The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) has set up the £50 million Heritage Emergency Fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The funding is for organisations that cannot secure funding from other sources.

The Heritage Emergency Fund is designed as short-term funding to support the immediate actions required to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks.

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • A not-for-profit organisation.
  • A current or previous recipient of a grant directly from the Heritage Lottery.
  • An owner, manager or representative of heritage, or be able to show they have delivered participatory heritage activity.

Priority will be given to organisations that:

  • Have limited or no alternative access to other sources of support, for example, from Governments, other National Lottery distributors, other emergency funding from trusts and foundations.
  • Have already tried other options to stop being at risk such as putting projects on hold, rephasing milestones, repurposing other funding to support day-to-day operations, minimising costs but maximising the function of existing projects (value engineering).
  • Are in greater financial risk from COVID-19 due to a reliance on trading or community fundraising income streams.
  • Are in greater financial risk due to limited reserves.

As a guide, organisations can apply for funding to cover costs to:

  • Stabilise their organisation in the immediate term to make sure the vital heritage they care for is not put further at risk by COVID-19 (for example, staff costs to allow you to respond, design and deliver plans)
  • Help them plan and initiate mothballing of (putting aside or withdrawing from use) their heritage asset/s and other approaches to protecting heritage that is at risk
  • Run immediate risk management reviews and the actions identified as needed to safe guard their organisation
  • Reconfigure business plans, governance and activity needed to help safeguard the future of their organisation
  • Cover essential operational costs, for example, site security, maintaining climatic conditions for collections, or managing livestock on habitats.

Applications will be accepted from 15 April until 30 June 2020.


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