NHLF release guidance on Emergency Fund
We are making £50million available for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
We will be investing the £50m where it is needed most, by providing short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites we have previously invested in to ensure they are not lost to the public.
The Heritage Emergency Fund will be available as:
- A fund that organisations can access over the next three-six months as short-term funding to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Grants of between £3,000-£50,000 will be available.
- A select number of key strategic investments where heritage is identified as at greatest risk. This could include grant increases to funded projects that are currently underway.
In addition, we are also supporting the heritage sector by:
- Enabling organisations that have received grant funding and are currently delivering projects to delay or change the way the projects are delivered. This can include changes to approved purposes, flexibility on costs within a project, early drawdown of grant payment, a relaxation of some conditions of the grant, and flexible use of contingency funding.
- Providing bespoke advice and support via our local teams and in some cases, via our specialist network of mentors.
- Accelerating the provision of our £1.2m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond. This will include support for organisations to run activities and events, reach audiences, engage volunteers, share content and fundraise online.
- For the longer term, to help with recovery from the current crisis, we have invested £4m in two Enterprise Development programmes for heritage leaders across the UK, and Business Support Programmes in all four countries. More information will be available in due course.
Decisions on awards under the Heritage Emergency Fund will be made as quickly as possible to support the sector. Awards will be made on the basis of a set of criteria to identify those with the greatest need.
Heritage Emergecny Fund guidance published
We have now published guidance around applying for our new Heritage Emergency Fund. Here are some of the key points:
Applicants must be:
- a not-for-profit organisation, and
- a current or previous recipient of a grant directly from us, and
- an owner, manager or representative of heritage, or be able to show you have delivered participatory heritage activity
We will prioritise organisations that:
- have limited or no alternative access to other sources of support, for example, from Governments, other National Lottery distributors, other emergency funding from trusts and foundations
- have already tried other options to stop being at risk such as putting projects on hold, rephasing milestones, repurposing other funding to support day-to-day operations, minimising costs but maximising the function of existing projects (value engineering)
- are in greater financial risk from COVID-19 due to a reliance on trading or community fundraising income streams
- are in greater financial risk due to limited reserves
- are contributing to our outcomes or priority areas identified in our Strategic Funding Framework
As a guide, you could apply to us for costs to:
- stabilise your organisation in the immediate term to make sure the vital heritage you care for is not put further at risk by COVID-19 (for example, staff costs to allow you to respond, design and deliver plans)
- help you plan and initiate mothballing of (putting aside or withdrawing from use) your heritage asset/s and other approaches to protecting heritage that is at risk
- run immediate risk management reviews and the actions identified as needed to safe-guard your organisation
- reconfigure business plans, governance and activity needed to help safeguard the future of your organisation
- cover essential operational costs, for example, site security, maintaining climatic conditions for collections, or managing livestock on habitats
Please note that applications do not open until Wednesday 15 April, so please do take time to really think about what support you need to get your organisation through the next few months.
For more information, visit their website.