Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) – Project Development Grants

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We strongly advise you to discuss your project with us before applying to ensure that we can meet your needs.
Find your local Support Officer’s Contact Details here.

The Architectural Heritage Fund’s advicegrants and loans are designed to help us deliver our overall strategic objectives and outcomes for heritage and communities.

We have developed a Theory of Change model to demonstrate the lasting difference we want to make with our support. This sets out the outcomes we want to deliver for our clients, the built environment and the wider community. Our grants and loans are intended to help our clients’ progress through the relevant stages of the model.


Funding priorities

Any applications we receive are considered against our current funding priorities. Our funds are in high demand and it is likely that your application will be considered in competition with others.

We will normally assess whether your application is a HighMedium or Low priority against each of the following categories, and successful applications will usually be assessed as a HIGH priority in at least three of the four.

Heritage need
We will give priority to projects involving historic buildings that have statutory protection and at risk. We will consider applications for unlisted buildings if you can show that they are highly valued as heritage assets by the local community. If your building is not on a national or local register of heritage at risk then you should explain why it is under threat. This may be due to the building’s condition, redundancy, change of ownership or a current use that is economically unsustainable.

Social Impact
We will give priority to projects that have the potential to make a significant positive social impact, particularly (but not exclusively) in disadvantaged areas. We want to help build stronger and more cohesive communities by supporting projects that will create employment, training and/or volunteering opportunities both during the project’s development and in the years following completion. We want to encourage community ownership of heritage assets and support the growth of community businesses. High priority projects will show evidence of active community engagement. The building may be listed as an Asset of Community Value or you may be planning a Community Share issue, for example.

Why now?
The work you carry out with our grant support should help you reach planned milestones in your project’s development and there should be a tangible outcome – for example, a funding bid submitted, a business plan created, a partnership agreed, the acquisition of a property. Is the work absolutely essential at this time? What difference will it make? What might happen if the project is not progressed now? You must be able to show that the project will move forward as a result of our investment. We have identified the key stages of a project’s development on our Theory of Change model. Your organisation should be better equipped to deliver the project as a result of our funding.

Financial need
We will assess your organisation’s ability to contribute towards the cost of the work. We give priority to grant applications that can provide at least 50% partnership funding from other sources. This helps to demonstrate a wider commitment to your project and a willingness to share some of the risk. Even small donations from the local community and funds raised through crowdfunding help to show wider community ‘buy-in’ to what you are trying to achieve.

For more detailed information on our Priorities, please see our Guidance Notes or contact your relevant Support Officer with any questions.


Eligibility

To apply you must be a formally constituted charity or social enterprise whose members have limited liability.
[For Project Viability Grants, we will accept applications from unincorporated organisations or those in the process of being established. For other grants we would normally expect you to be incorporated. Advice on appropriate legal forms and governance models for voluntary sector organisations can be included as an eligible cost as part of the viability appraisal].

Private individuals, and local authorities are not eligible for our funds. Projects that involve buildings where the primary use is worship, or where the funds are required for capital works are not eligible.

All applications must concern projects that have recently involved or will result in a change of ownership and/or a change of use. The development work we fund should enable you to make measurable progress towards the goal of acquiring an historic building and/or adapting it for a new use.

For more information on Eligibility, please see our detailed Guidance Notes or contact your relevant Support Officer with any questions.

Grant application deadlines

Applications for grants of up to £5,000 can be made at any time and we aim to give you a decision within 6 weeks.
Applications for more than £5,000 are considered by our Grants Panel at their quarterly meetings. Deadlines for applications are as follows:

2018 Deadlines

5pm on 16 February for 28 March Grants Panel meeting

5pm on 11 May for 20 June Grants Panel meeting

5pm on 24 August for 26 September Grants Panel meeting

5pm on 2 November for 13 December Grants Panel meeting

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