Coronavirus Resources – ACE, NLHF & Historic England Funding

Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England have recently announced support packages for those dealing with the impact of Coronavirus on their organisations.

NOTE that if you apply to both Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund to support COVID-19 response work, you should only accept funding from one funder. You must indicate in your application to each funder if you have also applied to the other.

This page was last reviewed on 14 May.





What is it?
NLHF are making £50million available via a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis. They will be providing short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites they have previously invested in to ensure they are not lost to the public.

The Heritage Emergency Fund will be available as:

• A fund that organisations can access over the next three-six months as short-term funding to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Grants of between £3,000-£50,000 will be available.
• A select number of key strategic investments where heritage is identified as at greatest risk. This could include grant increases to funded projects that are currently underway.

Who can apply?
To apply for the Heritage Emergency Fund, you must be:

– a not-for-profit organisation
– a current or previous recipient of a grant directly from NLHF
– an owner, manager or representative of heritage, or be able to show you have delivered participatory heritage activity

You must meet all three criteria above to apply for funding through the Heritage Emergency Fund.

NLHF is not accepting applications from:

• statutory organisations, for example, local authorities, even if you have previously received funding
• private owners of heritage, even if you have previously received funding
• organisations that have previously only received funding from us for activity-based projects under £10,000.
• organisations mainly funded by UK and devolved Governments
• organisations that have already accepted emergency funding from another National Lottery distributor.

When can I apply?
You can apply for the Heritage Emergency Fund from 15 April up to 30 June 2020.

How to apply to the Heritage Emergency Fund

Before you apply
If you have a closed National Lottery Heritage Fund project (you have received your final payment), you can contact your local team to discuss your options before you apply.

If your National Lottery Heritage Fund project is still running, we recommend you speak to your investment manager before you start an application to discuss the options available to you. If you need to apply for any direct capital costs for an existing National Lottery Heritage Fund project, make sure you speak to your investment manager before you apply, as you may be eligible for an increase to your existing grant.

When you are ready to apply
The application form will be available from Wednesday 15 April. To support applicants interested in applying to the Fund, we have prepared a list of application information. You may find it helpful to gather this information before completing your formal application form. If you are applying for £10,000 or more, you also need to send us the following supporting documents:

Supporting documents to send NLHF for applications of £10,000 or more
• An income and expenditure forecast for day-to-day operations, excluding any income and expenditure related to a specific project(s) that you are already committed to for which you have earmarked or restricted funding
• A cashflow forecast prepared on the same basis as the income and expenditure forecast. These documents should relate to the period for which you are applying for funding and include any other income from any other emergency funding sources.

How NLHF will prioritise
NLHF will prioritise organisations that:

• have limited or no alternative access to other sources of support, for example, from Governments, other National Lottery distributors, other emergency funding from trusts and foundations
• have already tried other options to stop being at risk such as putting projects on hold, rephasing milestones, repurposing other funding to support day-to-day operations, minimising costs but maximising the function of existing projects (value engineering)
• are in greater financial risk from COVID-19 due to a reliance on trading or community fundraising income streams
• are in greater financial risk due to limited reserves

What will NLHF fund
The Heritage Emergency Fund is short-term funding to support the immediate actions needed to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. You can apply for a grant between £3,000 and £50,000 to cover unavoidable costs you will otherwise be unable to meet for up to four months. You should only apply for essential costs. Partnership funding is not required.

As a guide you could apply for costs to:
• stabilise your organisation in the immediate term to make sure the vital heritage you care for is not put further at risk by COVID-19 (for example, staff costs to allow you to respond, design and deliver plans)
• help you plan and initiate mothballing of (putting aside or withdrawing from use) your heritage asset/s and other approaches to protecting heritage that is at risk
• run immediate risk management reviews and the actions identified as needed to safe-guard your organisation
• reconfigure business plans, governance and activity needed to help safeguard the fu-ture of your organisation
• cover essential operational costs, for example, site security, maintaining climatic con-ditions for collections, or managing livestock on habitats.


Applications for Historic England’s emergency response fund have now closed (closed 3 May).


Applications for the Arts Council England (ACE) emergency funding streams have now closed (closed 30 April).

AIM support – Help with making applications
If you need advice or help putting in an application get in touch. Our consultants have considerable experience in developing grants applications and we can offer up to an hour of support to help you work on your application.The support will be made available via our Online Advice Surgeries.For more information on accessing application support contact Margaret Harrison

AIM Coronavirus resources
All AIM Coronavirus resources can be found here.