The Heritage Fund announces over £24 million in new heritage grants


The National Lottery Heritage Fund announces over £24 million in heritage funding, including a green light for a proposed £5 million application from Crystal Palace Park. This money will advance the Park’s Regeneration Plan, including restoration to the Tidal Lakes, home of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, a new dinosaur-themed playground and information centre. The park is currently on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register, in part due to the condition of the Dinosaurs, which have stood here more than 170 years.

Sitting at the meeting point of five boroughs, Crystal Palace Park serves a wide range of local communities, including some of the most deprived communities in England and provides important green space for the local area.

The funding for Crystal Palace Park is part of the Heritage Fund’s latest funding round, with projects stretching from Penzance to John O’Groats, across Wales and Northern Ireland, totalling over £24 million. In Penzance, the Gardeners’ House has received over £2 million to create a new green community hub in West Cornwall, repurposing a historic stable block to encourage environmental education and wellbeing. The John O’Groats Mill, the historic heart of the community, will be saved by an almost £1.6 million grant. This funding will restore the mill as an economic and social driver of the community, engaging with local employability organisations to ensure meaningful opportunities in the surrounding area.

In Northern Ireland, The Hilden Mill School has received over £800,000 transforming the disused building into a tearoom and childcare facilities for families in and around Lisburn. The Trinity Centre in Cardiff received £892,000, funding wide ranging improvements to the former Trinity Methodist Church which will better support the work currently being done by 24 different groups in the Centre. The majority of these focus on enabling refugees and asylum seekers access support services, clothes and food, as well as language lessons and other social activities.

This comes as The National Lottery Heritage Fund announces its new 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033. The strategy sets out the Heritage Fund’s vision that heritage be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future. Over the next 10 years, the Heritage Fund aim to invest £3.6 billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players in heritage, to make a difference for people, place and communities. All investment decisions will be underpinned by four principles: saving heritage; protecting the environment; inclusion, access and participation; and organisational sustainability.

The Heritage Fund will look to take a long-term view, investing in heritage for the future as well as the present. This means investing in places, not just individual projects, to bring about benefits for people, places and our natural environment. In doing so, the Heritage Fund seeks to support projects of all sizes that connect people and communities to the UK’s heritage and will be doubling its funding threshold to £10m to increase the scope of what can be done.

Since 1994, grants have stretched from Ben Nevis to Holme Fen, which at seven metres below sea level is the lowest place in Britain. The impact has travelled from the Shetland Islands to the Isles of Scilly. The Heritage Fund has supported every local authority and council in the UK.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says

“Crystal Palace Park embodies the joy of heritage: from its nature walks and unique Dinosaurs to the kaleidoscope of sporting and cultural activities held in its magnificent grounds. It’s as important to local communities as its history is significant internationally.

“We’re delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we can save much loved heritage like the Crystal Palace Park all over the UK and create benefits for people, places and our natural environment. In 1852, Crystal Palace Park was designed to impress, educate, entertain and inspire. Our funding will help ensure that it continues to do just that for generations to come.”