Major Heritage Funding Bodies

National Lottery Heritage Fund


The National Lottery Heritage Fund is a major funder for heritage projects across the UK.  Covering all aspects of heritage including built, cultural and natural heritage.  Funding is available for project development, public engagement, education, skills and capital work.


They run an open programme, with grants available from £3000 – £5 million for a wide range of heritage projects.

These are available as three funding tiers:

  • £3000-£10,000
  • £10,000 – £250,000
  • £250,000 – £5 Million

Funding up to £250,000 is available in a single stage application; private owners of heritage are now able to apply for up to £100,000 for projects where public benefit outweighs private gain.


Applications over £10,000 can also include funding for a Community Grant Scheme, enabling the applicant to establish a limited grant fund in their own communities.

There are no deadlines for applications up to £100,000.
Larger bids are subject to quarterly deadlines.


In addition to this regular funding programme, the National Lottery Heritage Fund will be running periodic, targeted and time limited grants aimed at specific themes or geographical regions.


Full information can be found here.


The National Lottery Heritage Fund was previously known as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF)


The Architectural Heritage Fund provide grants to formally constituted charities and social enterprises. Grants must be used to develop projects which will involve a change of use or ownership of a heritage asset.


The AHF will not provide grants to projects where the primary use of the building concerned is worship. The AHF is also able to provide funding in the form of loans. These range from short or medium term loans, to a Heritage Mortgage.


For more information, click here

Wolfson Foundation


The Wolfson Foundation provide grants for a range of different applications, and have dedicated grant funds for historic buildings and landscapes of exceptional quality (Grade I or II*).


The fund only supports capital projects. Although the fund is discretionary, the Foundation will generally only fund those with Charitable or other equivalent status, and does not generally fund projects where the total project cost is below £15,000.


The Foundation has a specific grant fund for Anglican Churches (grade I or II* listed) which can be applied for through Church Care.
There are separate grant funds available for Museums and Galleries, and for the acquisition of significant works of art.


For more information, click here.

Church Care


Anglican Churches can apply for support through Church Care. The Fabric Repairs fund is supported by the Wolfson foundation, but in addition to this there are other funds available for works such as Organ or Bell restoration, stained glass, monuments, and churchyard structures (among others).


Click here for more information.

Historic England


While the majority of Historic England’s funding will be directed at projects being run by large organisations or local authorities, they do provide Repair Grants for Buildings at Risk, along with grants for the restoration of war memorials.


Generally funding will only be given if funding bids to other major bodies (such as HLF) are unsuccessful.


For more advice and information, visit their website here.

Heritage Funding Directory


While the above list covers some of the major funders, it is far from exhaustive. There are many other charities and foundations which provide grants for heritage restoration, conservation, interpretation, and engagement.


The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund maintain a directory of UK funders which includes many funding bodies.


The Directory is easily searchable, freely available and can be found here.

Support for Churches


Lincoln Diocese provides support for Anglican Churches. Any Anglican church considering a project or wanting information or advice should contact the Churches Development Officer or Historic Churches Support Officer, details can be found here.


All churches, regardless of denomination, can receive advice and support from the Lincolnshire Churches Trust.