Lottery Fund Applications
||9-20 High Street, Kinver, rescued by the West Midlands Historic Buildings
When acquired by the Trust, this Grade II listed building, which dates
from the 16th century, was in a very poor condition (left) with unauthorised,
badly constructed extension work behind. It has now been restored
to residential use (right), removing an eyesore from the street scene.
This project cost £200,000 and was assisted by a £64,000 grant from
the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It is difficult to discuss conservation projects
today without making reference to the National Lottery: for some it has
been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but for others simply a
mirage. Whichever way you view it, one thing is sure; your application
will have very little chance of success if you do not understand both
the objectives of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and how the application
process works. In this respect it has similarities with the planning system:
you need to know the rules, but you also need to know how to present your
case to the best advantage.
The National Lottery was established
in 1994 to create extra funds for five 'good causes': heritage, arts,
sports, charities and projects to mark the year 2000 and the beginning
of the new millennium. An additional good cause, the New Opportunities
Fund was added in October 1997.
In 1994 the five 'good causes' were each
given 20 per cent of the lottery proceeds, but the figure was reduced
to 16.6 per cent with the introduction of the New Opportunities Fund.
The Government has recently announced that these allocations will remain
for the next few years except that the New Opportunities Fund will inherit
a further 16.6 per cent when the income to the Millennium Fund is curtailed.
With the introduction of the lottery it became
necessary to find a mechanism to administer the new system, and for heritage
projects this task fell to the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial
Fund who are responsible for the working of the HLF and the allocation
The original powers provided under the National
Lottery etc. Act 1993 have been extended by the National Heritage Act
1997 and by New Directions provided in 1998 by the Secretary of State
for Culture Media and Sport, which means that a wider range of projects
can now be supported.
The aim of the Heritage Lottery Fund is to
improve the quality of life by:
and enhancing the heritage of buildings, objects and the environment,
whether man-made or natural, which have been important in the formation
of the character and identity of the United Kingdom
people to appreciate and enjoy their heritage
them to hand it on in sound condition to future generations.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Any organisation or individual
may apply for awards from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project which
meets the criteria but HLF does not expect to make grants for projects
concerning individual sites or buildings in private or commercial ownership.
Public and not-for-profit organisations are
institutions and organisations funded by central government
and educational institutions
- voluntary organisations.
As a minimum HLF expects applicants to have
a constitution or a set of rules, and a bank or building society account.
Since 1995 the HLF has committed
over £1 billion to more than 2,000 projects across the UK. These are classified
into separate heritage areas with the percentage allocations as follows:
galleries and collections 45 per cent
buildings 29 per cent
and nature conservation 7 per cent
parks 7 per cent
maritime and transport 7 per cent
and libraries 5 per cent
By number, 84 per cent of grants have been
under £500,000 and 54 per cent under £100,000.
In its consultation paper of 1
October 1998 HLF indicated that its 1998/99 allocation of £280 million
(the 16.6 per cent) is expected to fall to £218 million by the year 2001/2.
Out of this allocation, the current £86 million for historic buildings
and townscapes is predicted to fall to £53 million. The Fund is already
significantly oversubscribed, (probably by a ratio of five-to-one) and,
as the HLF extends it range of activities and the resources decline, the
problem of over-subscription will worsen.
HLF publishes a comprehensive application
pack which provides detailed information on all aspects of its policies
and procedure. In addition, specific publications have been produced giving
Plans for Historic Places
Grant Scheme for Churches or Other Places of Worship
The first step in considering an approach
to HLF must be to obtain this information pack and read it carefully.
The application form acts as a checklist and provides a useful precis
for setting out a work programme. It is also useful to obtain the latest
'Lottery Update' which will advise of any changes in policy and procedures.
Conservation is the first priority
of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This reflects a concern articulated across
all heritage sectors (and beyond) that the heritage of our country faces
an escalating threat from social, economic and political pressures. Much
of that heritage is not protected by legislation or by agencies who have
statutory powers to support the heritage sectors.
A key role for the Heritage Lottery Fund
is therefore to promote and support conservation. But it does not just
do this to achieve the benefit of conservation alone. Conservation is
the first stage in a process which moves seamlessly into the generation
of direct public benefits from access and education, as well as indirect
benefits from promoting regeneration, tourism, challenging social exclusion
and alleviating social deprivation.
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA ARE:
Importance of the project to
the heritage Applicants should describe the particular importance
of their project in local, regional or national terms. This may involve
historical assessment and research: the stronger the case, the more likely
it is to succeed. If a building is at risk, the degree of risk will be
relevant and should be clearly assessed and stated. You will need a supporting
statement from your local authority and you should ensure at an early
stage that the authority fully understands your project and is in favour
of its implementation.
Conservation benefits of the project
You should explain how your project will help to preserve and enhance
the building concerned, and a conservation statement is desirable. Major
schemes, those over £500,000, will need to be supported by a conservation
Access benefits of the project HLF
aims to ensure that as many and as wide a range of people as possible
will benefit from access, in the widest sense, to all the projects it
funds. Applicants need to explain how their project will enhance physical
or intellectual access to the heritage.
Additional public benefits You should
explain what additional public benefits, over and above enhanced access,
will be achieved. HLF looks for evidence that a project is supported by
the local community and that it relates to local, regional or national
plans or heritage policies. Social and economic benefits should also be
Quality of design of the project Quality
(of design and materials) is a key consideration in the assessment of
all projects relating to the refurbishment of buildings and the creation
of new ones. HLF will assess whether the work proposed meets appropriate
standards of repair, conservation, or other relevant technical or professional
skills, and whether it will be carried out by competent persons. The message
here is to make sure that you have the right team and demonstrate your
commitment to quality.
Financial need and viability Project
costs are examined to establish that they are realistic and provide value
for money. Partnership funding is required and must be sufficient to allow
the scheme to proceed. As a general rule the matched funding requirement
are 25 per cent for schemes over £100,000 and 10 per cent for those under.
It is essential to show that there is a need for lottery funding; if a
project could reasonably be expected to succeed without, then a grant
will not be made. The applicant organisation's current financial position
and likely ability to maintain the project in the long term are also important
considerations. Full business plans are required for all projects costing
more than £500,000.
Strengths of the organisation HLF
will assess the strengths of the applicant organisation and whether it
has the experience and capacity to manage the project both while it is
being carried out and following completion.
Grants of over £5 million are defined by
HLF as 'major heritage projects' Applications for these are assessed twice
yearly in a competitive bid process held in December and mid-summer.
In order to help focus resources
on heritage targets which appear underfunded, or where resources could
be strategically directed in concert with other agencies, HLF has developed
a number of specific themes for grant making. Each theme has a ringfenced
allocation, normally for a set period of years. Of these, the main building
related programmes are Urban Parks, Joint Places of Worship and the Townscapes
AND COUNTRY STRATEGIES
Up until October 1998 HLF has been
an organisation based in central London, and seeking from there to fulfil
its UK-wide remit. Since August 1997, however, staff dealing with the
assessment of applications have been formed into separate teams, each
covering applications from a particular part of the UK. HLF has opened
offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Each grant made by HLF has an impact at local
level. It is important, therefore, to assess the effect of HLF's grant
making at local and regional levels in order to focus national priorities
on the immediate problems and opportunities. The future intention is to
develop an approach along regional lines and allow flexibility to respond
to specific regional issues.
Access to the Heritage Lottery Fund is now
the lifeline for many conservation projects, which without grant aid will
simply fail. Until recently it was often possible to obtain funding from
Cadw, English Heritage or Historic Scotland but these opportunities have
been severely curtailed for most projects and the political pledges made
in the past that lottery funding would be additional to existing funding,
not a replacement for it look decidedly tarnished. This makes it even
more necessary for applicant organisations and their professional advisers
to fully understand the rules and philosophy of the HLF and to remember
that applications will be assessed in competition, one with another. Unfortunately
there can only be a limited number of winners but by carefully selecting
and preparing your scheme and by fully understanding the process 'it could
Funds for Historic Buildings
in England and Wales: A Directory of Sources, The Architectural Heritage
Fund, London, 1998
For further information contact:
The Information and Publications Team, Heritage Lottery Fund, 7 Holbein
Place, London SW1W 8NR Tel 020 7591 6000 or visit www.hlf.org.uk