South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

New-look National Lottery Heritage Fund launches Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024

A major devolution of decision-making across the whole of the UK is at the heart of new plans to distribute more than £1billion of National Lottery money to the UK’s heritage over the next five years.


Decisions on around 80% of all funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), which is changing its name from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be made in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three new English areas. The NLHF's vision for the next five years states: "We aim to be a strong thought leader and change-maker for the full breadth of heritage. We want to demonstrate and champion the impact and benefits to society that heritage achieves, and attract investment and support from others. We want heritage to be more widely recognised as a vital contributor to the economy, social cohesion, better places and individual wellbeing."



The NLHF's new approach includes:


  • A major focus on nature, communities, and on ensuring everyone is able to enjoy heritage – three top priorities for people who responded to the consultation
  • new models of investment, moving beyond grants to include loans and partnerships, designed to attract others to invest money alongside the National Lottery
  • more support for commercial, sustainable approaches to tackling heritage that’s in danger of being lost
  • investment and support to help heritage organisations to be more financially sustainable
  • a requirement for every heritage project that receives funding to be environmentally friendly
  • simpler, streamlined and more efficient funding
  • greater engagement and support to help 13 deprived communities that have in the past been less successful securing funding
  • continued support for large-scale, iconic projects over £5million


The application process for funding has now been simplified and their simpler portfolio is now open, which includes:



  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage - an open programme for any type of heritage project from £3,000–£5million
  • Heritage funding campaigns designed to fulfil strategic needs or funding gaps. The first two campaigns will launch in 2019, focusing on helping: organisations build their capacity and organisational resilience; to build digital capabilities
  • Joint funds to deliver strategic initiatives in partnership with other organisations, such as the Future Parks Accelerator partnership with the National Trust
  • Social investments such as impact funds and loans
  • Two rounds of major grants of over £5m in 2020–21 and 2022–23


Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Over the past 25 years, money raised by people who buy National Lottery tickets has profoundly changed how we view and engage with the UK’s exceptionally varied heritage. By putting people at its heart, it has helped our wonderful buildings, iconic landscapes, cultural memories and traditions and native species not just survive, but thrive.

“Over the next five years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund will inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage, distributing more than £1bn. So we will be making more decisions on funding locally and focusing on the heritage that really matters to people, creating jobs, bringing economic prosperity and improving people’s lives right across the UK.”


To read the full Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024, click here.




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