Back to the Lottery (Again)
The National Heritage Lottery Fund has now reopened for project funding applications. However, it is not a return to 'business as usual' before the pandemic. Applications must fully reflect refocused priorities for funding. The new priorities are:
• inclusion: 'a wider range of people will be involved in heritage' (mandatory outcome)
• economy including job creation: 'the local economy will be boosted'
• wellbeing: ‘people will have greater wellbeing’
• local areas: ‘the local area will be a better place to live, work and visit’
• skills: ‘people will have developed skills’
• organisational resilience: 'funded organisations will be more resilient'
Every project must achieve the inclusion outcome. In addition, all projects will have to demonstrate that they are environmentally responsible and are integrating environmental measures into their proposals. This reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability and a ‘green’ recovery from the pandemic.
Before an application for a major grant can be submitted, NLHF must receive and approve an Expression of Interest (EOI). The Trust already had an approved EOI, but this had been assessed against the previous priorities:
• heritage will be in better condition
• heritage will be identified and better explained
• people will have learned about heritage.
We are now required to submit a completely new EOI to be assessed against the new priorities. As you know, we don’t hang around! Our completely revised EOI was submitted on 18th February. In it, we have identified the outcomes we expect to achieve in relation to all six of the new priorities. Our work with the Future Leaders Network and our Youth Board are delivering against the mandatory Inclusion priority, and next month, the Board will receive a report from our Colonial History and Heritage Working Group (an area of research which we know is considered to be important by the NLHF).
After a long pause since NLHF last invited funding applications, we once again expect the competition to be fierce. But we continue with hope and determination.