Historic Environment Funding & Grants

Find out about the range of support available to owners and groups to repair, research, and regenerate historic buildings, historic monuments, and the wider historic environment...

The Department’s aim is to ‘help communities to enjoy and realise the value of our historic environment’. One way of doing this is through providing financial assistance.

Historic Environment Fund

Roof Repair Stream

The Historic Environment Fund Roof Repair Stream closed for applications on 21 June. Up to £5,000 per roof (£10,000 for thatched buildings) is being invested to support owners to carry out work, by 25 March 2022, to keep listed buildings watertight.

Work will be to the standard of the HEF Advisory Standards

District Council Heritage Development Support

A fund up to a maximum of £10k per award is currently available to support district councils to carry out heritage development activity. A wide range of activity can be supported under the scheme but this must be carried out by 31 March 2022. Applications close on 29 November.

Support for social enterprises/charities to tackle Heritage at Risk

The Department has supported the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) since 2016 to work with communities to realise the potential of heritage assets. Its Heritage Transformed in Northern Ireland project has included funding to provide project viability and project development grants. Further support was provided in 2020/21 as part of the Department’s Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme.

Heritage Impact Fund

The Department has also provided funding to the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) to support it to provide loans to applicants in Northern Ireland seeking to ‘acquire, reuse or redevelop buildings which are of historic or architectural importance - these may be buildings which are listed, in a Conservation Area, or may be of special significance to the community. The end use should be financially viable and help support the objectives of the organisation and provide impact to or benefits for the communities in which the buildings are based'.

Community Ownership Fund

The Community Ownership Fund provides financial support to communities across the UK to take ownership of assets, amenities and facilities at risk of being lost but have value for the local people and place.

The fund invests in sustainable projects where community ownership of the asset or amenity makes the biggest difference to the local place, advancing the social wellbeing and interests of the community. Voluntary and community organisations are eligible to bid for match funding to save community assets and amenities and run them for the benefit of the local community.

Up to £250k is available per project. A total sum of £150 million will be spread across the UK in multiple bidding rounds covering a period of four years from 2021-2025. The proportion of the overall fund for NI will be £4.3 million. Groups who want to apply to the fund must do so using the online portal.

National Heritage Memorial Fund COVID-19 Response Fund

Launched in June 2021, this funding stream offers project grants to support any heritage asset which is:

  • of outstanding importance to the national heritage
  • at risk due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

A total of £40million is being distributed by NHMF, made up of two lots of £20m:

  • NHMF has made a commitment of £20m, which is available to applicants from across the UK.

Distributing NHMF’s own commitment as a single fund with the Cultural Assets Fund will ensure a UK-wide balance of funding. This funding is available until the end of April 2023. There are no deadlines for applications. This is open to

  • charities
  • not-for-profit organisations, for example voluntary groups, trusts, social enterprises and community interest companies
  • public sector organisations

This is not open to:

  • private individuals
  • commercial and for profit businesses

What can be funded

  • Any heritage asset which is of outstanding importance to the national heritage and at risk due to the impact of COVID-19, through a project grant.

NHMF can fund heritage projects of all sizes and there is no limit to the percentage of funding that can be applied for. However, NHMF operates as a fund of last resort, so you will have to demonstrate that you have explored, or are exploring, all other possible sources of funding, including your own resources. 

Funding for Places of Worship

Historic Environment Division has supported the National Churches Trust to develop a funding stream for churches in Northern Ireland. The project which is also supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Pilgrim Trust, will run for three years from 2020 - 2023. Its aim is to make it easier for those responsible to look after church or chapel buildings. Grants for repairs and help and advice are available as part of the project.  Further support was provided in 2020/21 as part of the Department’s COVID-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme.

Listed Place of Worship Grant Scheme

The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme gives grants that cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs. The Scheme is run by a contractor for the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

Heritage Recovery Fund

As part of the Department’s response to COVID-19 the Heritage Recovery Fund offered grants to help heritage individuals, organisations or businesses impacted by COVID-19 cover operating costs, assess and adapt their business models, and become financially viable up to 31 March 2021.

50 organisations and 41 individuals received grants. The National Lottery Heritage Fund administered the scheme on our behalf. They have published a list of the recipients. ​​​​​​

Community Heritage Fund

The Community Heritage Fund was also dispersed  as part of COVID-19 support. It aimed to use heritage to encourage renewal projects that help communities deal with the impact of COVID-19.

This was also  administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 29 organisations across Northern Ireland received grants for local heritage projects, ranging from £3,000 - £10,000. A list of recipients is available.

Village Catalyst Pilot

Historic Environment Division is currently working with colleagues in DAERA and the AHF to develop a new way to support communities to tackle social isolation and rural poverty in their villages by developing sustainable uses for heritage at risk. A pilot is currently under way. Prospective applicants have been identified based upon previous engagement with the AHF through their Heritage Transformed in Northern Ireland project

Other Sources of Funding

The Heritage Funding Directory is managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund, and provides a free guide to financial and other support for anyone undertaking UK related heritage projects. Organisations such as the Pilgrim Trust  and the Garfield Weston Foundation have a history of supporting work in Northern Ireland and may be willing to support suitable projects.

​The Directory’s entries cover historic buildings, landscapes, parks and gardens, churchyards and cemeteries, industrial heritage, archives, historic churches, museums, archaeology, environmental, heritage skills, conservation and more.

Other Historic Environment Information




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