Funders Spotlight - National Lottery Grants for Heritage 2021-22


Applications are now open for National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £3k to £5m. This marks a return to the funder’s core business, but it is not a return to ‘business as usual’. The impact of the pandemic means it has revised its approach to what it will fund.



In short, priority will be given to heritage projects that will:

  • boost the local economy
  • encourage skills development and job creation
  • support well-being
  • create better places to live, work and visit
  • improve the resilience of heritage organisations.

Every project will need to achieve the inclusion outcome ‘a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’ and demonstrate that it is building long-term environmental sustainability into plans, as appropriate.

Looking ahead through 2021, the funders will continue to respond quickly to changing circumstances with expertise, advice, emergency support and funding focused on immediate and longer-term recovery. The aim is to support the heritage sector to strengthen its recovery in the medium-term and to build back for positive change.

Within the broad approach, these three priorities remain:

  • landscapes and nature
  • community heritage
  • heritage at risk.

Projects that meet the outcomes below may still be funded, but they will be less of a priority during 2021-22:

  • heritage will be in better condition
  • heritage will be identified and better explained
  • people will have learned about heritage, leading to change in ideas and actions.


Application guidance changes

In line with the Covid-19 context, there have been some updates to the application guidance made, including:

  • Covid-19 considerations: applicants will need to factor in assumptions about social distancing and these assumptions should not involve significant financial risks for the organisation.
  • Risk: when assessing the application, a measured judgement will be made on the potential risks the project might face due to the pandemic. Projects should also carefully consider contingency costs within the application.



There are no deadlines for applications under £250k; decisions are made in eight weeks.

Upcoming deadlines for grants over £250k:

  • August 25th, 2021 (to receive a decision by the end of December 2021).
  • November 29th, 2021 (to receive a decision by the end of March 2022).