in groups that feel marginalised
  • opportunities for people to give their time as volunteers

Find ideas for engaging people in our activity plan guidance.

If any of your activities relate to projects identified in your Scheme Plan you will need to make reference to this in your Scheme Plan. For example, a nature restoration project that will train and use volunteers to deliver work on land should identify volunteers as a resource in the Scheme Plan.
With your development phase application, you will need to provide outline information on the nature and scope of activity that are intending to deliver.

Community grants

Community grants are made to third parties from a joint funding pot, which is made up of our grant, together with your funds and funds from other partners.

You can spend your grant either directly by ordering and managing work yourselves, and/or by providing community grants to others, including private owners or for-profit organisations, to carry out physical work or activities that contribute to the aims of the overall scheme.

Offering a community grant to support conservation work on private land or repair of a privately owned historic building can be an effective way to engage different owners of heritage.

Community grants are also a way to extend the reach of a scheme to engage with the wider community especially groups that are under-represented or feel marginalised.

This section of your Area Action Plan should explain:

  • the rationale and added benefits of having a grants scheme
  • any specific focus (e.g. natural heritage or reinstating historic shop fronts or local culture)
  • the scale of the grants in relation to your scheme. Ensuring grants are manageable in size but also being aware of the threshold below which the administrative burden may outweigh the benefits of a grants scheme
  • how the scheme will be administered including assessment of applications
  • scheme criteria, making payments and managing risk
  • how decisions will be made and by whom
  • hw project progress will be monitored
  • what evaluation will be undertaken
  • how the grants will be publicised to owners of heritage and the community
  • you may also wish to include a sample of the forms and materials you have produced for the administration of your community grants scheme

Developing your community grants scheme

Any community grant must be able to demonstrate good value and we expect public benefit to be greater than private gain where heritage in private ownership is involved and/or where grants are made to for-profit organisations or private individuals.

You will need to consider how much grant to award. We expect that grant rates will vary, depending on:

  • the type and cost of the works
  • the value of the properties and land
  • the impact the works will have on them
  • wider social and/or economic conditions that might affect the take-up of community grants

Where grants are based on an estimate of the conservation deficit that arises in bringing a buildings or vacant spaces back into use you may consider allowing a profit of up to 15% as is the case for Heritage Enterprise projects.
You will be responsible for the full administration of your community grant scheme, including all stages of the process:

  • inviting and approving applications
  • inspecting the standard of works
  • making grant payments
  • monitoring compliance with the terms of your community grant

You will need to provide outline information on how you will calculate and make decisions about community grants with your development phase application.

Releasing the grant

We will release our grant to you in instalments. Each instalment will be based on the percentage of your total grant to the overall cost of your scheme.

This will not vary according to the grant rate you set for any community grant you award.

Conditions of your community grant

If your community grant is for work to property or land your third-party grantee must own the freehold of the property or hold a lease of it with an unexpired term of at least 10 years without a break clause.

If the property or land is held on a lease for less than 10 years or if it contains a break clause that may terminate the lease within 10 years, the landlord must join in the grant application and agree to be bound by the grant conditions if a community grant is awarded.

We would advise you to get legal advice on how to set up contractual agreements for your community grants. You may include the cost of doing this and the cost of producing materials required to publicise and administer your community grants scheme in your National Lottery Heritage Fund scheme.

The terms of your community grant should:

  • identify the works and activities you have agreed to fund
  • include a statement that the grant cannot be transferred
  • include long-stop dates by which the works or activities  must be started and completed
  • require that at least three written tenders must be obtained for any works or activities costing more than £10,000 (excluding VAT)
  • require that any unspent grant must be returned to you
  • require that the third-party grantee will make available any financial records you reasonably require in respect of the works or activities
  • require that the third-party grantee will give you access to the property or site to monitor progress and satisfactory completion of the works
  • specify how the grant will be paid and when and in what form application for payment of grant instalments can be made
  • specify that you will only pay VAT if the third-party grantee is not entitled to any refund on the VAT; and that if the third-party grantee becomes entitled to a VAT refund they must pay the relevant amount to you
  • require that the third-party grantee must insure property or site for its full reinstatement value while the works are being carried out and following their completion. In the event of loss, theft or damage, the property or site must be made good.
  • require that the property or site will be maintained in good repair when the works have been completed and in accordance with the management and maintenance plan
  • set out grounds which will lead to the grant being withdrawn or repayable including the following:
    • that the third-party grantee breaches any of your terms of grant
    • that the successful third-party grantee has behaved fraudulently or misleadingly in connection with its grant application or in carrying out and completion of the works or activities
    • that we request repayment of the grant or suspend repayments to you
  • require that the above terms must continue to apply if the property or land let or leased
  • specify how the grant will be repaid if the property or land is sold before the terms of the community grant have expired. Where repayment is due it should be calculated as follows:
Year of contract Amount to be reclaimed

up to 100%

6-7 up to 80%
7-8 up to 60%
8-9 up to 40%
9-10 up to 29%


  • require that the grant will be repaid if the property or land is let or leased before the terms of the community grant have expired as would be the case if the property or land had been sold except where the third-party grantee will continue to be responsible for:
    • management and maintenance and the overall condition of the property or land and this obligation is set out in the lease agreement; and
    • ensuring that the property or land in insured for its full reinstatement value in the event of loss, theft or damage, and that this obligation is set out in the lease agreement;
    • the leasee is prohibited from granting any further leases on the property or land
  • provide that repayment must be made on or as soon as possible after the sale or lease of the property has been completed;
  • state that you may at any time transfer the benefit of the third-party agreement to us and allow us to conduct any proceedings against the third-party grantee of it; and
  • state that the terms of the community grant will last for 10 years from completion of the project for which the grant was made.

Managing your area-based scheme

This section of your AAP should explain:

  • How you will manage your scheme. You will need to provide a narrative and a diagram that shows who will be responsible for the different aspects of your scheme, what expertise they will have and how decisions will be made.

    Explain how you will ensure communication is effective internally and with us.
  • The main risks that could affect the delivery of your scheme and how these will be managed. Refer to any surveys or risk assessment. Assign each risk to an individual with appropriate expertise and authority.

    We expect the level of risk associated with your scheme to inform the amount of contingency identified in your project budget.
  • How you will approach appointing people to new posts and procuring specialist work. You will need to meet our requirements for procuring staff, goods and services which can be found in the Receiving a Grant guidance.

    You must provide job descriptions for new posts and briefs for any specialist work.
  • If you require any statutory approval for work you are proposing to landscape, historic buildings or other historic assets. You should tell us how you intend to achieve the necessary approvals and the outcome of any preliminary discussions.
  • How you will ensure that you meet the required standards for data quality and accessibility if your scheme involves biological recording. 

    Any species observation must meet standards set by the National Biodiversity Network.

    If your scheme contributes to UK, regional or local biodiversity action plan targets you must report outputs through the Biological Action Reporting System.    
  • How you will ensure your scheme meets our requirements for digital outputs.
  • A timetable that shows all the work and activities in your scheme. We expect this to be fully detailed for the first two years. Future years may have less detail if you are intending, during this period, work to heritage that is owned by individuals or organisations that are not part of the scheme partnership.
  • A detailed breakdown of the cost of delivering your scheme as an Excel spreadsheet. Present individual cost entries in the same format as the project cost section of the application form using the same categories.
  • How you will ensure there is sufficient cash to deliver your scheme. We expect you to provide a cashflow. You will need to tell us, in detail, how you intend to raise any unsecured partnership funding.
  • How you have calculated any costs under full cost recovery, if applicable to your scheme. You can find more information about full cost recovery in the National Lottery Grants for Heritage - £250,000-£5million programme guidance.