Supporting the Heritage Sector to Manage the Impact of Coronavirus

In such challenging and uncertain times for everyone, we are working hard to protect and champion heritage which is a source of well-being and collective identity. We are collaborating with a number of heritage organisations to:

  • share information and expertise
  • provide support and guidance
  • understand the impact of the current situation on the heritage sector.

To help inform this work, we need you to tell us how you are being affected.

Take our survey

Your feedback will help shape the Government’s response to protecting and championing the heritage sector during this difficult time. This survey closes at midnight Monday 13th April 2020.

Work is currently focused across five key areas:

Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund

We are planning emergency financial support for heritage organisations to help mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. This will run alongside new funding announced by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as other measures introduced by the Government and heritage and cultural sector partners.

Our aim is to extend the safety net as far as we can and help heritage organisations both survive the immediate challenges they face and prepare for recovery.

In the coming weeks we will:

  • adapt our support for existing grant funded organisations and projects.
  • announce further details of our new emergency funding for capacity building and research projects, once analysis of the need has been carried out.

Keep an eye on this webpage for updates.

If you are one of our existing grant recipients, please read our updated guidance.

Heritage Sector Response Group

This group of national heritage organisations has come together to assess the impact on heritage, to share information and to co-ordinate support and action.

The attendees are drawn from across the national Historic Environment Forum and include, amongst others:

  • Historic England
  • Historic Houses
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • National Trust
  • The Heritage Alliance

The group is at present focussing on immediate responses but will refocus on longer term considerations as soon as possible.

Working with the Government

We are in daily contact with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and have regular contact with the Heritage Minister to discuss heritage issues, including initial responses and for longer-term planning.

The Heritage Alliance is also gathering concerns and questions from its members and sharing these with both Historic England and the DCMS so that the immediate challenges to the independent heritage sector can be understood.

Please feed immediate questions and concerns to The Heritage Alliance on [email protected]

Assessing the impact on heritage

We are working closely with the heritage sector to collate comprehensive and consistent information on the impact of Coronavirus. We need to make sure that we have reliable data and evidence on how all parts of the sector have been affected, so that we can respond quickly and effectively.

As well as the considerable impact on tourist sites, we will collect data on the impact on small businesses, craft skills specialists and heritage crime so that we can best plan for the recovery phase.

If you would like to contribute ideas on the data that should be collected or send us evidence of how you have been impacted, please email [email protected]

National Lottery Heritage Fund survey of heritage organisations

The National Lottery Heritage Fund launched a short survey to help gauge the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the people and heritage organisations they work with. In discussion with heritage partners, other funders and the government, the Fund will use the information to help determine how they can support the sector.

The survey closed on Friday 27 March and results will be shared.

Other support

There are many other heritage organisations that are providing support in a number of ways:

  • Historic Houses - Historic Houses is currently surveying its 1,500 members on the financial impacts of the current crisis. A daily email update is also being sent to keep members updated on the latest Government advice on the type of business support available, such as grants, loans and tax deferrals. Information is available on the Historic Houses website.
  • The Heritage Alliance - The Heritage Alliance is hosting a COVID 19 information hub, which contains advice, announcements and useful links.
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund – support and advice for grant holders and the wider sector is on their website.
  • Architectural Heritage Fund - The AHF has committed to supporting their loan clients, grant holders and applicants at this challenging time.
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