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AHF invites applications for next round of Transformational Project Grants

AHF invites applications for next round of Transformational Project Grants

Applications are invited for the next round of the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Transformational Project Grants, with a deadline of 30 September 2020.

The grants support the capital costs of conserving and adapting historic buildings, and are awarded under AHF‘s Transforming Places Places through Heritage programme. This programme contributes to the regeneration and renewal of high streets and town centres in England by supporting charities and social enterprises to create sustainable new community uses for redundant or underused historic buildings. It is funded by a £15 million grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Since starting the programme in 2019, the AHF has given £4.89 million in grants to 76 projects in England.

The programme exists within a wider set of interventions aiming to revive high streets in England. The other programmes are the High Street Heritage Action Zones, being led by Historic England, and the Future High Streets Fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and involving a number of local authorities. Many of the organisations and projects awarded grants by the AHF will be helping deliver key projects within some of these areas.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“This funding will help improve high streets in a number of places across the country, preserving heritage sites and historic buildings. We want to level up communities and help breathe new life into town centres to create jobs and economic growth.”

The AHF has also announced the recipients of the second round of its Transformational Project Grants. Awards have included £311,271 for 18-20 Market Street, Bacup (main image), and £280,000 for Hat Works in Luton.

The former will be converted into mixed commercial and residential use with co-working desk space on the ground floor for rent for local micro-businesses and on the upper floors affordable housing for two flats and supported accommodation for local young people at risk of homelessness. The latter will enable a new creative function for the oldest remaining hat factory in Luton, primarily through providing flexible co-working space for creative individuals and micro businesses.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO, Architectural Heritage Fund, said:

“This new round of Transforming Places grants is both timely and absolutely essential, supporting many recent recommendations, including those in the recently published Grimsey Review: Covid-19 Supplement for Town Centres. The AHF grants empower and finance those charities and social enterprises that are stepping up to facilitate change in their high streets and town centres by redesigning and diversifying the use of historic buildings, encouraging a brighter future for the towns of which they form a part.”


Main image: 18-20 Market Street, Bacup. Credit: Valley Heritage

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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