Larger grants now available from the Heritage Emergency Fund

Heritage Fund logo
We are now welcoming applications for larger grants to cover emergency costs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The new level of Heritage Emergency Fund grants are worth £50,000-£250,000. Using funding made possible by The National Lottery, these grants are available to all past and current National Lottery Heritage Fund grantees and can be used to cover essential costs for up to four months.  

The new grants are in addition to the existing £3,000-£50,000 Heritage Emergency Fund grants which were launched in mid-April as the crisis began to unfold.

We intend these larger grants to help organisations in the heritage sector address immediate risks, become more stable and work towards longer-term recovery after the crisis.

"We are continuing to listen to heritage organisations and adapt our response to their needs, which is why we have brought in this higher level of funding."

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund,

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has particularly damaging effect on the heritage sector, just as many attractions would be welcoming paying visitors from home and overseas. We are continuing to listen to heritage organisations and adapt our response to their needs, which is why we have brought in this higher level of funding.

“Although we may not be able to fund everything, we do encourage organisations to get in touch and apply for funding.  

“Heritage is incredibly valuable for people, communities and the economy. We want to support organisations to actively deal with immediate risks, become more stable and work towards longer term recovery.”

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "Heritage plays a vitally important role in making our communities better places to live, supports our wellbeing, and provides an important boost to local economies. This funding is playing a critical role in helping people, projects and communities from across the sector face the challenges presented by the pandemic."

Applications now open

Applications are now open. Organisations can apply any time before Friday 31 July 2020.

Find out more on how to apply on our funding page. Your local teams can give advice on what we can support and how to apply.

What is the funding for?

We are aware that many heritage organisations are facing severe financial struggles. We also know it is essential for us to do everything we can to support the sector, now and in the future.

Thanks to The National Lottery, the Heritage Emergency Fund can be accessed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

With the new larger grants, this can include:

  • stabilising an organisation or heritage asset
  • protecting heritage through mothballing
  • reconfiguring business plans
  • covering essential costs such as site security or maintaining natural habitats
  • increasing digital activities during this period
  • testing new activities that will help with recovery
  • revising strategic and operating plans

What are our priorities?

Funding will be prioritised for organisations that:

  • have limited or no access to other sources of support
  • have already tried other options
  • have limited reserves
  • and are making an outstanding contribution to their local area and communities

Find out more about who can apply and read our FAQs.

Further support

The Heritage Emergency Fund is just part of a package of National Lottery-funded support we are offering to help combat the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), supporting people, projects and communities.  

The package includes our Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, our network of Register of Support Services (ROSS) consultants and support for 2,500 projects in development and delivery where our investment commitments total over £1bn.

In addition:

Enterprise Development and Business Support programmes

We have awarded just over £4million to Enterprise Development and Business Support training programmes.

Six partnership projects have been funded. Additional funding was awarded to support a programme of more immediate business support in response to the pandemic. These are:

Two UK-wide enterprise development programmes, led by:

Four UK-wide business support programmes, led by:

The projects will be delivered later in 2020. We will share updates on our website and social media as soon as we can.

Loans and more

We will have more support options, including loans, in the coming months, to help more heritage organisations recover from the crisis. 

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