Heritage Lottery Fund updated Policy Directions update

Following consultation, updated policy directions were issued to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in its role as a distributing body of National Lottery funds.

DCMS writes:

The Heritage Lottery Fund Policy Directions Consultation Response has been published. The UK directions apply to all funding grants made by HLF. Devolved/regional directions additionally apply in those areas. In deciding to whom it distributes money, for what purpose, and under what conditions, the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund shall take into account the following matters:

  1. In partnership with other funders and stakeholders, assess the needs of the heritage of the UK (This includes, but is not restricted to built, cultural, natural and intangible heritage)to inform the awarding of funds, taking into particular account any designation and heritage at risk.
  2. Involve the public and local communities in making policies, setting priorities and distributing money.
  3. Increase access and participation for those who do not currently benefit from the heritage opportunities available in the United Kingdom.
  4. Inspire children and young people, awakening their interest and involvement in the activities covered by the heritage good causes.
  5. Foster initiatives which bring people together, enrich the public realm and strengthen communities.
  6. Support and build the capacity of the full breadth of the heritage workforce, from volunteers toprofessionals, to ensure that heritage is conserved with the appropriate skills.
  7. Drive innovation and excellence through encouraging good practice and the achievement of demonstrable high standards.
  8. Ensure that money is distributed for projects which promote public benefit in the long term and which are not intended primarily for private gain
  9. Further the objectives of sustainable development.
  10. Reduce economic, social and environmental deprivation, ensuring that all areas of the United Kingdom have access to the money distributed.
  11. Work jointly with other organisations, including other distributors, to ensure the positive impact ofNational Lottery funding, including evaluating projects and sharing data where appropriate.
  12. Include a condition in all grants to acknowledge Lottery funding using the common Lottery branding.
  13. Require an element of partnership funding, or contributions in kind from other sources, to the extentthat this is reasonable to achieve for different kinds of applicants in particular areas.
  14. The need a) For money distributed to be applied to projects only for a specific time-limited purpose; b) To ensure that they have the necessary information and expert advice to make decisions on eachapplication; and c) For applicants to demonstrate the financial viability of projects.
  15. Where capital funding is sought, the need (a) for a clear business plan showing how any running and maintenance costs will be met for a reasonable period, and (b) to ensure that appraisal and management for major projects reflect the Major Projects Authority’s Gateway Review Standards.
  16. Encourage and support the effective use of creative funding models (loans, community funding initiatives, crowdfunding etc) to increase viability of projects, financial sustainability, and overall investment in heritage.
  17. Increase digital skills, capability, and use of digital tools, both within HLF and the heritage sector, encourage better collecting, using and sharing of digital heritage material and encourage digital innovation.
  18. Collect, understand and disseminate data on the reach, impact and audience of HLF’s work and use that understanding to improve HLF’s grant-making policies and procedures, including supporting the work on participation. Data should be made as transparent and accessible as possible.


  1. Encourage the conservation, preservation, presentation, promotion and interpretation of England’s heritage, so that it can continue to be appreciated and understood by future generations.
  2. Have regard to the interests of England as a whole and the interests of different parts of England, taking account of the diverse demographic patterns and economic circumstances in the different parts of England.
  3. Encourage the financial sustainability and, where viable and appropriate, the community use of heritage assets in England with special regard to those at risk.
  4. Work strategically with others to maximise the impact of National Lottery funding, encouraging national, regional and local partnerships wherever it will result in better outcomes for people and heritage.

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