Launch of £100million Heritage Horizon Awards

Launch of £100million Heritage Horizon Awards

We will invest £100million over the next three years in ambitious, innovative and transformational projects that will revolutionise UK heritage.

Heritage Horizon Awards - backing big idea, unlocking possibilities

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is looking for inspiring applications from heritage organisations across the UK for our new Heritage Horizon Awards, worth £5million and over.

Over the past 25 years, almost 200 National Lottery-funded projects worth over £5m have ushered in a golden age for heritage in the UK. They have given an unprecedented boost to jobs, tourism and local economies.

Large-scale National Lottery investment

The Heritage Horizon Awards were first trailed at the launch of our new Strategic Funding Framework in January. They take this type of large-scale National Lottery investment in heritage to the next level.

“The National Lottery has generated huge sums of money to invest in heritage projects and every part of the UK has benefited from some of our biggest funding awards,” said The National Lottery Heritage Fund CEO Ros Kerslake. 

“This year we’re celebrating the 25th year of The National Lottery and it’s an important moment to reflect on just how transformational this unique funding model has been for our heritage. 

"We are tremendously excited about the next 25 years and this £100m is a hugely important step on that journey."


British Museum
The National Lottery-funded British Museum

What we are looking for

Requirements for potential applicants include:

  • Projects will need to have substantial proposals for recognising the contribution of The National Lottery. For the first time, The National Lottery Heritage Fund may choose to negotiate naming rights.
  • Applications from a full range of heritage are welcome. When making the awards, there will be a particular focus on The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s current strategic priorities: landscape and nature and heritage at risk.
  • An Expressions of Interest stage will give applicants an early steer on whether or not they are likely to be successful.
  • The most promising applicants to the Expression of Interests stage will be invited to present project proposals to a panel of trustees. 
  • A shortlist of 10-12 successful bidders who are invited to make an application will then be publicly announced, with development funding available.
  • All successful applicants will need to have demonstrated exceptional proposals including a wide range of people in heritage. 

The last major awards for heritage were made in May 2017.

“It is no secret that demand for National Lottery funding for good causes far exceeds available funding and we thought long and hard about whether we could continue to invest in such large-scale projects,” Ros continued. 

“When we consulted it was clear to us that if we stopped, it is unlikely that anyone else would be able to step in, and major, transformative heritage projects simply would not happen.”

National Lottery-funded Stonehenge

Major projects we have previously funded

Major projects that have received funding span museums and libraries, including:

  • the Mary Rose Museum
  • the British Library Sound Archive
  • V&A Dundee

heritage attractions such as:

  • Jodrell Bank
  • Alexandra Palace
  • HMS Caroline
  • Stonehenge
  • SS Great Britain
  • Bletchley Park
  • St Fagans

historic town and city sites such as:

  • Piece Hall, Halifax

nature and the outdoors such as:

  • the Great Fen
  • Sheffield Botanical Gardens
  • Roundhay Park, Leeds
  • the Sill, Northumberland

and seven of the 10 most popular UK visitor attractions:

  • the British Museum
  • National Gallery
  • Southbank Centre
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Museum
  • the V&A
  • Somerset House

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply on the Heritage Horizons Award page.

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