Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

Historic England’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund extends a safety net to small heritage organisations at this challenging time.

The fund has been set up in response to our recent survey. The grants available will help organisations, voluntary groups and self-employed contractors survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.

Apply for funding

Applicants are invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to address financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus. Grants of up to £50,000 are also available for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills.

The deadline for applications has now passed, we will contact applicants later this month.

This Call for Proposals sits alongside our continuing Heritage Protection Commissions Open Proposals Programme which we are continuing to support.

How big is the fund?

Applicants are invited to apply for grants of up to £50,000 for projects that might enable us to reduce risk to heritage through research, and grants of up to £25,000 to address specific organisation cashflow difficulties arising from Covid-19. The fund will be up to £2million.

What is the fund?

We are offering emergency financial support for heritage organisations to run alongside other measures introduced by the Government and our partners in the heritage and cultural sectors. We are assessing the need and the risks for the projects and organisations we currently fund to see what is vulnerable and where our help will make the most difference. 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.

Who is it for?

The fund will be used to support third-sector organisations and voluntary groups managing heritage projects, as well as heritage organisations and self-employed contractors who are severely affected by the impact of Coronavirus and who need additional emergency financial support beyond the Government’s measures.

Can I apply for this scheme if I am planning to apply for a Bounce Back Loan?

For more: Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan (Gov.uk)

To qualify for our grant funding, applicants will need to demonstrate that a loan is not suitable. In particular this will be the case where historical operational surpluses (as evidenced by the accounts provided as part of the application) do not provide sufficient evidence that grant repayments will be a viable option.

Can the grant application include funding for staff salaries?

We are providing funding in order for organisations to survive, and therefore will apply the same principles as government support, including a cap of £2,500 per month to salary funding per post under criterion one (revenue funding). To note, this does not apply for projects funded under criterion two. Our funding cannot be used to top-up the salaries of furloughed staff (as covered in the application guidance).

How can people apply?

Applications will be online through our website’s Heritage Protection Commissions Calls for Proposals page. We have simplified and tailored the process so we can understand the impact of the pandemic on the person or organisation applying and how urgent a response is needed.

Applications will be open until midnight on Sunday 3 May 2020 and we're aiming for funding to be made available from mid-May.

How far can it really go?

Our emergency financial support will run alongside other measures introduced by the Government and our partners in the heritage and cultural sectors. 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 are assessing the need and the risks for the projects and organisations we currently fund to see where our help will make the most difference.

What else is being done for people in the heritage sector?

The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced an Emergency Heritage Fund of £50million last week, 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.

How will Covid-19 impact existing grant funded projects?

We will continue to support you whether you’re a grant recipient or currently liaising with our teams about developing your project or grant application. If you have immediate concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on your grant funded project, please get in touch with your individual project contacts to discuss any flexibility you need at this time. More information for existing grant recipients

How is the sector being affected by Coronavirus?

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 ran a survey aimed at understanding the impact of Coronavirus on the businesses and skills that underpin the heritage sector. This complemented the recent survey undertaken by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and has helped to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation across the whole sector.

We have shared results of this survey across the heritage sector and will use it to shape the Government’s and Historic England’s response to protecting and championing the heritage sector during this difficult time.

What does the future look like for the heritage sector?

This is a challenging time for many and we are working with our partners in the sector and within Government to better understand who is most affected and how. This close working and the results from our survey will help inform how we work towards recovery.

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