Apply for £70,000 grants to support built heritage regeneration organisations

Apply for £70,000 grants to support built heritage regeneration organisations

The exterior of a restored victorian bank in Bacup, Lancashire
This Grade II listed former bank in Bacup, Lancashire was restored as a co-working hub and residential apartments
The UK-wide programme will provide funding and support to community-led trusts that save historic buildings and give them a new lease of life to benefit local people.

Charities, social enterprises and other organisations conserving historic buildings can now express interest in taking part in the Heritage Development Trusts programme. This three year scheme is being delivered by The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) through a £5million partnership with The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

What the programme offers

Ten to 13 organisations will be supported to become financially sustainable Heritage Development Trusts through funding, advice and support.

Our vision is to create a UK-wide network of financially resilient organisations that revive unused buildings and support regeneration in some of the country’s most deprived places and communities.

Successful organisations will have access to:

  • three years of revenue funding, up to £70,000 per year
  • project grants to rescue and reuse historic buildings, up to £75,000 per project
  • peer support to build confidence and knowledge
  • consultant project advisers with specialisms including governance, community engagement, business planning and environmental sustainability 

The Architectural Heritage Fund have already demonstrated the positive impact of this method of supporting built heritage organisations. A successful pilot scheme supported seven Heritage Development Trusts from 2020 to 2023.

A run down row of houses with the windows boarded up
Georgian houses in Sunderland before restoration

Saving and reusing historic buildings to benefit communities

Heritage Development Trusts are community non-profit partnerships or organisations that own and redevelop a portfolio of historic buildings to make a lasting positive difference for people in their area.

One trust, Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust, regenerated a row of Georgian merchants' houses in Sunderland. One house was in severe disrepair.

Through a partnership with Pop Recs, originally a pop-up record store, the trust has transformed the building into a coffee shop, music venue and bar, adding much needed cultural infrastructure to the city and enhancing the area. 

A restored row of houses
The same houses after restoration,
now including a Pop Recs venue

Who is eligible?

Organisations from across the UK can apply, from those just getting started to mature organisations looking to adopt a new approach.

The AHF are looking to support charities and social enterprises that can deliver local regeneration with heritage at the forefront.

How to apply

Submit an expression of interest through the Architectural Heritage Fund’s website. You need to be able to demonstrate:

  • ambitions to grow: you have the potential to develop a portfolio of heritage buildings that will deliver local benefits and generate long-term income
  • heritage buildings in need in your area: potential projects in places of economic and heritage need and opportunity
  • local partners: a supportive local authority and your willingness to build working relationships

Application timeline

  • submit an expression of interest by 9am on 26 June 2023
  • shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full application between July and September 2023
  • decisions expected December 2023

Working in partnership to deliver our goals

This partnership programme is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered by The Architectural Heritage Fund.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “As the UK’s largest funder of heritage we collaborate with organisations who share our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’s future. 

“Our partnership with the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) will ensure that community organisations have access to funding and expertise empowering them to save heritage and to invest for the long term, supporting some of the most deprived places in the UK to thrive."

Sign up to an online briefing

The Architectural Heritage Fund is running online sessions to help people understand the programme and learn more about how to apply. Sign up for a virtual briefing on:

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If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.