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National Lottery Heritage Fund announces plans to offer £3.6bn in funding over next decade


The National Lottery Heritage Fund plans to make £3.6 billion available through grants over the next ten years, under its new ten-year strategy, it has announced.

In its newly published strategy, Heritage 2033, the National Lottery Heritage Fund also says that that it is raising the ceiling for its funding programmes. These have had a ceiling of £5million for over 20 years, which it acknowledges has limited opportunities for some initiatives to come forward.

From this year, it will introduce a higher investment threshold of £10mn to allow for larger-scale investment and will also consider investing in projects above this threshold to support ‘truly exceptional heritage projects’ across the UK. It plans to adapt its investment thresholds and approach throughout the 10-year strategy to respond to heritage needs and requirements.

Its investments, decisions, and partnerships going forward will be underpinned by four key principles:

saving heritage

protecting the environment

inclusion, access and participation

organisational sustainability

Among its aims, by 2033 the National Lottery Heritage Fund wants to have put landscapes and habitats into recovery and improved heritage’s ability to adapt to climate change. It also wants to have increased diversity of heritage workforces and audiences, and reduced barriers for people under-served by heritage.

Details on how it will deliver its 10-year strategy will be published through three-year delivery plans but will include: open programmes for all types of heritage projects with the majority of decisions made at local level, and a focus on place, landscape and nature, heritage in need and responding to opportunities and emergencies.

Commenting on the new strategy, Simon Thurley, Chair, and Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Our new approach has been created through the generous contributions and expertise of many people and partners who care about heritage. We want to continue these conversations, so that National Lottery funding enables heritage to inspire and challenge, to delight and fascinate, now and in the future.”

The funder has also revealed news on its latest funding round, which has seen more than £24million awarded to heritage projects across the UK in development and delivery funding and grant increases.

These include:

Crystal Palace Park – £304,000 development funding towards a proposed £5m regeneration project to help restore the park’s Tidal Lakes, home of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, and create a new dinosaur-themed playground and information centre.

Gardeners’ House in Penzance ­– over £2mn to create a new green community hub in West Cornwall, repurposing a historic stable block to encourage environmental education and wellbeing.

The John O’Groats Mill – awarded almost £1.6mn to restore the mill as an economic and social driver of the community.

The Hilden Mill School, in Lisburn, Northern Ireland – £834,000 to transform its disused building into a tearoom and childcare facilities for local families. The site will also be used to promote the social and economic role of mills.

The Trinity Centre in Cardiff – £892,000 for wide ranging improvements to the former Methodist church. The project will support the work of 24 different groups based there.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested £8.6bn in heritage since 1994, supporting 50,000 projects. This This includes money raised by National Lottery players and – more recently – funding distributed on behalf of governments across the UK.

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