Help for heritage organisations to build better businesses

Help for heritage organisations to build better businesses

A group of people taking notes in a workshop
Apply now to take part in workshops and training to boost skills and confidence and improve your organisation’s leadership and management.

In our Strategic Funding Framework we made a commitment to support heritage organisations to be more robust, enterprising and forward looking.

As the sector battles to weather the coronavirus (COVID-19) storm, that support is more important than ever.

We have invested just over £4million in business support and enterprise development training programmes across the UK. The programmes will help organisations that work with heritage to increase their capacity and resilience and consider new ways of working.

How you can benefit

Three of the programmes are now accepting applications to take part, with further opportunities available in the new year.

Rebuilding Heritage

One-to-one and small group support delivered by the Heritage Alliance for organisations and individuals that work with heritage across the UK. 

The programme will help participants build confidence, overcome immediate challenges and plan for a sustainable future, with a focus on:

  • business planning
  • fundraising
  • marketing and communications

Opportunities are being offered on a rolling basis, with bi-monthly deadlines. Apply for the November/December group by 20 October, or the January/February group by 15 December. Find out more about Rebuilding Heritage.

Heritage Compass

A programme for small and medium sized heritage organisations in England, delivered by Cause4 in partnership with the Arts Marketing Association and Creative United. 

It will work with 150 heritage organisations across the next two years to:

  • promote skills development
  • grow operational knowledge
  • strengthen leadership
  • diversify funding
  • identify solutions to financial and environmental threats

Applications are open until 6 November, and again from 16 November – 16 December. Find out more about Heritage Compass.

Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Sustainable Scottish Heritage Businesses

A resilience and leadership training programme delivered by Museums Galleries Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland and Greenspace Scotland.

It will work with around 40 heritage organisations in Scotland to help them develop sustainable business models. The training will be tailored to the needs of participants, focusing on:

  • leadership
  • governance
  • business planning
  • community engagement

Applications are open until 3 December. Find out more about Surviving to Thriving.


A mix of workshops, small group, one-to-one and networking meetings delivered by Thrive and Arts & Business NI.

It will work with organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland to create their own personalised change plan which will act as a roadmap towards resilience and sustainability.

An initial cohort has already been recruited. A second round of applications will open in 2021. Find out more about Re:Model.

There is more to come

Further opportunities for organisations to benefit from training will be announced soon, including:

  • Two UK-wide enterprise development programmes led by Social Enterprise Academy and School for Social Entrepreneurs. The aim of these programmes it to strengthen strategic leadership and create sustainable revenue models.
  • Later this month we will begin advertising grant funding for an organisation or partnership to deliver a business support training programme in Wales.

Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to hear more about these opportunities as details become available.

Looking to the future

Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director of Business Delivery at The Fund, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it unprecedented uncertainty and challenges. Alongside our grant funding – which is helping protect heritage and save jobs from the immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis – it is important that we also take a longer-term approach to the resilience of the sector.

“Through supporting the development of leadership and income generation skills, we aim to ensure that organisations across the UK who work with our heritage have the knowledge and the confidence to face any future challenges that might come their way.”

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