Rising to the challenge - creating a stronger and more resilient heritage economy

Dame Jenny Abramsky set out HLF’s plans for investing £375m a year of lottery money over the next five years and announced new funding streams and initiatives designed to enable a strong, robust sector to respond in new ways to the conditions it now faces.

In addition, she said that HLF would listen to the 2,000 responses to its consultation, which called on HLF to use its long experience and considerable influence to stimulate new ideas and approaches, share best practice and to act as a strong voice for heritage.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “We believe that, as the biggest funder for the sector, we should respond to the changing world with flexibility. We want to ensure our heritage is supported effectively and imaginatively, contributing to the economy and helping it continue to flourish for generations to come.”

John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, said: “Our heritage – whether it’s historic buildings or breath-taking landscapes and natural features – really matters. It plays a vital role in our economy, and will be an important element in our recovery. It brings money in, provides jobs and brings our history to life for successive generations – best of all, it helps to make us proud of who we are and where we have come from.

“The HLF have done great work over the last 18 years supporting heritage projects, and the new strategy aims to take this still further. I commend it to everyone.”

New funding policies and initiatives

The strategic framework for 2013-2018 sets out plans designed to deliver long term and sustainable benefits in response to the newly emerging needs facing the heritage sector. It includes plans to:

  • offer support for building organisational resilience in the heritage sector, through supporting the development of skills, including running a further round of the Skills for the Future programme; offering development funding and professional mentoring to develop robust projects and introducing start-up grants and transition funding for organisations needing to cope with new challenges;
  • kick start philanthropy through providing endowments and smaller grants for capacity building and support for fundraising training;
  • stimulate local economic growth with a new Heritage Enterprise scheme designed to fund partnerships – including social and private enterprises – to develop sustainable new uses for the most challenging historic sites;
  • recognise the size and scale of the environmental impact of our funding by becoming  the first major funding body to require carbon footprinting as part of the application process for projects over £2m;
  • lead the way in encouraging the sector to use digital technology, by asking HLF-supported projects to make their digital content widely available at no charge. HLF will also fund stand-alone digital projects; 
  • extend HLF support for heritage in private ownership under the Our Heritage programme (£10,000 to £100,000) for physical works to heritage provided they achieve a step-change in terms of public access and engagement;
  • continue to make applying to HLF more straightforward, with the introduction of Sharing Heritage – a new very simple grant programme for smaller projects needing £3,000-£10,000;
  • create online communities to showcase good practice and encourage the exchange of ideas and innovations;
  • and increase the maximum grants for the Landscape Partnerships Programme from £2m to £3m and expand the geographical area it will support.

Other changes to HLF grant programmes include:

  • a UK-wide programme which continues to support urgent repairs plus additional facilities which open up of places of worship for greater community use;
  • a further Collecting Cultures initiative in late 2013 to encourage a strategic approach to collection development and acquisition in museums, archives and libraries.

View the full strategic framework publication and responses from the sector.

Notes to editors

  • Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
  • Open programmes: Sharing Heritage (£3,000 - £10,000); Our Heritage (£10,000 - £100,000); Heritage Grants (£100,000 - £5m); and Heritage Grants Major Batch (£5m+).
  • Targeted programmes: Young Roots (£10,000 - £50,000); Parks for People (£100,000 - £5m); Places of Worship (£100,000 - £250,000); Landscape Partnerships (£100,000 - £3m); Townscape Heritage (£100,000 - £2m); and Heritage Enterprise (£100,000 - £5m).
  • Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK. 

Further information

Please contact Katie Owen or Lydia Davies, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6036/6032 or mobile: 07973 613 820.

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