National Lottery Funder Commits To More Than £1bn For Heritage And Further Devolves Decision-Making Across The UK

Beamish Museum
Beamish Museum

New-look National Lottery Heritage Fund unveils plans for the next five years

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

Decisions on around 80% of all funding by the newly styled National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is changing its name from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be made in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three new English areas. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has consulted with more than 13,000 people, including National Lottery players and heritage organisations, on its priorities as the UK’s biggest funder of heritage.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund will continue to build on its previous investment in strategic collecting to support museums, archives and libraries across the UK. Working with sector agencies, initiatives to develop curatorial skills, share expertise, explore storage solutions, and utilise collections to benefit people and communities will be put in place to encourage dynamic collections management. Also announced was a commitment to continue supporting large-scale, projects over £5m.

The new approach also includes:

  • a major focus on inclusivity, ensuring everyone is able to enjoy heritage;
  • investment and support to help heritage organisations to be more financially sustainable;
  • new models of investment, moving beyond grants to include loans and partnerships, designed to attract others to invest money alongside the National Lottery;
  • simpler, streamlined and more efficient funding
  • more support for commercial, sustainable approaches to tackling heritage that’s in danger of being lost;
  • a requirement for every heritage project that receives funding to be environmentally friendly; and
  • greater engagement and support to help 13 deprived communities that have in the past been less successful securing funding.

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.”

Also unveiled  is a new look for the organisation that has distributed £8 billion to more than 44,000 projects over the past 25 years.

A fresh new identity and name – The National Lottery Heritage Fund – is designed to thank National Lottery players and help people better understand the difference they make when they buy a ticket. This move underlines ambitions to see returns to good causes grow.

Research has found that National Lottery players are keen to know more about how their money is used, so in future every organisation awarded funding will be asked to think about how National Lottery players will be thanked, acknowledged and invited to participate in their work.

For the first time all funding decisions up to £5 million will be decided by committees and senior staff in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three geographical areas in England: North; Midlands & East; and London & South. This will amount to around 80% of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s annual budget, compared with around half under the last strategic framework. Major awards over £5m will be decided by the UK Board of Trustees who will also drive the strategy and policy of the fund and make decisions on all UK heritage campaigns, joint funds and impact funds.  There will also be a wider network of office and staff locations across the UK to support this new structure.

A new, simplified portfolio of funding has today opened for applications.

The portfolio will comprise:

  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage – an open programme for any type of heritage project from £3,000–£5 million.
  • Heritage funding campaigns designed to fulfil strategic needs or funding gaps. The first two campaigns are will launch in 2019, focusing on: helping organisations build their capacity and organisational resilience; and helping 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 £5 million in 2020–21 and 2022–23.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage can be applied for immediately – most grants will now have a preliminary “expression of interest” stage. Details on other new funding areas will be rolled out during 2019.

Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said:

“The UK’s heritage is the story of our shared past and culture. The National Lottery has funded thousands of projects that protect and celebrate the country’s diverse landscapes, traditional crafts, and buildings.

“This change by The National Lottery Heritage Fund will give heritage experts in the UK more power to care for the heritage that means the most to local people, and ensure it is protected for future generations.”

National Lottery in numbers

  • 2019 is the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery. The first draw was broadcast live on BBC1 on 19th November 1994.
  • Each week, National Lottery players raise around £30 million for good causes. In total almost £40 billion has been raised and awarded to more than 535,000 individual projects – an average of 190 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.
  • £8 billion has been awarded to more than 44,000 heritage projects. Just under £3bn has been awarded to over 5,500 projects within museums, archives and libraries, including the V&A Dundee; John Rylands Library; St Fagans National Museum of History; Hull History Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Ulster Museum; the Mary Rose Museum; and the Science Museum.
  • Over 75% of Skills for the Future apprentices (1300) have secured jobs in the heritage sector – supporting the sector and the economy.
  • National Lottery funding has directly removed more than 250 buildings from national risk registers.





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