New project funding and loans to support sector resilience

Interior view of the National Museum of Scotland featuring planes suspended from the ceiling
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has resumed accepting small and medium project funding applications and launched an interest free loans pilot.

This National Lottery funding is part of our ongoing commitment to support the UK’s heritage sector respond to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), to adapt and thrive again.

The project funding – for grants between £3,000 to £100,000 – will provide financial assistance for organisations working with heritage to build their resilience.

Our new interest free loans – available for sums between from £50,000 to £250,000 – are aimed at organisations looking to restart and develop their income generating potential.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage

The reopening of project funding is the first phase of a two-stage resumption of our National Lottery Grants for Heritage.

It represents a return to our core business, but it is not a return to business as usual.

Our primary focus is on resilience and supporting heritage not-for-profit and public sector organisations and local authorities through the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

We are also accepting applications from organisations or partnerships with projects that are led by and/or which engage diverse groups.

We have a budget of £10million during this first phase. The first decision meeting will take place in mid-January.

Our decision makers will prioritise applications from those who have not received funding through our Heritage Emergency Fund or government recovery funds for heritage and culture.

Explore the application guidance to find out if this funding is suitable for you.

Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans

In our Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024 we set out ambitions to develop repayable finance interventions.

Repayable finance not only maximises our impact through recycling some of our income, but social investment and loans such as this helps the heritage sector to diversify income, strengthen business models and become more resilient.

We have a budget of £1.2m for our loans pilot. We are offering the funds on a 0% interest basis, with no arrangement fee, and a 12-month payment holiday. Recipients will then have up to five years to repay the loan.

Applicants must be:

  • not-for-profit organisations
  • current or previous recipients of National Lottery Heritage Fund or National Heritage Memorial Fund grants over £10,000
  • organisations with enterprising business models that don't rely on just grants and donations

Find out more in our loans application guidance. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2021.

Together towards recovery

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is committed to doing everything we can to help our heritage community recover from the effects of the pandemic.

In addition to today’s announcement, we have targeted programmes open to organisations in Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out more on our funding page.

From February 2021, we will resume accepting applications for National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £100,000-£250,000 and £250,000-£5m.

Further opportunities for organisations working with heritage to learn new skills, build capacity and strengthen resilience are available through our Digital Skills for Heritage and business support and enterprise development initiatives.