Outcomes for heritage projects

Note for applicants

We’ve published the first three-year delivery plan for our new 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033. It includes details about our budgets and priorities, and forthcoming changes to National Lottery Grants for Heritage. For now though, please continue to apply for funding using our current guidance and outcomes.

Outcomes for heritage projects

We define the difference we want to make with our funding through a set of nine outcomes.

Page last updated: 1 March 2023. See all updates.

What is an outcome?

Outcomes are changes, impacts or benefits that happen as a direct result of your project.

They are different to outputs, which are activities or services you provide.

For example:

  • An output of cooking dinner is a plate of food. An outcome is a full and satisfied person.
  • An output of a teacher is a lesson. An outcome is wiser students.

When you are designing your project, make sure you separate the output (for example, 'building an events space'), from the outcome (for example, 'ensuring that twice as many people from the local community engage with their own stories').

Our six priority outcomes

From the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the cost of living crisis, both heritage and the UK are facing big challenges.

We want to fund projects that strengthen the sector’s recovery and support thriving places and communities across the UK.

We are currently assessing applications against six priority outcomes:

Our other three outcomes are:

Which outcomes should you pick?

We encourage you to focus on achieving one or more of our priority outcomes.

A project that meets the mandatory outcome plus another priority outcome is, for example, much more likely to be supported than one that meets the mandatory outcome and the 'better condition’ outcome.

We recognise that many of the outcomes are related. Choose the outcomes that best match the focus of your project and the key needs it will address. We expect projects to achieve some outcomes more strongly than others.

How many outcomes should you pick?

The number of outcomes you plan to achieve will depend on what you want to deliver. It should be proportionate to the size of grant you are requesting.

There is no obligation to name more than the mandatory outcome, particularly for projects within the £3,000 to £10,000 range. We strongly encourage you not to claim more outcomes than you really think your project can deliver.

Why do you have to clearly set out your outcomes?

We support projects that connect people and communities to heritage in the UK. Your outcomes help us understand how you will achieve this. We can only support your project if you are clear about the outcomes it is likely to create. 

We will monitor your progress against your outcomes. You will use them to evaluate the change your project has made.

What else must your project achieve?

We also expect all projects to demonstrate that they are building long-term environmental sustainability and inclusion into their plans.

And remember, we will only fund projects that are clearly focused on heritage. This can be national, regional or local heritage of the UK.

Guidance updates

We will regularly review this guidance and respond to user feedback. We reserve the right to make changes as required. We will communicate any changes as quickly as possible via this webpage.


  • 6 February 2023: the page was reordered and edited for clarity. 
  • 1 March 2023: It was previously stated that the priority outcomes would remain in effect until the end of the 2022-23 financial year. This end date was removed.