Memorandum submitted by the Heritage Lottery
Heritage is a powerful source of social capital,
the physical fabric of many communities, and a source of national
and local identity and pride. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF),
the UK's leading funder of heritage, invests lottery good causes
money in the broadest spread of heritage, across the whole of
the UK. In doing so, it conserves a valuable national asset and
realises the potential of heritage to improve quality of life,
extend opportunity and strengthen community cohesion. HLF is a
key source of funding for the UK's national heritage, including
museums, landscapes and historic buildings. HLF's huge investment
in the UK's world-class heritage, and its progressive approach,
have brought about a major shift in the sector, ensuring it is
now reaching new audiences and developing new skills and ways
of working. The outcomes of the DCMS consultation on the future
of the lottery good causes, of HLF's own consultation on its future
strategic direction and of the Heritage White Paper will impact
on the ability of HLF and the sector to continue delivering change,
conserving the nation's heritage and harnessing its enormous potential.
Heritage is broader than just the
historic built environment and includes museums, libraries and
archives; natural heritage; industrial, maritime and transport
heritage; and the heritage of language, dialect and cultural traditions.
A more integrated approach from policy-makers would improve the
impact of heritage funding and policy.
The Department for Culture, Media
and Sport is currently consulting on the future shares of lottery
funding that each good causeincluding heritagewill
receive after 2009. Even if HLF retains its current share of funding,
a combination of other factors will reduce the amount that HLF
is able to award from around £330 million this year, to under
£200 million from 2008.
HLF's present share of lottery funding
has left vital tasks still undone: this fact must guide the Government's
current thinking about the future allocation of lottery funding
Lottery funding cannot, and should
not, be expected to meet all the needs of the heritage sector;
grant aid from English Heritage and the other agencies must be
maintained at reasonable levels.
HLF is currently consulting on strategic
aims, and plans to further broaden public involvement and interest
in heritage, and simplify its application procedures.
It is vital that the forthcoming
Heritage White Paper maintains a robust system of statutory protection
to protect and complement HLF's investment.
The separate National Heritage Memorial
Fund is one of the few sources of significant funding for acquisitions
in the UK. In 2004 the Goodison Report recommended raising the
annual government grant-in-aid to the NHMF from £5 million
to £20 million. HM Treasury has announced that from 2007-08
the annual grant will be increased to £10 million. NMHF is
hopeful that DCMS will be able to secure agreement from HMT that
this increase will at the minimum be preserved in the 2007 Comprehensive
Spending Review and urges the Government to accept Sir Nicholas's
recommendation in full.
1. THE HERITAGE
HLF is the UK's leading heritage funder, distributing
the heritage share of National Lottery proceeds. It is the only
heritage organisation that both operates UK-wide, and funds all
types of heritageincluding built heritage; museums, libraries
and archives; natural heritage; industrial, maritime and transport
heritage; and the heritage of language, dialect and cultural traditions.
HLF currently distributes 16.66% of the money
for good causes and since 1995 has committed £3.3 billion
in 18,000 awards to heritage projects.
40% of HLF funding has gone to projects
in the 25% most deprived local authority areas.
70% of grants in 2004-05 were for
sums of under £50,000.
Up to 50% of all funding since 2002
has gone to community and voluntary sector organisations.
HLF funding of £3.3 billion
has attracted £2.6 billion in partnership funding.
58% of funding is now decided by
locally-recruited committees in each of the nine English regions,
and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The aims of the Fund are to:
conserve and enhance the UK's diverse
encourage more people to be involved
in and make decisions about their heritage;
ensure that everyone can learn about,
have access to, and enjoy their heritage, and
bring about a more equitable spread
of its grants across the UK.
National Heritage Memorial Fund
The parent body for HLF is the National Heritage
Memorial Fund (NHMF), set up by the National Heritage Act 1980
with wide powers to fund heritage throughout the UK in memory
of people who have given their lives for the UK. The NHMF operates
as a fund of last resort, saving items of national importance
that would otherwise be lost. In its 25 years it has awarded £220
million for more than 1,200 acquisitions.
The breadth of heritage
HLF does not define heritage, instead asking
its applicants to identify what they view and value as their heritage
and wish to share with, and sustain for, future generations. This
breadth of remit means that HLF can take an integrated view, cutting
across the traditional, but artificial, boundaries between, for
example, a museum and the park in which it may be sited, or the
species and buildings hosted by a historical landscape. This pioneering
approach to conservation management planning means that the projects
HLF funds deliver wider benefits than a more piecemeal approach
HLF's broad remit means that the NHMF is able
to concentrate on funding the acquisition of the most significant
at-risk pieces of the nation's heritage, often at short notice.
Heritage provides both the physical fabricbuildings,
public parks, streetscapesand the cultural fabricopportunities
for learning, cultural participation and enjoyment, volunteering,
a sense of identityof our rural and urban communities.
Investment of HLF funds attempts to realise the potential for
heritage to play a role in community renewal and regeneration.
Research into the impact of HLF's £3.3
billion funding since 1995 shows that it has brought about:
Long-term economic benefit through:
recreational and tourism spend: heritage
attractions play a critical role in the UK's tourism and visitor
industry, and HLF has funded eight of the top ten of the UK's
most visited museums, six of the top ten most popular visitor
attractions in the UK and all of the top ten free heritage attractions.
creating new demand for hundreds of local
businesses specialising in building crafts and skills: repairs
to historic buildings are more likely to generate local employment
and use local materials than new construction.
the positive impact on local business
environments of better public spaces, refurbishment and reuse
of redundant buildings and new cultural facilities.
Benefits to the local area and the
environment: heritage projects improve the profile and reputation
of an area, lead to a safer and improved environment, reduce anti-social
behaviour and improve leisure opportunities.
Community benefits: heritage projects
help communities by creating greater public spirit, mutual understanding
and pride in the local area, particularly where they celebrate
and commemorate the history of ordinary people.
Benefits to individuals: taking part
in heritage projects improves the learning experience and helps
people to enhance their knowledge, skills and confidence.
This is backed up by quantitative research into
people's views on heritage places and activities:
85% of the population say that the
quality of public space and the built environment has a direct
impact on their lives and the way they feel.
82% of people think it is important
for their local town or city to have its own museum or art gallery.
More people visit museums, cathedrals,
historic buildings and parks than go to live sporting events or
zoos and theme parks.
There are over one billion day visits
to the countryside each year.
Access to heritageHLF's approach
The scale of HLF's investment in the UK's heritage
has been matched only by the changes that this has brought about.
Driven by the nature of lottery funding, HLF has encouraged the
heritage sector to move towards a more inclusive and democratic
vision, that takes into account people as well as objects. The
think tank Demos says that the single greatest achievement of
HLF has been:
"To shift the idea of the value and importance
of heritage away from being something that is exclusively determined
by experts on behalf of society, to one that recognises the importance
of widespread participation in identifying and caring for what
is valued collectively".
This radical approach to heritage has enabled
a major shift in the heritage sector, ensuring it is now reaching
new audiences and developing new skills and ways of working. Greatly
increased visitor numbers at national museums are not simply the
product of free entry, but also of the inspiring programmes of
renewal, redevelopment, access and education encouraged and funded
by HLF. Many public parks funded by HLF now have dedicated and
active friends groups as a result of the community consultation
that forms part of the HLF application process. Every single local
authority area in the UK has received HLF funding, enabling communities
to engage with their own heritage, irrespective of whether or
not they have a heritage institution on their doorstep.
11,000 young people have been involved
in heritage projects through HLF-funded Young Roots projects,
95% shaped and developed by the young participants themselves.
HLF funding criteria have led institutions
to put learning at the heart of what they do, creating over 600
learning posts and 290 spaces for learning.
HLF projects are noted for bringing
together parts of communities which would not normally mix: 86%
of participants surveyed have noted participation from people
"who do not normally join in".
95% of HLF projects report better
physical and intellectual access.
HLF also insists on economic sustainability
and applicants must demonstrate demand and use for their projects
as well as sound financial planning. As a result, no HLF project
has failed in the history of the Fund.
Recognising a growing lack of specialist heritage
skilled workers, HLF launched a Training Bursary Scheme in 2004
which has to date awarded £7 million to ten partnerships
running traditional training apprenticeships. In addition to this,
HLF funds training elements in grant applications, encourages
stand-alone training projects for volunteers; and requires all
projects over £1 million to have a training plan.
3. FUTURE CHALLENGES
Need and remits
HLF has begun the task of reversing the legacy
of decades of under-investment in the nation's heritage infrastructure
but remaining need is immense (see Appendix).
It would not be possible or appropriate for
HLF to meet all of this need. Some will be in private ownership
(a low priority for HLF funding), some will be better addressed
by fiscal incentives or better management, some needs dealing
with through the operation of statutory controls and some is the
responsibility of statutory agencies.
Lottery funding cannot and should not substitute
for the support of the statutory agencies which have different
remits and responsibilities, such as English Heritage's statutory
responsibility for Historic Environment sector policy.
Lottery good causes funding
The DCMS is currently consulting on future shares
of lottery funding.
The Department has confirmed that heritage will
remain one of the National Lottery Good Causes after 2009. The
share that heritage receives (currently one sixth of the funding
for good causes) is currently subject to consultation and will
be announced in early summer 2006.
A number of other factors will also have an
impact on the amount HLF will be able to award in new grants during
the lifetime of its next Strategic Plan 2008-2013:
London Olympics 2012
HLF was one of the cultural bodies supporting
the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Bid. It was always known
that a successful bid would be partly financed from the National
Lottery. According to DCMS estimates, for HLF this means £75
million less in ticket sales and up to £68 million less as
a result of changes in the allocation of Lottery proceeds, a total
"loss" of income of up to £138 million, mostly
in the three years leading up to 2012. Afterwards, HLF expects
to go back to receiving a 16.66% share of Lottery proceeds.
National Lottery Bill
The National Lottery Bill, currently proceeding
through Parliament, would change the way that interest earned
by Lottery Distributors on their balances is distributed. The
National Audit Office estimated that in 2003-04 this clause would
have cost HLF £15.7 million.
HLF's approach to over-commitment
Since the start of the National Lottery HLF
has committed more funds in new awards each year than it has received
in incomeon the basis that there would inevitably be a
time lag between money being received, awarded to projects and
drawn down by grant recipients. During 2005-06 HLF plans to award
around £330 million, nearly £100 million more than it
expects to receive in income. But it is reaching the point where
it cannot continue to over-commit. From 2008, it will only be
able to distribute the amount it receives in income each yeararound
Even with all of these income reductions, HLF
will still be by far the largest UK funder for heritage. But even
if it retains its current share of good causes income, this drop
in the amount it can distribute each year will mean extremely
hard choices. Demonstrably, heritage's present share of funding
has left vital tasks still undone: this fact must guide government
thinking about the future allocation to heritage.
National Heritage Memorial Fund
The National Heritage Memorial Fund is one of
the few sources of funding for major acquisitions in the UK, standing
alongside the National Art Collection Fund, and a small number
of foundations and private donors.
National support for local museum purchases
(now the MLA Purchase Funds) has fallen by almost one-third in
cash terms since 1980-81, from £1.75 million to £1.32
million in 2004-05. In that time, the NHMF has awarded grants
totalling £220 million. However, the Fund's resources are
limited and it cannot meet all the demands placed on it.
Support for heritage should be a partnership
between the public (through the National Lottery), private donors
(the National Arts Collection Fund, foundations and individuals)
and the Government, through fiscal arrangements and a properly
This was recognised by Sir Nicholas Goodison's
report of January 2004, Securing the Best for our Museums:
Private Giving and Government Support, which recommended raising
the annual grant to the National Heritage Memorial Fund to at
least £20 million a year, from its present £5million,
to allow it to function more effectively as a national acquisition
HM Treasury has announced that from 2007-08
the annual grant would be increased to £10 million. NMHF
is hopeful that DCMS will be able to secure agreement from HMT
that this increase will at the minimum be preserved in the 2007
Comprehensive Spending Review and urges the Government to accept
Sir Nicholas's recommendation in full.
4. HLF STRATEGIC
HLF's present Strategic Plan runs until 2008
and the Fund is currently consulting on its direction after this.
Whilst it proposes to continue with its current successful strategic
approach, it also proposes to deliver more opportunities for young
people to learn about who they are and where they have come from;
to increase opportunities for volunteering in heritage, particularly
for young people and under-represented groups; and to equip more
people to care for the culture, places and knowledge that they
HLF already involves the public in individual
projects and in evaluating its work. It is also consulting on
a range of innovative options for increasing public involvement.
HLF has already simplified procedures to speed
up the way that lottery money reaches projects, especially for
small grants, and its annual customer care survey shows a long-term
improvement in applicants' and grantees' views of HLF's performance.
Complex heritage schemes are demanding and difficult
to do well but applying to HLF needs to be as easy as possible,
consistent with getting good value for lottery players' money.
HLF plans a shorter application process, clearer and more concise
application and monitoring materials, and easy-to-use electronic
communication routes. In particular, it will review its small
grants programmes (funding up to £50,000) to make applying
5. ROLES AND
Heritage was chosen as one of the original good
causes for the Lottery in 1994 because it had so much potential
and so little financial support. Only the National Heritage Memorial
Fund covered the whole of heritage for the whole of the UK, so
it became the parent body for HLF. In delivering funding to the
UK's heritage, HLF works alongside agencies that are responsible
for the natural environment (including biodiversity and the countryside),
the historic environment, and museums, libraries and archives.
HLF works in close cooperation with these agencies to ensure that
lottery funding fits national strategies for heritage and provides
the capital infrastructure on which other initiatives, such as
Renaissance in the Regions, have depended. But the very nature
of lottery funding means that HLF has developed a distinctive
people-focussed approach, requiring projects funded to deliver
a wide range of benefits, above and beyond conservation objectives.
The diversity of organisations with a heritage
role adds strength and value to the sector. HLF's unique breadth
of remit across the whole sector and across the UK has enabled
it to play a role in bringing heritage sector players together,
sharing best practice and developing the voluntary sector. HLF
is the only major source of funding for heritage projects beyond
the remit or priority of the agencies, including notably regenerating
public parks, the transport sector (including historic ships)
and language, dialect and cultural traditions.
6. HERITAGE WHITE
Realising the potential of the UK's heritage
is about more than money and HLF funding can only complement a
functioning statutory system. The forthcoming Heritage White Paper
offers the opportunity to put in place a robust system of statutory
HLF invests for the future and local
authorities are the guardians of that investment. It is vital
that local planning authorities have the skills to deliver conservation
The current system was initially
a balance of incentives and compulsion, but many of the incentives,
such as grants for private owners, have now almost totally gone.
HLF funding should not replace them and the Heritage White Paper
should address this issue.
HLF research and experience has shown
the value and benefits of involving communities in decisions about
places; any new system should create a genuine role for communities
in caring for their heritage
7. BALANCE BETWEEN
The view that heritage conservation acts as
a brake on the economy is now outdated. There are many examples
of the economic impact of regeneration projects and evidence that
pound for pound, heritage projects put more back into the local
economy through using local labour and materials than new construction.
Funding for heritage cannot, in isolation from
other measures, reverse endemic economic problems but can be a
catalyst for changing perceptions of an area. The repair of historic
buildings makes a positive contribution to urban regeneration
by contributing to the quality and distinctiveness of local areas.
Repairing historic buildings also addresses a principal source
of public concern about their local areas. HLF's strategic programmes
for Places of Worshiprun in partnership with English Heritage
in Englandhave benefited more than 2,000 places of worship
throughout the UK, while its Townscape Heritage Initiative, on
which EH is an adviser, has revitalised over 450 run-down areas.
But the contribution that heritage can make to regeneration goes
beyond historic buildingsparks and other green spaces are
vital, as are works to the public realm and waterways and canals.
There is a delicate relationship between any
regeneration funding and the operation of the local property market.
Initial investment may change perceptions of an area which can
then create a speculative property market where properties are
bought up and left empty in the hope of a rising market. Local
authorities can break this cycle by using their statutory and
HLF is the UK's biggest heritage funder and
since 1995 has invested over £3.3billion into heritage, in
every local authority area of the country. This flow of money
into local communities has been matched by major reform of the
heritage sector, opening up the UK's heritage and its institutions
to a far broader audience than ever before, and giving the public
a greater say in the care, management and future of their heritage.
At the same time, NHMF has acted as an acquisition fund of last
resort, saving many treasures for the nation. Their legacy ranges
from the British Museum's Great Court to Hadrian's Wall, to thousands
of small heritage projects run by people representing the country's
But there is still a huge job to be doneand
DCMS's consultation on the future funding of good causes, HLF's
review of its strategic direction and the Heritage Protection
Review will affect whether or not the needs of the UK's heritage
continue to be met.
In particular, HLF would like to see a more
integrated approach from policy-makers towards heritage funding
and policy; a recognition of the continuing needs of the heritage
sector in the Government's current thinking about the future allocation
of lottery funding to heritage; an increase in NHMF's current
grant-in-aid from its current £5million to the £20million
recommended by Sir Nicholas Goodison; the maintenance of grant
aid to English Heritage and the other agencies at least at current
levels; and a robust system of statutory protection.
19 January 2006