How we plan to invest over £1billion between 2023–2026

How we plan to invest over £1billion between 2023–2026

The interior of Leeds Town Hall with someone playing the organ on stage.
Leeds Town Hall.
In the first of our three-year strategy delivery plans, we share details about our budgets, priorities and changes to our funding programmes.

When we published our new 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033, in March, we presented our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future. 

Today, our first delivery plan sets out how, across the next three years, we aim to invest £870million via National Lottery Grants for Heritage and a further £140m in strategic initiatives to make a decisive difference for places, nature and heritage in need. 

In partnership with departments in England and Wales, we will also distribute more than £43m in government funding in 2023–2024 alone. 

A group of women in period outfits dancing outside Porchester Castle.
Porchester Castle, Hampshire © Sadé Elufowoju/National Youth Theatre.

Making applications easier

As part of the transition from our current Strategic Funding Framework 2019–2024 to delivering grants under Heritage 2033, we’re simplifying our application process, making it more proportionate to the amount of money you're requesting. 

Responding to your feedback

We know that inflation and the cost of living crisis is making it difficult to deliver high-quality heritage projects. In May, we increased the upper limit of our National Lottery Grants for Heritage to £10million. And from January 2024, the lower threshold will rise to £10,000.

We are exploring options to deliver grants under £10,000 through other organisations and initiatives, ensuring our funding can reach communities where it's needed most.

Anne Jenkins, Executive Director of Business Delivery at the Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage 2033 was shaped by feedback from stakeholders. You told us that financial resilience was key and that our processes could be simpler. We will be responding by streamlining our applications for grants from £10,000 to £10m and by continuing to support organisations to develop the skills and capacity to ensure a sound long-term future. Our teams will be on hand to support applicants throughout this transition year and beyond.”

While we make these changes, there will be a short period when grants up to £250,000 will be closed for applications.

A train with steam coming out of it at North York Moors Railway.
North York Moors Railway © Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock.

Important dates for applicants   

For grants from £250,000 to £10m:

  • 12noon on 16 November 2023: last development applications under the current Strategic Funding Framework (SFF)
  • delivery round applications and Expressions of Interest are not affected and we will provide more information to applicants about transitioning to our new Heritage 2033 investment principles

For grants from £10,000 to £250,000:

  • 12noon on 3 November 2023: last project enquiry forms and applications under SFF

For grant from £3,000 to £10,000:

  • 12noon on 1 December 2023: last applications for grants under £10,000

From January 2024, we’ll be open for the first applications for grants from £10,000 to £10m under Heritage 2033, with new guidance and application forms.

All our published application deadlines and decision dates remain the same. 

New initiatives 

In the months ahead, you can expect to hear more about the roll-out of some of our strategic initiatives featured in the delivery plan. 

In the autumn, we’ll share the first nine of 20 locations across the UK where we’ll invest to transform heritage, revitalise economies and boost local pride through our Place initiative.

And in the winter, we’ll share details of our partnership to deliver urban nature recovery through our Nature Cities and Towns initiative. 

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of the Heritage Fund, said; “I'm delighted to share our first three-year delivery plan with you today. It sets out the key milestones for delivering our ambitious new strategy and the transition to operating under our four new investment principles. 

“Heritage 2033 was developed with your input, and we're looking forward to collaborating with you to deliver our shared vision for heritage over the years ahead.” 

A drone fly perched on a yellow flower.
Drone fly, Somerset © Neil Aldridge/Back from the Brink.

Find out more 

Explore our first three-year delivery plan in full. It is designed to flexible and will be updated annually as part of our business planning processes.

You might also be interested in...

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