£50 million to help heritage sector through coronavirus

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The funding will address immediate pressures over the next three-six months for those organisations most in need, with the charity promising to continue supporting more than 2,500 projects that they have already committed to - an investment of more than £1 billion.

The new £50 million fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000, and is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is also accelerating the provision of its £1.2 million Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond.

Eilish McGuinness, National Lottery Heritage Fund executive director, Business Delivery, said:  “We know that circumstances are incredibly challenging for our heritage community right now and we want to do everything we can to support them. We hope this new fund will be a lifeline and a beacon of hope for organisations affected. Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal well-being. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from this current crisis.”

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “We are pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund have provided much needed funding at this difficult time for heritage organisations, who face the additional challenge of high maintenance costs for their buildings during the current closures. It is also positive that it recognises how investing in the ROSS network will help both heritage organisations, and provide work for hundreds of freelancers.

"Preserving heritage sites – war memorials, ancient castles and houses - contributes to local priorities by boosting economies, attracting visitors, developing workforce skills and creating great places to live. So it is important that this funding is available to ensure that our heritage sites are ready to open for business as usual when the coronavirus pandemic is over."