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National Lottery Heritage Innovation Fund

R Hollis

National Lottery Heritage Innovation Fund

Posted in Funding

National Lottery Heritage Innovation Fund

The Heritage Innovation Fund support projects to explore, test and grow new ways of working across the heritage workforce.

The Heritage Innovation Fund is a pilot initiative for experimenters, collaborators and learners from across all parts of heritage, across the UK. The National Lottery are looking for people who want to play a leading role in pioneering solutions for making the heritage workforce fit for the future.

It is designed to support organisations to explore, test and grow the new ways of working needed to support the future of our diverse and varied heritage.

The funding can be used to support organisations to find practical solutions that will help them – and also be shared across the sector.

Applicants must be:

  • committed to the innovation process
  • prepared to learn and experiment
  • willing to share their failures as well as their successes


The fund will involve three main phases

Phase One: Explore

Explore is for organisations at the early ideas stage. This phase will focus on defining a clear problem statement and helping you to develop potential solutions for testing in practice.

This phase will provide access to:

  • grants of up to £25,000 to cover your time and activities during this phase (six months)
  • expertise to help you develop your ideas and skills through a structured package of support
  • peer learning and exchange in a cohort

Phase 2: Test

This phase will offer support to put promising prototypes and ideas into practice to gather evidence of what works.

Phase 3: Grow

This phase will support you to implement findings more widely, embedding, sharing and rolling out good practice across the heritage sector.


The Heritage Innovation Fund was launched after discovery research was carried out across the sector in 2021. Many organisations were found to be facing similar workforce challenges, made worse by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These include issues related to: how we work, who is part of the heritage workforce and what skills we need.

The Heritage Innovation Fund will help to generate and nurture ideas that aim to ensure the heritage workforce has the capacity and capabilities required to meet future needs.


Applications for the Explore Phase are currently open

Find out more here


Search more opportunities here



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