Last updated: 18 June 2020.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is a worrying time for all of us. It is having a significant impact on the people and organisations we work with.
We want to reassure everyone we fund that we will be as flexible and supportive as we can be during this very challenging time.
If you are concerned about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your heritage project or organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service team.
We remain open for business
We are conducting most of our day-to-day business remotely.
Please get in touch with our Area and Country teams for any advice.
How we are helping
- grants of between £3,000–£250,000 are available from our £50million Heritage Emergency Fund – deadline 12noon Friday 31 July
- the £1.2m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative
- bespoke support via our local teams and specialist network of mentors
- enterprise development and business support programmes – more information soon
Supporting existing projects
If we have already made a commitment of funding to you, we will continue to work with, and support, you.
We will be as flexible as possible, for example around reporting requirements, bringing forward payments and discussing changes of scope, cost or timings due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impact.
This applies to more than 2,500 projects in development and delivery where our investment commitments total over £1bn.
For those in development, we still expect to make decisions on delivery grants (although these remain competitive).
Halting new applications
- We have halted all new Committee-level grants (£250,000–£5m) and single-stage delegated grants (£3,000-£250,000) until at least October 2020.
- Organisations that have been selected to apply for Heritage Horizon Awards (grants over £5m) will deferred until the 2021/22 financial year. We will not be opening a further round of funding for Heritage Horizon Awards.
What is the Heritage Emergency Fund?
We will be investing the £50m where it is needed most by:
- providing funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects
- safeguarding heritage sites we have previously invested in.
- helping organisations safely reopen in line with Government guidelines.
The Heritage Emergency Fund is available as:
- funding (grants of between £3,000–£50,000 and £50,000–£250,000) to stabilise operations, manage unforeseen risks and help organisations to reopen and recover
- key strategic investments where heritage is identified as at greatest risk. This could include grant increases to funded projects that are currently underway.
The deadline to apply for Heritage Emergency Fund grants is 12noon Friday 31 July.
How to apply for the Heritage Emergency Fund
The application deadline has been extended until 12noon 31 July 2020, giving you more time to apply.
Who can apply?
To apply for the Heritage Emergency Fund, you must be:
- a not-for-profit organisation, and
- a current or previous recipient of a grant directly from us, and
- an owner or manager of a heritage asset or representative of heritage
Additional criteria applies to each grant level.
Before you apply
Applying for a Heritage Emergency Fund grant is different from the usual way of applying for a grant.
The application form must be completed in one go, as it cannot be saved. It is important that you prepare your application material before you start.
If you receive a grant
The Heritage Emergency Fund is only possible thanks to people who play The National Lottery. Here are our simple tips on ways you could acknowledge your grant.
Digital Skills for Heritage
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made the need for organisations to understand and make use of digital more pressing than ever.
We are working with our partners to better meet the new and emerging needs of the heritage sector. We also want to help organisations develop the skills that will build their resilience long term.
As well as the Heritage Emergency Fund and Digital Skills for Heritage, we will also support the sector in the following ways:
- By continuing to support the 2,500 projects we have already committed to funding.
- By being as flexible as possible for our existing grantees.
- By providing bespoke advice and support.
- A £2m commitment to our network of ROSS consultants in 2020/2021. We will direct that support to organisations in need. In doing so we are also helping several hundred freelancers and self-employed people.
- Working closely with the Government, other funders and heritage organisations to bring together support for the sector.
- In the longer term, we have invested £4m in two enterprise development programmes across the UK for heritage leaders, and business support programmes in all four countries. More information on this soon.
Reopening guidance for heritage
The following guidance has been issued from government and will be relevant to the heritage sector when planning for reopening. Please be aware that guidance may differ for organisations based in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We will update this list, including guidance from devolved governments, as more information becomes available.
- Government guidance for heritage locations on working safely
- National Museum Directors' Council guidelines on reopening museums
- Government guidance for the visitor economy on working safely
- Government guidance on safer public places - urban centres and green spaces
- Northern Ireland Department for Communities phased return guidance for culture and heritage destinations/venues
Support from other organisations
We will update this list with more information as it becomes available.
- Government guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- guidance on the Job Retention Scheme for employers and employees
- guidance on the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) / Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) (England only)
- guidance on the Government's Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- advice and support for businesses from the Scottish Government
- support for the cultural and creative sector from the Scottish Government
- a round-up of support for Welsh organisations from Business Wales
- support for business and employers in Northern Ireland from NIDirect
Support from heritage and wider sectors
What you told us
To help gauge the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the people and heritage organisations we work with, we conducted two surveys in March 2020.
The surveys helped us gather information about the immediate and longer-term impact of the pandemic on the heritage sector. This informed the design of the Heritage Emergency Fund.
NHS and Government advice
We are following the Chief Medical Officer’s advice. The NHS has published information about the symptoms, essential hygiene and what action people should be taking to reduce the virus spreading.
This is a changing environment, so it is important to keep abreast of these important updates. Information from the Government is being updated daily.