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The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), outbreak, the National Lottery Heritage Fund sent out a nationwide survey to heritage organisations and grant holders. As a result, the Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector. 

The Heritage Emergency Fund will consist of money diverted from new grants, thus the decision has been made to halt all new grant applications with immediate effect.  This includes some applications submitted during March 2020 - please contact the Fund directly if you have recently made an application and are awaiting a decision.

At this time, the Fund cannot say for certain when the normal grants programme will be open again, but it is unlikely to be before October 2020.

Please note: if the Fund has already made a commitment of funding to you, they will continue to work with you and offer support. This applies to more than 2,500 projects in development and delivery.  The Fund recognises that you may need to change the scope and timetable of your project and will offer advice to help make those decisions.  For those in development, the Fund still expects to make decisions on delivery grants (although these remain competitive, as previously).

If you are already delivering a project the Fund will be as flexible as possible, relaxing reporting requirements where possible, bringing forward payments if necessary, and discussing with you changes of scope or cost due to COVID-19 impact.

The UK-wide Heritage Emergency Fund - money raised from The National Lottery - will address immediate pressures over the next three-six months for those organisations most in need. It will be open for applications within the next few days.  The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.  Organisations which have received funding in the past or are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.  Priority will be given where:

  • there is limited or no access to other sources of support
  • where heritage is most at risk
  • where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19

For more information visit the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s website:

Other Grant Funders

The Foyle Foundation has also suspended its grant programme and the National Lottery Community Fund are looking to change deadlines. Most other grant schemes, however, are currently continuing as normal, though there might be flexibility with deadlines and decisions due to new working arrangements. 

If you are thinking of making a grant application during the next three – six months, please check carefully all the information and criteria of the grant giving organisation(s) to avoiding wasting your time.

For help and advice please contact:




Page last updated: Friday 3rd April 2020 9:32 AM
First published on: 3rd April 2020
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