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Funding for historic buildings & landscapes

Eligibility

We support organisations managing sites of outstanding historic, architectural and cultural significance and that have a clear emphasis on public access and engagement. Grants are awarded towards conservation and restoration work, interpretation, and education spaces.

The site should meet all of the following criteria:

  • be a registered charity or a local authority
  • be open and accessible to the public for the majority of the year (with a reasonable number of visitors)
  • Be listed as:
    • Grade I, II* or a Scheduled Monument (England and Wales)
    • Category A, B or a Scheduled Monument (Scotland)
    • Grade A, B+ or a Scheduled Monument (Northern Ireland)

Please note that where we receive a particularly high level of interest in this area, applications concerning sites which are listed as Grade I, Category A, Grade A or a Scheduled Monument will be prioritised. 

For landscapes, parks and gardens, a case should be made that the site has a national significance.

The project should involve one or more of the following elements:

  • restoration or conservation work to the historic fabric of the building
  • excellent interpretation of historic buildings, landscapes and collections

    and also aim to produce one or more of the following outcomes:

    • increased numbers of visitors to historic sites
    • better public engagement with and understanding of sites of historical and cultural significance
    • improved future sustainability of the organisation

    What we don't fund

    Examples of ineligible projects and costs include:

    • Purchase of land or existing buildings (including a building’s freehold)
    • Grants direct to individuals
    • Grants through conduit organisations
    • Overheads, maintenance costs, VAT and professional fees
    • Non-specific appeals (including circulars) and endowment funds
    • Costs of meetings, exhibitions, concerts, expeditions, conferences, lectures, etc.
    • Salary costs
    • Running costs, including vehicle fuel and maintenance
    • Film, websites or promotional materials
    • Repayment of loans
    • Projects that have already been completed or will be by the time of award

    How to apply

    We run a two stage application process.

    Stage 1:

    Stage 1 applications are submitted online, via the link. Please note you will need to register an account before starting an online application.

    Information that we need at this stage includes a brief description of the project, including the total cost, the current funding shortfall and the proposed timetable. It is important that the application comes with the full backing of the institution and a cover letter signed by the Chief Executive or equivalent should accompany the submission. To see the list of questions asked at Stage 1, click here.

    Audited accounts for the past two years should also be submitted with the online application. The accounts provided should relate to the ongoing underlying operating activities of the organisation itself and not a related fundraising arm or charity. We undertake a financial appraisal of all applications, and you may be asked by our Finance Director to respond to specific queries.

    If your Stage 1 application is successful, we will invite you to submit a Stage 2 application.

    Stage 2:

    Stage 2 applications are submitted to us by invitation only and should be sent by email. Unless otherwise agreed, we require that at least 50% of the capital costs of the project are raised before submission (unless the project cost is under £50,000) and any necessary planning permission is in place.

    Guidance on what to include in a Stage 2 application may be found here.

    Stage 2 applications are sent out to expert reviewers and if questions or queries are raised, applicants are given an opportunity to respond.  Applications are then considered by an expert Panel, who make recommendations to our Trustees.

    If you've applied before

    If we have previously awarded your organisation a grant, we are unable to accept another application until five years have elapsed since the date your last award was offered and the new application should be for a different project. This is because our programmes are over-subscribed and we want to support as many organisations and projects as possible. You should therefore ensure that the project that you apply for is your priority over the next five years.

    Universities and large charities with more than one site may be allowed to reapply more frequently but we encourage these organisations to contact us in advance.

    If you have been turned down at Stage 1, you are allowed to submit a new application for a different project at any time. Please ensure that your new application meets our eligibility criteria and if you are unsure, you are welcome to phone the grants team for advice.  

    If you have been turned down at Stage 2, you should wait until at least one year has elapsed before submitting a new application for a different project.

    We do not normally consider the same project twice, whether or not funding was awarded.

    When to apply

    We run two funding rounds each year. The key dates are:

    Round 1

    Stage 1 application deadline: 5 January  
    Stage 2 application deadline: 1 March
    Funding decision: June

    Round 2

    Stage 1 application deadline: 1 July 
    Stage 2 application deadlines: 1 September
    Funding decision: December

    Grants are not made retrospectively, and so your project must be ongoing at the time that a funding decision is made (i.e. June or December).

    Need to know

    Who can apply:
    Registered or exempt charity (or equivalent) or local authority

    Location of applicant and project:
    UK only

    Funding covers:
    Conservation and restoration work to sites of outstanding historic, architectural and cultural significance

    Minimum grant amount:
    £15,000

    Usual grant range:
    £15,000 – £100,000

    Match funding required:
    Yes, if project cost is >£50,000

    Decision dates:
    June and December annually. Projects must not be completed before a funding decision is made

    Wolfson funding programme:
    Arts & Humanities

    Ready to start application?

    If you have checked you are eligible and understand the application process and timescale, you can start your application

    Returning to your application?

    If you’ve already started your application and are looking to return to continue the process, you can do so here

    Contact us

    Please contact us if you have a question about applying

    Call: 020 7323 5730