Since the launch of the National Lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1994 20% of good cause money has been invested in Heritage. That’s around £7.1 billion into 40,000 heritage projects over the last twenty three years, including large infrastructure projects and small educational visits. Over that time, Jean has worked with multi-disciplinary teams to obtain Heritage Lottery Fund grants as large as £9.1 million. Jean has worked with museums and archives to obtain grants as large as £330,000 and consulted for community groups on small projects worth £45,000, amongst many other bids. She has also obtained funding from the world governing body of football, FIFA and the European football confederation UEFA, on large international comparative projects. This advice comes from expertise of bidding across a range of funding schemes. Most recently, Jean has obtained funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a Collaborative Doctoral Award, worth over £60,000 to supervise a PhD student who will be working with The Hockey Museum and its archive to develop oral histories of leading female international players from the 1950s onwards. So it is safe to say that Jean will have at least one ‘active’ bid developing at any one time.
However, if you are new to the process, there are much smaller Heritage Lottery Funding projects too, that have taught young people about history and heritage in innovative ways or developed their skills and employability.
Generally, Heritage Lottery Fund projects tend to fall into the following categories: 1. land and natural heritage 2. museums, libraries and archives 3. buildings and monuments 4. cultures and memories 5. industrial, maritime and transport 6.community heritage.
So, what do you need to know to shape your bid? These are the key questions to ask yourself and your team:
Is it a project?
Does the project have a clear heritage focus?
Is there a need or demand for it?
What people and audiences will it reach?
Can you include volunteering, such as groups or project partners?
Is the planning and management financially realistic?
What difference will it make?
Why now? What is the urgency? An anniversary or match funding might help here!
What is the benefit to the public and communities?
Your project outputs need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (think of the acronym SMART).
Some of the outcomes might seem obvious but it is important to show that the funding will make a clear difference. So don't be afraid to spell out the evidence.
Some key phrases might be:
‘Heritage would be identified or better managed, conserved in better condition or better interpreted.’
‘People, especially across generation, might learn or develop skills, change their behavior or volunteer time.’
‘The heritage will reach more people or a wider range of people.’
So the next step is to familiarise yourself with the different schemes. All information has been fact checked at the date of publication but please note that schemes and project guidelines may change. The following is advisory rather than definitive, so please refer in the first instance to https://www.hlf.org.uk
Sharing Heritage is a specific fund for small community projects £3,000-10,000.
There is a specific fund for First World War ‘then and now’ projects worth £3,000-£10,000.
For larger projects, Our Heritage funds between £10,000-100,000 and is a very competitive scheme, as are the Heritage Grants scheme for projects over £100,000.
The Young Roots project targets young people and heritage projects between £10,000 and £50,000., while Kick The Dust aims to change the way that young people engage with heritage and is a large scheme worth between £500,000 and £1 million. There are specific schemes for places of worship, building skills, and transforming urban and rural landscapes. If you have an existing organization that needs help to build resilience or to develop entrepreneurial expertise, there are also schemes for these skills.
Have a great idea? Why wait? Start writing that bid? Good Luck!