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Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund Announce Changes

Posted on Wednesday 6 February 2019
The two lottery funders have changed their names and logos to reflect the direct connection between the sale of National Lottery tickets and the money going to good causes across the UK.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is now called the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and The Big Lottery Fund will now be known as The National Lottery Community Fund. As part of their rebrand, both have changed their logos to use the crossed fingers of the National Lottery and refreshed their websites.

This year marks a quarter of a century since the National Lottery began operating. Over the last 25 years, more than £30 million has been raised each week from the sale of the National Lottery tickets. This money is then awarded as grants to community and heritage projects, benefiting millions of people across the UK.

The National Lottery Community Fund (Big Lottery Fund) grant schemes remain unchanged. 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has a new simplified framework which includes an open programme of grants called the National Lottery Grants for Heritage.  This has been sub-divided into three categories:

  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage: £3,000 to £10,000
  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage: £10,000 to £250,000
  • National Lottery Grants for Heritage: £250,000 to £5million

Applications over £5m will be considered once in 2020 and another round in 2021. Decisions for grants up to £250,000 will be made locally, whilst those over £250,000 will go to one of three regional panels in England.

Ros Kerslake, the CEO of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Over the next five years, we expect to invest around £1.2 billion in the UK’s heritage…Our ambition for the money raised by National Lottery players is to inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities.” 

Project Enquiries will continue for projects under £250,00 but a new Expression of Interest (EOI) has been introduced for projects over £250,000.   Wellbeing joins the list of project outcomes, with all projects now expected to achieve one or more of the specified outcomes, including a mandatory one to involve a wider range of people in heritage. In addition, projects will have to address environmental sustainability, promote the role of the National Lottery in making the project possible and carry out evaluation. 

The new framework includes a separate programme of funding campaigns which will be rolled out over the coming year offering specific funds for time-limited projects. Themes include dynamic collections, digital capacity building, wellbeing; a programme of thought leadership, sharing practice and collaboration; and capacity building and resilience. 

This new scheme is very similar to the previous one, but it is not the same. Applicants who have not secured grants from previous applications are encouraged to look at their funding proposals afresh, rather than resubmit applications without amendments.  One major change is the removal of a development phase for grants between £100,000 - £250,000; the impact of this and alternative funding sources for project development works will be high on the agenda of discussions over the next month or so.   The Fund has indicated that it will monitor the new processes to ensure that they are found straightforward by users and do not disadvantage any particular sector.

In the meantime, please read the guidance in full at  If you have any questions please either contact the NLHF’s regional team directly or get in touch with Sue Dickinson and Holly Isted from the Church Buildings Team.

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