Heritage fund consultation on priorities post 2013

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is asking for views from the heritage sector and community organisations on what its priorities should be between 2013 and 2019.

The funding distributor has published a consultation document setting out proposals and is inviting responses from the public and professional organisations to help shape its six-year strategic plan.

The consultation asks for ideas on how the HLF can improve its use of digital media and how it can help parks adapt to the impact of climate change, suggesting a funding programme to support related projects from next year.

The document also includes proposals for horticulture and landscape training programmes and a new community heritage fund that would provide grants from £10,000 up to £200,000.

"That could really appeal to parks departments and communities responsible for smaller parks and gardens," said HLF head of landscape Drew Bennelick. "We have dealt with parks with the biggest infrastructure problems, but we want to show the value of investing in all green space," he added.

Bennelick said one of the HLF's chief concerns was the legacy of the projects in which it had already invested. "We hope councils will see the value of their parks and try to protect them," he added. "Some will, some won't, but the voice of the community will be vital."

He admitted that despite having simplified the application process, diminished resources would inevitably mean a decline in local authority applications.

HLF AWARDS TO PARK PROGRAMMES

2011: £30m including £10m from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

2012: £20m confirmed - budget not finalised so BIG unable to confirm contribution.

- Overall HLF budget set to rise from £180m this financial year to £300m by 2012-13.

- Since 1994, the HLF has spent £527m in 550 UK parks.

- Grants awarded to 46 per cent of local authorities.

- Thirty-six per cent of councils never been to HLF for support.

- New strategy to be published in spring 2012. Consultation questionnaire available at www.hlf.org.uk/consultation2011.


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