These funders specialise in grants for heritage projects, including building restorations, museums, archives and war memorials

As with any charitable project, it’s worth considering the funders that will fund a wide variety of projects.

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National Lottery Heritage Fund

Grants from £3,000 to £5m for projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. The What We Fund page explains the scope of the fund, which covers a wide range of projects and types of expenditure. There are four levels of funding:

  • Grants of £3,000 to £10,000 for non-profit organisations and private owners of heritage for projects up to one year.
  • Grants of £10,000 to £250,000 for non-profit organisations, private owners (up to £100,000) of heritage and partnerships for projects up to five years.
  • Grants of £250,000 to £5m for non-profit organisations and partnerships for projects delivered over five years.
  • Heritage Enterprise grants up to £5m to help rescue neglected historic buildings and sites and return to viable productive use. Applicants are accepted from partnerships between non-profit and commercial organisations.

National Heritage Memorial Fund

NHMF will help charities, non-profit organisations and public bodies to acquire heritage assets, including works of fine and decorative art, museum collections, archives, manuscripts, items of transport and industrial history, and historic buildings and land. There is no upper limit to its awards, but it operates as a fund of last resort, so you must be able to prove that you have explored, or are exploring, all other possible sources of funding.

Historic England

Historic England administers various funds for heritage projects, including:

The Architectural Heritage Fund – Transforming Places Through Heritage

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has a range of grants that support restoration projects for redundant or underused community-owned historic buildings in town centres.

  • Project Viability Grants: up to £15,000, for early viability and feasibility work
  • Project Development Grants: up to £100,000, for capital project development costs
  • Crowdfunding Challenge Grants: up to £25,000, to match-fund crowdfunding campaigns
  • Transformational Project Grants: up to £350,000, for transformational capital projects
  • Community Shares Booster Grants: a funding scheme to support community share offers

Historic Houses Foundation

Grants from £1,000 to £250,000 for individuals or organisations for repairs and restoration work required to prevent loss of or damage to historic buildings, their gardens, and any outbuildings, located in England or Wales. Most grants are less than £50,000.

The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund

Grants of up to £90,000 are available to UK museums and galleries for projects that develop existing collections and demonstrate the special potential of museums to make a difference to people’s lives. Projects can last up to three years.

Headley Trust

Part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, The Headley Trust offers grants on arts and heritage themes including:

  • Regional museums and galleries, with special consideration for curatorial support and acquisitions
  • The display, study and acquisition of British ceramics
  • Conservation of industrial, maritime and built heritage
  • Archaeology
  • Headley Museums Archaeological Acquisition Fund (intended to help museums secure and display notable finds)
  • Restoration and improvements to cathedrals and churches

The Wolfson Foundation – Museums and Galleries

Grants for museums and galleries undertaking projects to improve the display and interpretation of nationally significant collections for the public. Grants are generally awarded towards refurbishing or creating new galleries and, occasionally, education and learning spaces. The total project costs must be above £15,000. Match funding must usually be secured before applying.

War Memorials Trust

Grants of up to £30,000 are available (up to 75% of total eligible project costs) to protect and conserve freestanding war memorials (but not graves) in England. Individuals, organisations and councils can apply. The fund covers repairs but not routine maintenance.

National Churches Trust

Grants up to £50,000 are available to support the conservation and sustainable use of church buildings in the UK, with priority given to urgent structural repairs or the introduction of kitchens and accessible toilets. Grants will cover up to 50% of the project cost. The average grant is around £15,000.

National Archives – Archives Revealed – Cataloguing Grants

Grants up to £45,000 are available to public sector bodies, registered charities and other not-for-profit organisations to create catalogues of important archival collections. There’s also a Scoping Grant scheme, which offers up to £3,000 to fund an assessment report incorporating expert advice on a range of areas relating to collections management and the development of a collection.


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