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
- The Historic Environment Fund is aimed at: conserving heritage assets and increasing knowledge and public awareness of the historic environment.
- Proposals for 2021/22 are currently in development, and, subject to budget confirmation, should be released by mid-May. It is likely that, this year, support for repairs to listed buildings will be focused upon the key area of roof repairs.
- As with previous years repair work should be to the standard of the HEF Advisory Standards
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 been 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'.
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