Grant Support for UK’s Heritage Sector


The impact of COVID-19 has hit the culture and heritage sector hard. Whilst we are starting to see sites beginning to re-open and once again enable the public to participate in and share their stories for many there is still a long way to go. 

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced in July the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sector from the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Further detail has now been published about how the fund will operate and the grants available through Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.  With a tight turnaround for applications we have provided a brief summary of the grants available below:

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage:  The NLHF is distributing £88 million of this to organisations in England through this funding programme.  The Fund will support heritage organisations that were financially sustainable before Covid-19, have exhausted all other financing options, and are now at risk of failure.  The money will support successful applicants to reopen, or if reopening under social distancing is not permissible or does not represent a value for money approach, to operate on a sustainable and cost efficient basis so that they are able to reopen at a later date.

Grants of between £10,000 and £3 million are available for organisations in England and all funding must be spent by 31 March 2021.  The deadline for applications is midday on Monday 17th August 2020.  Full guidance can be found here – https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-for-heritage

Arts Council England (ACE)

Culture Recovery Fund: Grants:  This programme is focussed on supporting cultural organisations at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year that are considered to be of international or national cultural significance, or contribute the Government’s levelling-up agenda.  ‘Culturak organisations’ are those that work in one of ACE’s supported artforms e.g. music, theatre, dance, visual arts and museums (accredited or working towards accreditation). 

Grants of between £50,000 and £3million will be awarded and all funding must be spend by 31 March 2021.  There are two rounds of applications: midday on Monday 10th August to midday on Friday 21st August and 4pm Friday 21st August to midday on Friday 4th September. The first round of funding is expected to allocate 75% of the available funding.  Further information can be found here – https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/CRFgrants#section-1

Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance:  Investment of £270 million for long term loans over £3 million is being made available through the repayable finance programme and will be available to both charitable and commercial organisations. Further details will follow imminently. 

How can hsd support you?

At hsd we have an experienced team of consultants, project managers and designers who will be able to advise and support you on your applications but also be deliver the outcomes of your funding to ensure you are best placed for re-opening and once again welcoming visitors.  Service provision includes:

  • Business planning and operational review
  • Risk management reviews
  • Visitor and audience research and development
  • Online content development
  • Signage and wayfinding solutions
  • Collections display assessments

If you want any advice or support please do not hesitate to get in touch with our New Business and Consultancy Team – info@haleysharpe.com or 0116 251 8555.