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HLF considers change to funding methods


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is changing the way it hands out finances for British projects, with the organisation considering the introduction of loans and corporate funding objectives starting next year.

The body is currently planning out its strategic framework for National Lottery funding for 2019-2024, which includes reviewing the manner in which it is distributed to heritage projects. This includes a simplification of the organisation’s grant schemes, the introduction of non-grant finance such as loans and a democratisation of the grant-making process.

As part of the changes, the HLF is planning new strategic funding to support innovation and new ways of working. According to the HLF, it expects these initiatives to include a strong focus on urban parks and landscapes, with further details to follow in Q2.

“The operating environment for UK heritage remains uncertain and volatile. With reduced public funding available, competition for HLF grants has grown,” said an HLF spokesperson.

“This coincides with a recent decline in National Lottery income, from historic high points in 2015 and 2016.

“Our next Strategic Funding Framework will enable us to respond flexibly to changes in our income.”

The HLF is running a consultation period starting in March, with the funder declaring its intention to shift from being the “largest dedicated grant-funder” of the UK’s heritage to “the largest dedicated investor”. The move to use National Lottery income for grants, loans and financial interventions, would be so the organisation could “respond best to strategic needs and create most long-term value for society”.

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