National Lottery

National Lottery Heritage Horizon Awards offer £100m sector grants

Article: David Styles | Image: Ros Kerslake at Alexandra Palace © Lloyd Winters

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has unveiled plans to award grants totalling £100 million over the next three years as part of the Heritage Horizon Awards.

Projects applying for funding support must follow a theme of “Backing big ideas, unlocking possibilities” and offer the industry something transformative, innovative and collaborative.

Awards of £5 million and over will be made to projects selected from application processes in 2020 and 2022, with £50 million allocated to both phases of the initiative.

While National Lottery Heritage Fund says all applications from across the heritage sector will be welcomed, projects will need to show “substantial proposals for recognising the funding contribution made by The National Lottery.” This could, the organisation notes, include naming rights such as those afforded to private philanthropists and trusts.

CEO of National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ros Kerslake, says successful applicants will need to demonstrate “bold plans” and “real ambition to deliver positive change within the communities they serve and put diversity and inclusion at the centre of their plans.”

The organisation’s most recent major funding awards for heritage were made in May 2017, with the latest round of grant awards being flagged up in the Strategic Funding Framework of January 2019.

“This year we’re celebrating the 25th year of The National Lottery and it’s an important moment to reflect on just how transformational this unique funding model has been for our heritage,” Kerslake continued.

“It is no secret that demand for National Lottery funding for good causes far exceeds available funding and we thought long and hard about whether we could continue to invest in such large scale projects,” she added. “When we consulted it was clear to us that if we stopped, it is unlikely that anyone else would be able to step in, and major, transformative heritage projects simply would not happen.”

Any organisation interested in applying for the first phase of the grants programme must submit an Expression of Interest form by 11 October 2019.

New requirements facing potential applicants

  • Projects will need to have “substantial proposals for recognising the contribution of The National Lottery”
  • Applications will need to feature a particular focus on The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s current strategic priorities
  • A new ‘Expression of Interest’ stage has been established to give applicants an “early steer” on whether or not they are a likely to be successful
  • The most promising applicants to the Expressions of Interest stage will be invited to present project proposals to a panel of Trustees
  • A shortlist of 10-12 successful will be publicly announced, with development funding available