The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched a new 10-year project, Heritage Places, focused on providing a boost to local economies across nine UK towns and cities.
Backed by £200m in funding, Heritage Places will invest in the Leicester, North-East Lincolnshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Medway, County Durham and Torbay in England; Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow; the Welsh town of Neath Port Talbot and the Northern Irish areas of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.
The Heritage Fund chose the nine funding destinations using an ‘evidence-based approach’ of quantitative research and local insight. The areas were identified as having heritage needs, opportunities and potential.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, remarked: “Our Heritage Places is designed to support in challenging times, to achieve even greater impact, and commits our funding for the long-term.”
In Torbay – a town on the South Devon coast in Southwest England – its independent advisory board, Torbay Culture, plans to utilise the funding to care for the area’s historic assets and maximise the social, cultural and economic benefits of heritage for the local community and tourists.
Martin Thomas, Executive Director of Torbay Culture, said: “The new 10-year strategic place partnership with The National Lottery Heritage Fund is a genuine step change in how to support local heritage.”
The Heritage Places project forms part of the National Lottery’s Heritage 2033 strategy, launched in March of this year as a ‘long-term vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’.
Good causes funding, such as into heritage projects, is the principal founding objective of the National Lottery and was a key talking point during the Fourth Licence Contest between 2020 and 2022.
The Heritage Fund has formed part of this good causes funding goal for over 30 years since the lottery was founded in 1993.
McGuinness continued: “For the last 30 years, the Heritage Fund has invested in heritage making better places for communities to live, work and visit.
“Our Heritage Places builds on this and is designed to support in challenging times, to achieve even greater impact, and commits our funding for the long-term.
“Celebrating and preserving our history, architecture, landscape and culture is not just important for its own sake, it plays a vital role in connecting communities, bringing joy and supporting economic regeneration.”
The National Lottery is preparing for a major transition moment as Allwyn – which won the fourth licence content in 2022 – stands by ready to assume the licence in February next year, having acquired outgoing operator Camelot.