Heritage Innovation Fund

Heritage Fund

Relevent Country: United Kingdom

Do you currently work within heritage (for a not-for-profit or public sector organisation, or a private owner of heritage)? Are you excited by the opportunity to pioneer new ways of working? Do you have a compelling challenge connected to the future of the heritage workforce? Are you interested in exploring potential solutions alongside other people from all types of heritage organisations across the UK? Could specialist innovation support, working alongside a cohort of supportive peers and a grant of up to £25,000, help you to explore potential solutions to the challenges of tomorrow? If you answered yes to these questions, then the Heritage Innovation Fund is for you.

The Heritage Innovation Fund is a pilot initiative for experimenters, collaborators and learners from across all parts of heritage, across the UK. They’re looking for people who want to play a leading role in pioneering solutions for making the heritage workforce fit for the future.

It is designed to support organizations to explore, test and grow the new ways of working needed to support the future of their diverse and varied heritage. 

The funding can be used to support organizations to find practical solutions that will help them and also be shared across the sector.

Applicants must be:

  • Committed to the innovation process
  • Prepared to learn and experience
  • Willing to share their failures as well as their successes

Phase 1: Explore

  • Explore is for organizations at the early ideas stage. This phase will focus on defining a clear problem statement and helping you to develop potential solutions for testing in practice.

This phase will provide access to:  

  • Grants of up to £25,000 to cover your time and activities during this phase (six months)
  • Expertise to help you develop your ideas and skills through a structured package of support 
  • Peer learning and exchange in a cohort
  • Subject to Board approval, further grants from the Heritage Innovation Fund may be available to support the following steps in the innovation process.

What are they looking for?

In your Explore phase application you must clearly set out:

  • How you will explore and define your idea and problem statement  
  • How your work will focus on the further strategic development, governance and financial planning connected to your idea and how you will engage and involve relevant groups  
  • How National Lottery funding, expert advice and being connected to a group of peers with a common goal will strengthen your organization over the longer term

Questions to consider

  • What is the workforce challenge that you want to focus on?
  • What are the different elements of the challenge, and why have they not been tackled before?
  • What are the short, medium and longer-term results of not solving this challenge?
  • Who needs to be involved (internally and/or externally)? How might you find out more about their perspectives?
  • How will this exploration relate to ongoing work in your organization?
  • What support do you have, and will you need, for the early discovery work to be effective? This could be from your organization, the Heritage Fund, and/or other organizations or people.

Eligibility Criteria

  • They are accepting applications from heritage organizations of any size or type, anywhere in the UK.

These could include:  

  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • local authorities
  • Public sector organizations or private owners of heritage (with a workforce)
  • They cannot include:
  • Commercial organizations
  • For- profit organizations

Source: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/heritage-innovation-fund