The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched an emergency package of support to protect heritage sites and organisations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Excavations in forefront, hills of Northumberland behind them
This community excavation at Harehaugh, Northumberland, is one of many projects that the NLHF has supported in the past. [Image: National Lottery Heritage Fund]

These resources include advice for organisations, and initiatives for longer-term skills- and capacity-building, as well as a Heritage Emergency Fund for organisations most in need. The Fund will prioritise those with limited or no other sources of support; those that have already tried to minimise costs through other approaches; and those that are at greater financial risk from COVID-19 because they rely on trading or community fundraising as a signifi cant part of their income, or have limited reserves.

The grants, which were launched in mid April, also prioritise organisations that are contributing to economic regeneration, inclusion, and well-being, and those that are working in one or more of the 13 under-represented geographical areas that the NLHF has identified in its Strategic Funding Framework. Funding will be prioritised, too, where heritage is most at risk. This includes both physical sites and intangible heritage that is likely to be lost, damaged, or forgotten, as well as important natural habitats and species in decline. Although high demand is expected for this funding, the programme is focused on supporting the full breadth of the heritage sector.

Applicants must be not-for-profit; a current or previous recipient of a grant directly from the NLHF; and an owner, manager, or representative of heritage, or have an evidenced track record of involvement in heritage activity.

Organisations can apply for grants ranging from £3,000 to £50,000, intended to cover unavoidable essential costs that they otherwise cannot meet. These essential costs include funding required to stabilise the organisation in the short term, to initiate the withdrawal of heritage from use to ensure that it is not put further at risk by COVID-19, or to reconfigure plans to safeguard the organisation’s future, as well as essential operational costs or costs from homeworking and sharing information online.

In late May, the NLHF opened applications for further emergency grants of £50,000 to £250,000, which can be used to cover both immediate costs and costs to help organisations with longer-term recovery.

More information can be found at www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/heritage-emergency-fund. Applications for the Heritage Emergency Fund close on 30 June.


This news article appears in issue 364 of Current Archaeology. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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