An insider's guide to being a Committee member

An insider's guide to being a Committee member

Stephen Welsh visiting a project
Get a behind-the-scenes look into working within a Committee at The National Lottery Heritage Fund from one of our Committee members.

We’re currently on the lookout for a new Committee member to join the team in the North of England. To get an insight into what it’s like to be a member of the Committee and some of the best parts of the role, we spoke to current member, Stephen Welsh.

“The best thing about being a committee member is you can bring all of your lived experience, all of your personal experience, and you can genuinely make a change in people’s communities and lives.”

Stephen Welsh, North Committee member

Apply to join our North Committee

If that’s sparked your interest in joining our Committee, take a look at the full vacancy advert and find out how to apply.

We will be holding virtual drop-in sessions during January as a chance for you to find out more about The Fund and the role, as well as providing a chance to ask any questions you may have. For more information about these sessions, please contact

Session dates:

• Tuesday 12 January 2021, 6-6.30pm

• Thursday 21 January 2021, 1-1.30pm

Alternatively, we will also be holding a virtual Twitter Question and Answer session on 27 January from 9.30am-12pm on the North of England’s Twitter account @HeritageFundNOR. Follow the session and have your questions answered.

We’ve pulled together answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about what our Committee do in our FAQs below:


What decisions do the Committees make?

Committees make decisions on our National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £250,000 up to £5 million submitted to the area or country they represent.

Do I need to have a qualification in heritage to be a committee member?

​​​​​​No. At the National Lottery Heritage Fund we welcome members with all sorts of experience; lived experience as well as professional. We recognise that each person can bring a unique contribution and view point to our work.

What skills/experience do I need to be a Committee member?

The skills and experience that we require on our committees can be different each time we go out to recruit. The role description will tell you exactly what we are looking for when the opportunities arise. The core skills that we look for are: team working; the ability to think objectively, analytically and strategically; strong communication and influencing skills; awareness or connections of other organisations or groups in your local area; and the ability or willingness to speak in public events on behalf of The Fund. We believe that all these skills can be obtained through lived experiences.

Is the position paid?

Yes. In recognition of the work and time that Committee members spend on working for us all members are paid £3,000 per year. Payments are subject to national insurance and tax deductions

How much time will I be expected to commit to The National Lottery Heritage Fund?

We expect Committee members to dedicate 12 days a year to business for The Fund. This includes time to attend the four Committee meetings each year but not the time to read papers in preparation for them.

What happens at Committee meetings?

​​​​​​Committee members meet four times a year to discuss and make decisions on grant applications and to discuss any strategic issues for their area or country. Occasionally Committees will also be asked to provide feedback on projects over £5m, issues affecting their Area, and also how their Area is performing against The Fund’s priorities to the Board of Trustees.

How long does it take to prepare for a meeting?

This varies depending on the matters needing to be discussed and decided at a meeting. On average Committee members have reported that it usually takes them around half a day to prepare for the meeting.

Apart from the quarterly meetings what else will I be doing?

You will get a chance to engage directly with our grantees through project visits, project openings, events and discussion forums.

How long would I be a Committee member for?

Committee members are appointed on four year terms, which normally run from April to March. Members then have the option of being appointed for a second term. This means you could be working with The Fund for up to eight years.

What is the difference between a Committee member and member of staff?

Staff are responsible for the detailed assessment and the day-to-day monitoring of our projects. Committee members are asked to analyse these assessments and ultimately make decisions on where our funding is invested. Committee members also act as ambassadors for The Fund, representing us at project openings and other similar events.

How do staff and committee members work together?

At each committee meeting staff will provide members with an assessment of each project; its strengths, its weaknesses and how well it meets our outcomes. You may also attend project visits and openings with staff.

Will I be given any training for the role?

Yes. All new members will receive training as they begin their role. Members will also be given the opportunity to attend training and knowledge briefings that are put on for staff as appropriate. Members are also encouraged to raise any potential training needs during their appraisal meetings with their Committee Chairs.

I am a grantee. Can I still apply?

Yes. There is nothing stopping you from applying for these roles. A number of our committee members have been grantees and therefore we have a robust system in place to capture any conflicts of interest that may arise. Our application form also gives you the opportunity to highlight any conflicts of interest and these may be explored with you at interview.

Are Committees meetings still happening during the pandemic? What is their role?

Yes. Our committees are still making decisions on projects that are in progress ensuring that current grantees are being helped to adapt their projects to the pandemic. Committees are making no new awards at the moment and will not do so until after our National Lottery Grants for Heritage programmes reopens fully in February 2021.

What sort of projects does The National Lottery Heritage Fund support?

For examples of the sorts of projects we have funded in the North of England please visit this page. We would also suggest you read our Strategic Funding Framework which sets out our priorities for funding until 2024.

How do I apply for the role?

Our Board and Committee opportunities page has the full role description and further details on how you can apply for this opportunity.

Who can I talk to about this opportunity?

For more details please contact

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