New COVID-19 recovery funding for organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland

Group of assembled large stones covered in snow, with a tree in the background
Giant's Ring
​​​​​​​Department for Communities funding will support the heritage sector in Northern Ireland, helping it to weather the continuing financial impact of the pandemic.

Two funding strands – part of the Department for Communities’ wider Covid Recovery Programme – are available to support organisations and individuals working in the heritage sector in Northern Ireland.

We hope this funding will play a vital role in sustaining heritage in Northern Ireland.

- Paul Mullan, Director of Northern Ireland, the Heritage Fund

This funding is being distributed by the Heritage Fund following criteria set by the Department for Communities.

Covid Recovery Programme for Heritage Organisations

The Covid Recovery Programme for Heritage Organisations aims to reduce or remove heritage organisations’ financial operating deficits which have arisen as a result of the pandemic in the 2021-2022 financial year.

Grants from £2,000 up to £50,000 are available. In exceptional circumstances, grants of over £50,000 are also available.

The funding is open to not-for-profit heritage organisations operating in Northern Ireland. Organisations that work with all types of heritage are eligible to apply – from built to natural heritage, and those that preserve objects, stories or species. 

Support webinar

An applicant support webinar (sign up) – with a chance to ask questions – will take place on Tuesday 21 December at 11am. Any FAQs will be made available on the funding guidance web page shortly afterwards.

Find out more and apply

Organisations have from Friday 17 December 2021 until noon on Friday 21 January 2022 to apply. Organisations applying for over £50,000 should submit a Project Enquiry Form by noon on Tuesday 5 January 2022. 

Refer to the full guidance for more information.

Covid Recovery Programme for Heritage Individuals

The Covid Recovery Programme for Heritage Individuals will provide support to self-employed and freelance individuals working across the heritage sector. This could include conservators, builders, craftworkers and tour guides.

Person using tools
Skilled heritage worker

It is aimed at individuals who were trading viably before COVID-19, have exhausted all other reasonable financing options, and whose income and earning potential has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.   

Grants of £2,000 are available.

Support webinar

An applicant support webinar (sign up) – with a chance to ask questions – will take place on Monday 10 January 2022 at 12pm. Any FAQs will be made available on the funding guidance web page shortly after.

Find out more and apply

Application are open from Friday 17 December 2021 until noon on Friday 28 January 2022. Refer to the full guidance for more information. 

Sustaining heritage in Northern Ireland

The Heritage Fund’s Director of Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “We are grateful to the Department for Communities for providing this funding to help the heritage sector confront the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

“Many of our heritage organisations have lost income during a challenging year and without support, we risk losing the skills of individuals whose livelihoods depend on heritage.

“We hope this funding will play a vital role in sustaining heritage in Northern Ireland.”

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