Recovery grants of up to £3m available for heritage organisations

A £92m funding pot for heritage projects affected by the pandemic has opened

Heritage organisations can now apply for grants of up to £3m to help them recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications are now open for the £92m Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage that will be distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The new fund is part of the wider £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund announced by culture secretary Oliver Dowden earlier this month.

It is open to heritage organisations managing a heritage site or visitor attraction, private owners of a heritage site, venue or attraction, and organisations managing, maintaining or caring for culturally significant assets or collections.

Businesses that are a vital part of the heritage ecosystem, as well as conservators, contractors, specialists and suppliers are also eligible, including organisations that manage culturally significant assets or collections, and non-accredited museums. 

Accredited museums and those working towards accreditation can apply to the Culture Recovery Fund through Arts Council England.

The deadline for applications to the heritage fund is midday on Monday 17 August, and decisions on awards will be made in late September. 

Ros Kerslake, chief executive at the NLHF, urged organisations to apply as soon as possible.

“For many heritage organisations this funding will be the lifeline they have been waiting for. We remain dedicated to helping the heritage sector emerge from this crisis with strength and resilience so that it can thrive once again,” he said.

Successful applicants for grants must have an innovative plan for how they will operate and be sustainable for the remainder of this financial year. They must also be able to demonstrate their international, national or local significance. 

Smaller, local organisations should demonstrate the role they play in cultural engagement with people from all backgrounds, the opportunities they create and how they benefit their local community and area. 

Organisations that have already received funding are still eligible for the grants, which range from £10,000 to £3m.

Sir Laurie Magnus, chair of Historic England, said: “The historic places that help define us are at risk of being lost forever. England’s heritage is worth £31bn to the economy, supports nearly half a million jobs and engages even more volunteers.”

Magnus said the fund was an acknowledgment that historic places can bring wide ranging social benefits, inspire communities to engage with their past and encourage creativity, regeneration and growth.

Dowden said in a statement: “We are publishing guidance so organisations know how to access help. We are also calling on organisations to be creative in diversifying their income streams and the public to continue supporting the places they love so this funding can be spread as far and wide as possible.”

The guidance and application process is available here

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