Two women working together in a cafe

Investing in Resilience

Investing in Resilience

Discover our resources, funding and programmes designed to support organisations working with heritage to build their capacity and resilience.

As the heritage sector faces some of its greatest challenges, our support is more important now than ever. As a commitment made in our Strategic Funding Framework and in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has introduced programmes and resources to help the heritage sector become more robust, enterprising and forward looking.

People attending a workshop

We are championing resilience through a range of approaches – through grant giving, funded programmes of training and support, and sharing the best practice we've learned over 25 years as the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK's heritage.

These various approaches have been created to assist organisations in having greater capacity to withstand threats, respond to opportunities and to adapt to changing circumstances to give you a more secure future.

What we can do for you

We have invested just over £4million in business support and enterprise development training programmes across the UK, working with organisations and experts in the sector to deliver them.

Business support programmes

Working with external specialists and professionals, we have developed a range of business support programmes tailored to all nations in the UK.

Rebuilding Heritage (UK-wide)

Rebuilding Heritage is a free programme delivered by the Heritage Alliance which offers one-to-one and small group support for organisations and individuals that work with heritage across the UK. 

The programme will help participants build confidence, overcome immediate challenges and plan for a sustainable future. The main areas of focus will include business planning, fundraising, and marketing and communications.

Opportunities are being offered on a rolling basis, with bi-monthly deadlines. 

Heritage Compass (England)

Man working on a dry stone wall in the North of England

Heritage Compass is a two year programme designed to help small and medium sized heritage organisations in England to grow resilience and invigorate the sector. It is being delivered by Cause4 in partnership with the Arts Marketing Association and Creative United. 

150 heritage organisations have been invited to gain tailored training, mentoring and peer learning, developing strategy and moving forward as part of a dynamic new cohort of heritage organisations.

Applications are now closed, but you can sign up to our emails to follow updates from this programme.

Surviving to Thriving (Scotland)

Kingfisher at the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre, Scotland

Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Sustainable Scottish Heritage Businesses is a resilience and leadership training programme is working with 40 heritage organisations in Scotland to help them develop sustainable business models. The tailored training will cover the topics of leadership, governance, business planning, and community engagement.

This programme is being delivered by industry experts from Museums Galleries Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland and Greenspace Scotland.

Re:Model (Northern Ireland)

Raleigh Hall development for Black Cultural Archives - two women studying archive material
Photo credit: Kois Miah

The Re:Model programme was launched in October 2020 and is being delivered by Thrive and Arts & Business NI.

Organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland involved in the programme are working to create their own personalised change plan which will act as a roadmap towards resilience and sustainability. This programme involves a mix of workshops, small group, one-to-one and networking meetings.

An initial cohort has already been recruited and a second round of applications will open in September 2021.

Business support in Wales

A programme of support for organisations in Wales will be announced in Spring 2021.

Older man teaching a teenage girl a heritage craft in Scotland

Enterprise development programmes

We have developed two UK-wide programmes aimed at supporting organisations working with heritage to develop enterprise skills.

Steps to Sustainability

Steps to Sustainability will support 60 organisations from across the UK to strengthen their strategic leadership and income-generating skills. The 14 month programme is being delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy, supported by consortium partners.

Organisations taking part will learn to be ambitious and forward-thinking, and how to deliver exciting new projects. The programme will provide the following:

  • help organisations prepare for and build sustainability
  • funding up to £10,000 to help shape and launch business ideas
  • post-programme coaching / business mentoring
  • resources and toolkits for success

The second round of this programme will be open for applications in February 2021.

Heritage Trade Up

School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) are working with the Heritage Trust Network and the Architectural Heritage Fund to deliver the Heritage Trade Up programme.

The programme will support leaders of up to 52 heritage organisations to develop and strengthen their entrepreneurialism. It aims to equip organisations with the skills and networks needed to be more innovative, increase traded income and financial resilience, and to create positive change within their organisations and communities.

SSE will support organisations to bring heritage to a wider audience, so the sector is better equipped to build a more connected and inclusive society.

To deliver this programme, SSE is working in partnership with a steering group comprised of a diverse range of leaders and influencers from across the heritage sector. The steering group will help shape the programme’s vision and learning offer, to ensure it is ambitious and targeted to the needs of the sector.

More information on how to take part will be available soon.

Development and funding

At the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we halted project grants to dedicate all our resources to emergency and recovery funding. This included our own £50m Heritage Emergency Fund, as well as funds delivered on behalf of the government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. By the end of the 2020-21 financial year, we will have distributed more than £500million into the sector. 

From November 2020, we began a phased reopening of National Lottery Grants for Heritage with refocused priorities. We want to support the sector in the medium term and build positive change across the UK's heritage. One of our key priorities is improving the resilience of organisations working in heritage.

Two gardeners pruning some flowers at Dyffryn Gardens, Wales

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Discover more resources, useful information and updates below: