The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

The new UK-wide Heritage Emergency Fund will address immediate pressures over the next 3-6 months for those most in need. It offers grants of between £3,000-50,000 to organisations which have received funding in the past, or are either a current grantee or still under contract following a previous grant.

Applications will be open to the full breadth of heritage, from historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives to parks and gardens and landscapes and nature. Priority will be given where there is limited or no access to other sources of support, where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19, or where heritage is most at risk.

The Emergency Fund is part of a wider raft of support available from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, for heritage organisations affected by the crisis, which includes:

  • Continuing to support the 2,500 organisations where funding of £1.1bn is already committed by being as flexible as possible, allowing for delays or changes in the way projects are delivered, relaxing normal grant conditions and bringing forward payments if necessary.
  • Additional £1.2m investment in a Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond.
  • A further £2m for ROSS consultants directing expert support to organisations in need as a result of the crisis and in doing so supporting several hundred freelancers and self-employed.

New grant applications will be paused during this emergency funding period. Delivery awards for projects that have already received development funding will continue to be made throughout the crisis, on the existing competitive basis. The Heritage Emergency Fund has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

For further information, visit

(Update provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland)