Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund

The Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund will award grants to help fund urgent maintenance, repairs and surveys at some of England’s locally-cherished historic buildings and sites.

The expressions of interest (EOI) stage of funding applications has closed. We'll contact all successful applicants by Monday 27 July. More about the application process.

The work funded will help heritage sites reopen to the public and thrive once again as quickly as possible – subject of course to Covid-19 restrictions. The business generated will help heritage specialists who, we know from our recent research, have been severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. 

This, the second fund launched by Historic England to help the heritage sector recover from the effects of the pandemic, is a £3 million temporary funding stream. The first fund launched is closed to applications now.

Apply for funding

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered for urgent minor repairs to problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows, to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or to commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs. The work funded must be started before Saturday 31 October 2020. 

Application steps:

  1. Read the guidance above
  2. Expression of interest (EOI) survey stage closed on Sunday 28 June 2020
  3. We'll contact all successful applicants by Monday 27 July
  4. If your EOI is successful, submit a full application - deadline Monday 31 August 2020

We expect a lot of interest in this scheme. For the quickest answers to your questions please check the Quick Q&A section below. For further enquiries contact [email protected]

Quick Q&A: applying for funding

Grants will be offered to fix urgent problems at locally-cherished historic buildings and sites which are normally visited by the public, so that they can re-open as quickly as possible, subject to COVID-19 restrictions, and thrive once again. The funding can be used to address problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows, to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs.

Those we are inviting to apply to this are owners, leaseholders (with a 21 year full repairing lease), and charitable bodies and trustees responsible for the maintenance and repair of:

  • Buildings and structures listed at Grade I and II*, that are publicly accessible for a minimum of 28 days per year
  • Buildings and structures listed at Grade II that are publicly accessible for a minimum of 28 days per year only if they are situated in
    • either a conservation area and are a significant component of the character of that conservation area;
    • or in a Grade I or II* registered park and garden
  • Scheduled monuments that are publicly accessible for a minimum of 28 days per year

Historic England is offering single grants up to the value of £25,000 (plus any irrecoverable VAT) per property. There is no minimum grant value.

We will expect you to contribute towards the project costs from your own resources where you are able to. We aim to provide enough grant funding to enable the project to go ahead. In exceptional cases, we will consider offering a grant up to a maximum of £25,000 (plus any recoverable VAT).

There is a limit of one grant per property under this grant scheme.

Yes, listed places of worship are eligible to apply if they meet the basic eligibility criteria listed in the grant Guidance Notes for Applicants.

Yes, the scheme is open to Local Authorities where the work to their listed building or scheduled monument meets the basic eligibility criteria listed in the grant guidelines.

No, we will assess EOIs (Expressions of Interest) and applications based on the needs of the property.

Yes, if Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in an issue becoming more urgent and costly this can be included in your EOI.

Yes, if the repair work is urgent (should be undertaken within 12 months) but there are valid reasons why this will not be possible (such as delays due to protected species) then you may still apply for project development funding under this grant. Project development work must start before the end of October 2020 and be completed by 30 September 2021.

Yes, we would support multiple contractors working on the same project where required.

Yes, the grant can be used to fund project development work to inform repair work that will be necessary within the next twelve months.

No, the grant can support any necessary access costs (covered within the maximum grant limit of £25,000 of a total £30,000 project), such as scaffolding or a mobile access platform. We recognise, for some inspections and repairs, that the cost of access can be disproportionately high relative to the cost of the repair or survey.

If you are successful at EOI stage then you will be informed if you are required to appoint an appropriately experienced and qualified professional to manage your project. A conservation accredited adviser may be necessary and we will advise you accordingly.

Your questions about Historic England's support for the heritage sector during Covid-19

At this early point in the financial year we have yet to commit all of our available grant expenditure to particular projects (across Heritage at Risk, Capacity Building and Research Commissions schemes). This means we have some flexibility in how we spend our grants and will seek to use this to respond to the evidence provided by our survey. The amounts available to us are very limited, and therefore we have targeted it specifically to areas not covered by other funders.

This is the second emergency fund from Historic England in response to COVID-19 and comes soon after a £1.8 million fund that is supporting 70 organisations to weather the crisis and aid recovery. Both funds are designed to complement the measures already put in place by the Government, as well as the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s recently announced £50 million emergency fund.

Our aim is to extend the safety net as far as we can and help heritage organisations both survive the immediate challenges and prepare for recovery. We will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on the resilience of those organisations that care for our heritage and will keep our response constantly under review, to ensure we can react and respond as effectively as possible as the situation evolves and to make certain that no part of the sector is forgotten.

We recently awarded £1.8 million in grants from our first Covid-19 emergency response fund for 70 projects to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector. The National Lottery Heritage Fund also announced an Emergency Heritage Fund of £50m last month, which will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000. It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature who have received previous Lottery funding.

We are collaborating with a number of heritage organisations to understand the impact of the current situation on the heritage sector. To help inform this work, we launched a survey aimed at understanding the impact of Covid-19 on the businesses and skills that underpin the heritage sector. We had over 800 responses, 70% of which were from small businesses that are the engine of England’s heritage industry. Whilst the impact of Coronavirus has been serious, Government support schemes are providing assistance and 90% of businesses felt able to keep going in the short term. Craft workers and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors appear to be most vulnerable with more than four out of ten concerned for their businesses and in need of additional support. The results also show that 77% of respondents reported lost business in the short term.

The survey has made it very clear that we need to direct as much financial support as we can to support these small heritage businesses, especially those involved in specialist crafts and professional services, through this challenging period.

The information we’ve gathered complements the recent survey undertaken by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will help to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation across the whole sector.

We are collaborating with a number of heritage organisations to understand the impact of the current situation on the heritage sector. To help inform this work, we launched a survey aimed at understanding the impact of Covid-19 on the businesses and skills that underpin the heritage sector. We have had over 800 responses, 70% of which were from small businesses that are the engine of England’s heritage industry. Whilst the impact of Coronavirus has been serious, Government support schemes are providing assistance and 90% of businesses felt able to keep going in the short term. Craft workers and professionals such as architects, engineers and surveyors appear to be most vulnerable with more than four out of ten concerned for their businesses and in need of additional support. The results also show that 77% of respondents reported lost business in the short term.

These results will be shared across the heritage sector and we are using them to shape the Government’s, and our own, response to protecting and championing the heritage sector during this difficult time.

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