Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing £88million of this to organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. We are distributing this government funding in partnership with Historic England, based on criteria set by DCMS.

Separate portions of the DCMS rescue package are being distributed by:


The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage will support organisations across the heritage ecosystem that were financially sustainable before COVID-19, have exhausted all other financing options, and are now at risk of failure.

  • grants from £10,000 to £3million
  • for organisations in England only
  • funding must be spent by the end of this financial year, 31 March 2021

This programme will support organisations across the heritage ecosystem to ensure that by 31 March 2021, successful applicants can reopen or, if reopening under social distancing is not permissible or does not represent a value for money approach, to operate on a sustainable and cost-efficient basis so that they are able to reopen at a later date.

Heritage can mean different things to different people. It can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations.

As a guide, this could include:

  • people’s memories and experiences (often recorded as ‘oral history’)
  • cultural traditions (for example, stories, festivals, crafts, music and dance)
  • community archaeology
  • historic buildings, monuments and environments
  • designed landscapes, such as parks and gardens
  • collections of objects, books or documents in libraries or archives
  • histories of people and communities or places and events
  • the heritage of languages and dialects
  • places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

When to apply

We are accepting applications from Thursday 30 July until noon on 17 August 2020. We will aim to assess applications and make decisions by the end of September, for applications up to £1million.

Applications for £1million or more will be reviewed by an independent board appointed by DCMS, with decisions taking slightly longer.

This guidance should cover everything you need to know to apply. We will not be able to offer specific one to one advice for this programme.

We have designed the application process to be as straightforward as possible and we are requesting only the information we need. Please read this guidance before you start your application.

For technical support or assistance with accessibility, please contact our customer service team by email:

More information here