Steps to Sustainability

60 ‘enterprising’ UK heritage organisations to receive support via Steps to Sustainability programme

Image: © Social Enterprise Academy

The second round of the Steps to Sustainability is open to applications, with UK heritage organisations being offered support with strategic leadership and income-generating skills.

Eligible organisations can apply for seed and match funding grants of up to £10,000 to develop a new income generating idea, with the goal of boosting resilience by embedding enterprise at the heart of operations.

The programme is delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy and supported by sector partners; Museums Galleries Scotland, Association of Independent Museums, Northern Ireland Museums Council and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales.

“As museums and heritage organisations look to recover from the impact of Covid-19, this responsive programme will help them become more resilient and enterprising,” says Donna Petrie, programme & delivery manager at the Social Enterprise Academy.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with our sector partners to support organisations across the UK build a sustainable future that supports local economies.”


Applications are open to small or medium heritage organisations based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those who want to attend a Scottish Gaelic language delivered programme, who:

  • Have an income-generating idea that is not yet fully formed
  • Need the resources and support this programme offers to pursue this idea
  • Will release up to two people from your organisation, ideally a trustee and a staff member or volunteer to attend the full programme
  • Can commit to the full programme schedule

Even if an applicant doesn’t meet all these criteria, discussions can be had regarding participation by emailing a summary of an organisation’s situation to: [email protected]

Application deadline: Friday 23rd July 2021

National Lottery Heritage Fund backing makes the initiative possible, with its support enabling 52 staff, volunteers and board members from 28 heritage organisations to participate in Round 1 of Steps to Sustainability.

Eilish McGuinness, executive director for business delivery, at National Lottery Heritage Fund, says that by investing in the Steps to Sustainability programme the funding body aims to “ensure that organisations across the UK who work with our all-important heritage are able to unlock their entrepreneurial potential”.

Through “supporting leadership and developing income generation skills”, she adds, “these organisations will become well equipped to face any future challenges that might come their way”.

For more information on the programme or to make an application, click here.