Submitting an Expression of Interest form: grants above £250,000

Submitting an Expression of Interest form: grants above £250,000

Last updated: 2 February 2022

We ask all applicants requesting a grant of more than £250,000 to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form.  

This is because we recognise the amount of work that goes into applying for funding and planning a project. The EOI stage helps us to filter any projects which are unlikely to receive funding, and saves you time working on a full application unnecessarily.

The EOI word count is deliberately short (maximum 1,000 words) to minimise the time and effort for you to complete this stage.   

We will use the information you provide to decide whether to invite you to submit a development phase application. If you are successful, you must apply within 12 months of receiving the invitation. If your EOI is unsuccessful, you cannot submit a project application. You will need to submit a new EOI first. You must wait three months before you do this. 

Before submitting 

Please make sure you have read: 

Full information on what we fund can be found on the National Lottery Grants for Heritage: £250,000–£5million section

Please see notes below on how to fill out your EOI form. 

How to submit 

When you are ready, please complete the form on our Get funding for a heritage project service. 

You will need to register an account for yourself and for the organisation you are applying for. 

Hearing back from us 

We aim to respond to your EOI within 20 working days.  

We will let you know via email whether you are successful in being invited to submit a development phase application.

If we are not inviting you to apply at this time, we will give you feedback.  

Common reasons EOIs are unsuccessful

EOIs are not always successful. Some common reasons include:

  • not providing enough information about target audiences nor explaining how the project will achieve our mandatory outcome ‘a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’ 
  • repeating our list of outcomes rather than specifying which outcomes the project will achieve
  • not explaining how the outcomes will be achieved
  • telling us about capital work only 
  • not explaining the need/demand for the project nor wider support for it

How to write your EOI description 

Here are some tips on how to describe your project, following the prompts on the form. 

What the project does  

Tell us what heritage activities you are going to deliver. This includes both: 

  • engagement activities that involve people in heritage
  • capital activities, such as repairs and conservation or buying equipment

Please tell us about any aspects that are already under development or confirmed, such as:

  • options appraisals
  • feasibility studies
  • preparatory work funded by other organisations
  • partnership funding
  • permissions for work, particularly for the development phase

Programme outcomes 

Tell us how your project will achieve our mandatory outcome 'A wider range of people will be involved in heritage'. 

You will need to describe: 

  • any heritage activities which will help achieve this outcome
  • who your target audience is/are
  • who your partners are, particularly community partners 
  • how your proposals remove barriers to heritage participation  

Find out more in our inclusion guidance

We will also need to know about any other outcomes you will achieve. 

Heritage focus  

Tell us about the heritage and why it’s important to people (find out more on our What we fund page).  

Top tip: don’t waste your word count by repeating information that is already publicly available online.

If your project does not include any activities that involve people in heritage, we are unable to fund it. 

Project reasons  

Tell us any strong reasons why your project must go ahead now. This can include: 

  • being part of a wider regeneration or enterprise scheme 
  • time-limited confirmed partnership funding 
  • evidence that partners, such as developers or community organisations, want to be involved  
  • heritage is at risk 
  • permissions for work already achieved, particularly for the development phase  

Development and delivery phases 

If you want to apply to us for more than £250,000 you will first need to apply for and secure a grant to develop your plans and project further.

This is what we call the “development phase”.  

The development phase must take a realistic amount of time (no longer than two years). 

The Information we need section of the application guidance explains what information is needed for a development phase application and a delivery phase application. You will find this useful when telling us about the timeline of your activities.

Overall cost  

Fill in the estimated costs for the development and delivery phases of your project. This includes any confirmed income. 

Expression of Interest Frequently Asked Questions

When will I hear if my EOI is successful?  

We aim to respond to your EOI within 20 working days.  

What happens if my EOI is unsuccessful?  

We will explain our reasons for not inviting an application at this time. 

A new EOI can be submitted after three months.  

What happens if my EOI is successful?  

We will write to you confirming an invitation to apply for funding. We may offer feedback from our internal EOI panel.   

We will then release a development phase application form into your application portal.  

An invitation to apply for funding does not guarantee a grant from us, but it does indicate that we see potential in your idea. 

If I am invited to apply for funding, what support can I expect to receive to develop my project and application?  

We do not have the capacity to support every organisation that applies for funding.   

We will prioritise our support to those organisations that have been identified as a priority in our Strategic Funding Framework. These include our 13 Areas of Focus and groups that are under-served in heritage.  

Our requirement is for capital works only. Do you fund this?  

No. The most important outcome that we look for in all projects is that they involve a 'wider range of people in heritage'. Projects that seek funding for capital works only would not be able to deliver this outcome well enough. 

Are EOIs handled differently in different parts of the UK?  

No. The EOI and application process is the same across the UK.  

The budget available to support new projects is published in our Business Plan and the level of competition and demand will vary across the UK.