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National Lottery Heritage Fund to offer loans & partnerships

National Lottery Heritage Fund to offer loans & partnerships

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has unveiled its plans for the next five years, which will include offering loans and partnerships as well as investing around £1.2 billion in heritage projects.

Following this week’s name change from the , the National Lottery Heritage Fund announced a number of changes to the way it will operate.

From now on, all decisions up to £5 million, which equates to around 80% of all of its funding, will be made in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three new English areas: North; Midlands and East; and London and South.

It will also explore social and other models of investment, including loans and partnerships in addition to grants. In its Strategic Funding Framework for 2019–2024 document, CEO Ros Kerslake says:

“By investing a proportion of our income, initially small, in social investments (for example through loans and impact funds) we will recycle some of our funding and increase our impact. We will build capacity in organisations to take advantage of repayable finance, and use additional investment to grow the overall ‘pot’ available for heritage.”

The document also announces a streamlining of its grantmaking portfolio, which will see the vast majority of its funding to be delivered through National Lottery Grants for Heritage. This is an open programme for any type of heritage project from £3,000 to £5 million, and can be applied to immediately.

Other changes include:

  • Simplifying its application processes and requirements, including introducing single-round grants up to £250,000
  • Launching heritage funding campaigns with the objective of fulfilling strategic needs or funding gaps. The first two will launch this year and will focus on helping organisations build their capacity and organisational resilience, and 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, and two rounds of major grants of over £5m in 2020–21 and 2022–23
  • More support for commercial, sustainable approaches to tackling heritage in danger of being lost
  • More investment and support to help heritage organisations be more financially sustainable

It will also make it a requirement for every heritage project that receives funding to be environmentally friendly.

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.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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