The National Lottery Heritage Fund is today awarding 35 grants totalling £843,000, as part of a new Heritage Innovation Fund pilot scheme.

Grants have been awarded to pioneering local projects across the UK, supporting their creative ideas for making the heritage sector’s workforce more robust, sustainable, inclusive, and fit for the future. Awards of up to £25k will provide financial support to each project, covering the cost of participants’ time and activities during the initial six-month ‘Explore’ phase of this pilot scheme.

Support for innovation

The Heritage Innovation Fund initiative has been developed in response to the Heritage Fund’s 2022 UK Heritage Pulse survey, which found that 54% of respondents wanted greater support to help them innovate and test new approaches.

All 35 projects in receipt of Heritage Innovation Fund grant awards are currently at the early ideas stage and are focused on developing potential solutions for testing in practice. As the Heritage Fund’s delivery partner, The Young Foundation is supporting each grantee to help develop their ideas and skills by providing a structured package of support.

Úna Duffy, Director of Investment for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“It will be exciting to see how the organisations we’ve funded through the Heritage Innovation Fund come up with new ideas to solve heritage workforce challenges and learn new skills to share with their colleagues which will benefit the whole sector.” 

‘Fresh thinking and new partnerships’

Helen Goulden OBE, CEO of The Young Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to be working alongside the National Lottery Heritage Fund, supporting ambitious and innovative organisations to think creatively about the future needs of the heritage workforce. This plays such an important role in UK society but, like so many others, it faces workforce challenges that demand fresh thinking, new partnerships, and innovative approaches to working alongside communities. We know the path for innovators rarely runs smoothly, and welcome the opportunity to support this cohort as they experiment with new ideas. The learning from this work is likely to be relevant to the wider heritage sector, and we look forward to sharing it far and wide.”

Read more about the programme here

Innovation and Investment Systems change Posted on: 24 January 2023


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