Forty eight members supported a Heritage Alliance response welcoming the Government’s proposal to restore the allocation to the Heritage Lottery Fund from 16 per cent to 20 per cent in two stages to 2012, which could see an additional £50m pa being awarded to heritage projects.
The joint response set out what the extra funding would do; it would mean that voluntary and community groups could conserve and enhance even more of our heritage for social and economic benefit, increase public access and understanding, increase the ability of voluntary heritage bodies to rescue historic buildings and find viable new uses for them. Not least HLF funding increases volunteering opportunities, supports community organisers and more widely supports business skills in the not-for-profit sector.
The response, however, calls for careful discussion of the costs involved in supporting small grant recipients before setting all Lottery distributors an administrative cap of 5 per cent . It also points out that whilst this welcome increase will benefit the voluntary and community sector it cannot under present eligibility rules help private owners, except for small scale access and learning projects, even though the majority of our heritage is in private hands. The Heritage Alliance urges the Government to explore fiscal incentives and other means to support private owners in caring for our historic environment for national benefit.