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£1bn support for UK’s heritage

Words: Laura Edgar
£8bn has been awarded to more than 44,000 heritage projects, including the Titantic Quarter Belfast / iStock-509799002

More than £1 billion of National Lottery money will go towards supporting the UK’s heritage.

Decisions on 80 per cent of all funding the National Lottery Heritage Fund, formerly the Heritage National Lottery, will be made in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and three new English areas (North, Midlands & East, and London & South).

Devolved decision-making is at the heart of plans to distribute the £1 billion. The name change is also part of the five-year plan: it is hoped the new name will help people better understand the difference they make when they buy a ticket.

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Over the past 25 years, money raised by people who buy National Lottery tickets has profoundly changed how we view and engage with the UK’s exceptionally varied heritage. By putting people at its heart, it has helped our wonderful buildings, iconic landscapes, cultural memories and traditions and native species not just survive, but thrive.

“Over the next five years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund will inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage, distributing more than £1 billion. So we will be making more decisions on funding locally and focusing on the heritage that really matters to people, creating jobs, bringing economic prosperity and improving people’s lives right across the UK.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund consulted with 13,000 people, including those who play the National Lottery and heritage organisations, on what its priorities should be.

The plan includes:

  • A major focus on nature, communities and ensuring everyone can enjoy heritage. These were the top priorities for those who responded to the consultation.
  • New models of investment, moving beyond grants to include loans and partnerships. This is designed to attract others to invest money alongside the National Lottery.
  • More support for commercial, sustainable approaches to tackling heritage that is in danger of being lost.
  • A requirement for every heritage project that receives funding to be environmentally friendly;
  • Greater engagement and support to help 13 deprived communities that have in the past been less successful securing funding; and
  • Continued support for large-scale, iconic projects over £5 million.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund said research has suggested that National Lottery players are keen to know more about how their money is used, therefore every organisation awarded funding will be asked to think about how National Lottery players will be thanked, acknowledged and invited to participate in their work.

Image credit | iStock