Introduction to the new priorities for National Lottery Grants for Heritage
Early in 2020, the National Lottery Heritage Fund stopped its normal funding rounds to focus on emergency funding for heritage projects significantly affected by the COVID pandemic. In April 2021, the National Lottery Heritage Fund restarted funding non-COVID heritage projects, but with some important changes to the priorities they had set out in their 2019-2024 Strategic Funding Framework.
Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we recover from the current pandemic
– National Lottery Heritage Fund
The key difference in project funding from April 2021 to March 2022 will be a shift in focus away from Strategic Funding Framework priority outcomes which are focussed simply on the improvement and interpretation of heritage. Instead, the focus will be heavily weighted towards the outcomes relating to the economic, social and environmental value of heritage and how National Lottery Heritage Fund funding can help to support local economies and communities.
Therefore, if you are hoping to attract National Lottery Heritage Fund funding for your heritage project, in order to be competitive during a time of unprecedented competition for funding, you will need to demonstrate that the project will not only meaningfully address the mandatory outcome ‘’a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’. You will also need to show how the project will address one or more of these additional outcomes:
- economy including job creation: ‘the local economy will be boosted’
- wellbeing: ‘people will have greater wellbeing’
- local areas: ‘the local area will be a better place to live, work and visit’
- skills: ‘people will have developed skills’
- organisational resilience: ‘funded organisations will be more resilient’
Already, Craigmyle consultants have needed to help our clients make difficult decisions about whether they will be able to meet the National Lottery Heritage Fund new priorities and requirements, in some cases, it has not been possible. In other cases, the new guidelines, while certainly challenging the organisations’ original plans, have allowed clients to view their heritage assets in new ways. Clients have been able to re-evaluate their existing impact within their communities and create ways to build on those existing activities and relationships. This allows them to not only better serve their communities but to also increase their own potential supporter bases and shore up their sustainability.
In order to help potential applicants to get to grips with the new funding focus, the National Lottery Heritage Fund is offering additional support through online guidance and advice notes and sharing best practice. See https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/national-lottery-grants-heritage-2021-22
And the experts here at Craigmyle are here to help you too, with support through the whole National Lottery Heritage Fund application process, in a way that suits you and your unique organisation. Contact us to discuss how your application can address the National Lottery Heritage Fund new priorities.