The Grange detail
transpor tturst
rsz_colton_norfolk (1)
Gothic Temple
Martello Tower


News and updates from The Heritage Alliance team.

More of the latest news from The Alliance, our members, and from across the independent heritage sector, can be found in our fortnightly e-bulletin, Heritage Update.

Securing the Long-Term Future of the Heritage Sector

June 24, 2020

Securing the Long-Term Future of the Heritage Sector

The COVID-19 pandemic is having, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the heritage sector. This brief covers some of the key issues around the long-term sustainability of the heritage sector, and highlights where the government can support us.

In this document, we have set out our key asks to Government:

Key Asks –  Securing the Long-Term Future of the Heritage Sector 

Heritage and Wellbeing Roundtables

Heritage and Wellbeing Roundtables

The Heritage Alliance is hosting two roundtable sessions next week to test and discuss the draft recommendations in our latest report on the benefit of heritage to wellbeing.

The roundtables are being held virtually (over Zoom) at the following times:

Monday 29 June, 14:00-15:30

Thursday 2 July, 11:00-12:00

If you’d like to be involved, please get in touch with Max at

New COVID-19 Guidelines for Heritage

New COVID-19 Guidelines for Heritage

We have produced a summary of the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons on 23 June 2020 on new COVID-19 Guidelines.

Yesterday, the Government announced the relaxation of lockdown measures from 4 July. This is excellent news for many parts of sector, although it is clear that the financial pressures continue as organisations are unable to catch up on Spring and Summer loss of income or operate at a pre-Covid level of service for a long time. There are costs associated with reopening and we continue to make these points to Government.

Government Guidance for the heritage sector has now been published online here.

The PM also said in Parliament that the 2m social distancing rules would be reduced to ‘1 metre plus’ and that galleries, museums, theme parks, libraries, social clubs and community centres would be able to open from 4 July. We have been providing a great deal of detail from our membership on the benefits of a move from 2m to 1m for parts of our sector ranging from steam trains and maritime to cathedral capacity and our pleased to see this change. However, we know that challenges remain for our historic pools and theatres and for projects and creative offers in our sites.

We have produced a summary of the PM’s announcement here and the full speech is available here.

Our Support for the Heritage Sector During COVID-19

June 10, 2020

Our Support for the Heritage Sector During COVID-19

Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Heritage Alliance has been hearing sector concerns and working hard to provide resources and guidance to support heritage organisations through this difficult time.


We have been updating our members with guidance and support through regular emails, which cover the latest Government announcements and information for the sector as the situation has unfolded. 

To pool some of these resources in one place, and make these accessible to more people, we created a COVID-19 Guidance Hub, which lists Government guidance and support for heritage organisations – including digital initiatives and sources of emergency funding.

Following this, we created a COVID-19 Funding Hub for the wider sector (further details below), which sets out all the funding sources made available during this period.

Every fortnight in our newsletter, Heritage Update, we have been sharing the latest announcements from the Government. Recently, we created a summary of the key points from the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, which can be read here.

Advocating for Heritage 

We have been collating feedback from our members on their experiences and thoughts on the government measures and announcements from funders and ALBs (Arm’s-Length Bodies) and continue to feed these back to DCMS as well as other Government departments and key organisations in the heritage sector. We aim to create as joined-up an evidence base and set of advocacy concerns as possible. 

As part of this effort, we have:

  • Responded to the DCMS Select Committee consultation on the Impact of Covid-19 on DCMS sectors;
  • Contributed to discussions in the new ministerial-led taskforce for recreation and leisure for the safe re-opening of heritage sites;
  • Chair of the Heritage Alliance, Peter Ainsworth chair joined an ALBs call with the DCMS Permanent Secretary to discuss issues facing the DCMS sectors and plans for the future, in his capacity as the chair of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) [Alliance member];
  • Participated in discussions with organisations campaigning for gardens to be allowed to reopen than planned. The National Trust, CLA and Historic Houses [Alliance members] have all raised the issue with DCMS and DEFRA, questioning the Government’s decision to allow garden centres to open but not gardens. The Government has since produced updated COVID-19 guidance to allow private gardens to open to the public;
  • Advocated for the introduction of a part-furlough scheme, which we are pleased has now happened;
  • Advocated for more flexible funding options for organisations during COVID-19. We are pleased that the Government has introduced the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

Funding Guidance and Resources

The Heritage Alliance is not a funding body, nor are we funding experts, but we do provide a platform for guidance and advice to organisations and individuals looking to fund heritage projects. 

Details of new funding available can be found in the news section of this issue of Heritage Update and in our COVID-19 Funding Hub. 

We have been redeveloping the Heritage Funding Directory to ensure that organisations have a comprehensive tool which will help them to navigate the funding sources available to them for a wide range of projects across the heritage sector. This resource will continue to be free and accessible to all and will include a list of sources for international as well as UK-based work. 

Resources from our past project Giving to Heritage are still available online and continue to be relevant for organisations across the sector, funded by the Heritage Fund. GTH was the Heritage Alliance’s exciting training programme for fundraisers in the heritage sector. Along with other advice about the training opportunities that ran across the two-year project, over 30 recorded webinars are still available to watch on the website. 

Exclusive Offers for Alliance Members 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Heritage Alliance Members have also able to access exclusive offers and expert support, guidance and resources. 

A message from Delphine, our Development and Membership Manager: 

“It has been really exciting in the last few weeks to see so many Heritage Alliance members taking advantage of our exclusive COVID-19 offers. We have partnered with some great organisations to create bespoke support that is making a real difference to Heritage organisations at this difficult time (but don’t just take my word for it, see the testimonies below). Thank you to Imagemakers,  Arcade,  Philanthropy Company, Tricolor Associates and  Bates Wells who have made this possible.

Read the full details of these exclusive member offers and how you can benefit from them.

If you are not currently a member of the Heritage Alliance, why not explore all the benefits currently on offer to organisations within our membership.


Joint Statement on Tackling Climate Change

Joint Statement on Tackling Climate Change

The heritage sector has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. We’ve committed to working together with our sector partners to take action.

You can read our joint statement here.

Exclusive Offers for Heritage Alliance Members During COVID-19

Exclusive Offers for Heritage Alliance Members During COVID-19

Details of the exclusive offers available to Heritage Alliance Members during COVID-19.

We continue to update our members through weekly communications from our CEO with guidance and support. We also regularly update our COVID-19 Guidance Hub and COVID-19 Funding Hub for the wider sector.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Heritage Alliance Members are also able to access exclusive offers and expert support, guidance and resources.

A message from Delphine, our Development and Membership Manager:

“It has been really exciting in the last few weeks to see so many Heritage Alliance members taking advantage of our exclusive COVID-19 offers. We have partnered with some great organisations to create bespoke support that is making a real difference to Heritage organisations at this difficult time (but don’t just take my word for it, see the testimonies below). Thank you to Imagemakers, Arcade, Philanthropy Company, Tricolor Associates and Bates Wells who have made this possible.

If you are a Heritage Alliance Member and haven’t taken advantage of these offers yet, this support is only an email away, just drop me a line (”

Imagemakers Offer Heritage Alliance Members Free Bespoke Branded COVID-19 Signage

Interpretive designers Imagemakers [Alliance member] is offering a fast track design service to develop branded signage to help you welcome back your visitors. Their bespoke designs will enable you to communicate essential messages about social distancing, visitor management and hygiene in an engaging and thoughtful way.

They have also prepared useful tips for re-opening for download from their website.

To book a free advisory consultation, please contact the Heritage Alliance’s Development & Membership Manager Delphine at

Arcade Support Many Heritage Alliance Members to Improve Their Digital Presence

Arcade [Alliance member], the immersive technology specialists, have been creating free virtual exhibitions for Heritage Alliance members. Heritage Alliance Members who took advantage of this offer include the Landmark Trust, National Historic Ships and Alexandra Palace.

National Historic Ships (NHS-UK) [Alliance member] is one of the organisations that has taken advantage of this offer so far:

“The NHS-UK Photography Competition is in its eleventh year and we are delighted to have been able to work with Arcade on the production of an online gallery to celebrate some of the winning entries from the last decade. This is the first time that we have created a virtual gallery of this kind and it has been great to discover new technology and different ways of showcasing the images. Having launched the gallery via social media, we are also now exploring the possibility of offering a curated tour of the space, as a different way for people to engage.

NHS-UK is a government-funded organisation which relies on grant aid to undertake project work outside of its core remit.  In response to Covid-19, we have sought ways to increase our online offer and particularly to maximise promotion of the Photography Competition, which we are marketing as a lockdown activity with entries allowed from any image taken in the last two years. With no additional funds, in-house expertise or software to produce virtual exhibitions, the partnership with Arcade has offered a unique way for us to do this.

In addition to the resource itself, we hope that the support from Arcade and Heritage Alliance will expose our work and the maritime heritage sector to new audiences through joined up marketing of the gallery we have created. We have already received increased exposure in the Heritage Alliance Newsletter as a result and Arcade has also launched the gallery through the Google Expeditions app which is not something we have previously used. Each year, we look at ways to promote the competition outside of our immediate sector and particularly to appeal to younger entrants, so the fact that this has widened our audience base is of considerable benefit to us.”

Our Most Popular Offer: Free Fundraising Advice from Philanthropy Company Extended Until End of June

To help the heritage sector during the Coronavirus crisis, Philanthropy Company [Alliance member] is offering free ‘check in’ phone consultations for Heritage Alliance Members.

During a ‘check in’ call, members will be able to share fundraising plans and concerns, and in return receive information from fundraising experts.

The Philanthropy Company’s services include strategic fundraising planning, defining vision, case for support and bid writing, researching and developing prospects, managing data, mentoring and fundraising training; they will be happy to discuss how their skills could help you raise funds in the long term.

Liz Purchase, from the Philanthropy Company [Alliance member] tells us more: “We have been delighted with the response to our Heritage Alliance members offer for a no obligation 30 minute fundraising check-in call. To support the sector is wonderful, and we have been pleased to talk with a variety of members.  We have been able to help them consider the best way forward on their fundraising journey during this difficult time.  We are looking forward to hearing from more Heritage Alliance members.”

“Invaluable insight and practical advice” in Project Management and Re-casting from Tricolor Associates

Whether you have a project in active delivery or were planning a project or development bid which has now been thrown into question, Tricolor is offering all members of The Heritage Alliance free reprogramming, project re-casting advice and support.

The Environment Trust [Alliance member] and the Building Crafts and Conservation Foundation (BCCF) [Alliance member] are among those who have benefitted from these 1:1 sessions so far:

The Environment Trust took part in Tricolor’s 1 to 1 session at the beginning of May to discuss a number of projects that have been impacted by Covid-19. Sarah Dowd from Tricolor was very helpful, proactive and reassuring on the call, providing practical advice that the Trust is now trying to implement. Being able to discuss our work with an external professional and to receive their insight was invaluable. Sarah has also taken the time to follow up with us to provide additional project support. We would recommend others taking advantage of the sessions on offer.”

“I am writing to say how much we in the Building Crafts and Conservation Foundation have appreciated being able to use the scheme. For small organisations like ours, especially with Covid-19, we don’t always know what to do next. Putting us in touch with Sarah Dowd of Tricolor was incredibly useful. In just two Zoom sessions we gained so much help. Although fund raising for our barn conversion is on hold, we have other things to think about and deal with. Sarah is a delight to work with but I expect you know that already.”

Free Legal Advice from Bates Wells

Our legal partner Bates Wells have been offering Alliance members free legal advice, especially on how COVID-19 may affect organisations, operations and employees.

“The free legal advice call offer from HA partner Bates Wells was really useful to Maritime Heritage Trust [Alliance member]. Like other heritage organisations we have accrued various governance changes over the years and our attempts to rationalise and move to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) structure were in danger of stalling. In this call we had good advice on the issues from Bate Wells who clearly know the sector well and that will enable us to move forward.”

We will also hold exclusive legal roundtable discussions for our members in the coming weeks, see more information in ‘Bates Wells Legal Corner’ and look-out for communications from our CEO on this offer.

To find out more and book any of these sessions, please contact the Heritage Alliance’s Development & Membership Manager, Delphine, at

Not Already a Member of The Heritage Alliance?

We understand what challenging times heritage organisations are facing at the moment. If you aren’t yet an Alliance member, this might be the right opportunity for you to join, as alongside this free support, we would:

  • represent your asks, needs and concerns in our weekly meeting with DCMS and fortnightly ministerial meetings;
  • Connect you to other organisations across the sector through our advocacy groups and networks;
  • Promote your events/jobs/content through Heritage Update for free- reaching over 14k inboxes in the sector, to give you visibility at this critical time.

If you want to learn more, speak to Delphine at

The Heritage Alliance Supports Statement for Anti-Racism in UK Heritage

June 3, 2020

The Heritage Alliance Supports Statement for Anti-Racism in UK Heritage

The Heritage Alliance has joined leading membership bodies representing museums, heritage and archives in the UK in supporting a joint statement of intent to end racism in the heritage sector.

Here is the full statement:

Joint statement of intent for the heritage sector

The Black Lives Matter movement began in America after a series of killings of black people in or following police custody. The movement has resonance in the UK, not least because of our nation’s history in which racism has become entrenched.

As the leading membership bodies representing the UK museums, heritage and archives we take responsibility for ending racism in the heritage sector. This work is overdue. This work is non-negotiable. It cuts across all aspects of our sector, from the collections we curate and preserve, the people who make up the heritage workforce, to the learning programmes we deliver.

The conversation and the action is ongoing.

We commit to pro-actively support :

  • representing our members across the heritage sector, acknowledging that our nation’s history and heritage is an invaluable tool in the fight against racism and discrimination.
  • anti-discrimination debate and discussion in the care of and access to heritage collections.
  • seeking, and taking care of the needs of a diverse heritage workforce.
  •  members to develop diverse collections.
  • asking questions and challenging practices that support racism in all of its forms.
  • that now is the time to be anti-racist. 
  • doing the work involved to end discrimination here and now.


  • The Group for Education in Museums (GEM)
  • The Association of Independent Museums (AIM)
  • The International Council of Museums UK (ICOM UK)
  • The Museums Association 
  • The Heritage Alliance 
  • The Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland)
  • Engage
  • Association for Heritage Interpretation


Heritage Sector Response to COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Heritage Sector Response to COVID-19

Ben Cowell, interim HEF Chair, has published a message to HEF Members on the Heritage Sector’s Response to the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Joint Statement – COVID-19

March 21, 2020

Joint Statement – COVID-19


21 MARCH 2020

COVID-19 is an ongoing public health emergency and our foremost thoughts are with those who are affected, those who have lost loved ones and those in the healthcare frontline.

As has been acknowledged by the UK Government, the widespread and necessary measures put in place this week to mitigate the spread of the virus meant that organisations would suffer economically, placing jobs and livelihoods at serious risk.

In addition, for the museums and independent heritage sectors, this has also placed irreplaceable indoor and outdoor collections at risk, as well as the highly valued work we do in engaging people in their history; in supporting social cohesion; in providing spaces for learning and encouraging a better understanding of everyone’s place in the world.

We welcome the unprecedented steps taken by the UK Government to address these impacts and risks and recognise the challenging task this has presented for colleagues in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Whilst there remains considerable uncertainty and tough times lie ahead, we are greatly encouraged by the financial measures announced on Friday 20 March and the positive response they provide to the deep and widespread concerns of the museums and heritage sectors.

We look forward to continuing our work with colleagues in DCMS, and others, to find the right solutions both for museums and heritage and for the UK, in whose recovery, museums and heritage sites have a unique and valued part to play.

Sir Ian Blatchford, Chair, National Museum Directors’ Council

Andrew Lovett, Chair, Association of Independent Museums

Maggie Appleton, President, Museums Association

Hilary McGrady, Director General, National Trust

Peter Ainsworth, Chair; Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chief Executive, The Heritage Alliance

Notes to editors

Together, NMDC, AIM and the MA represent museums of all types and scale across the UK.

About the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC)

The National Museum Directors’ Council represents the leaders of the UK’s national collections and major regional museums.  Our members are the national and major regional museums in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Archives and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

NMDC acts as an advocate on behalf of members and their collective priorities and provides them with a valuable forum for discussion and debate and an opportunity to share information and work collaboratively. While our members are funded by government, the NMDC is an independent, non-governmental organisation.  For more information about NMDC and our activity see our website:

About the Association of Independent Museums (AIM)

Established in 1977, the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) connects, strengthens and represents the UK’s independent heritage organisations. Through the sharing of expertise, advice and guidance AIM underpins its charitable objectives – to help heritage organisations prosper, ensuring their needs are recognised and addressed by policy makers, funders and other key sector stakeholders. AIM has a current membership of 1240, over 1000 of which are organisational members and it is supported by Arts Council England as a Sector Support Organisation. In 2019, AIM distributed over £500k through programmes, grants and awards, working closely with organisations including The Pilgrim Trust and Biffa Award.

About the Museums Association (MA)

The Museums Association is a dynamic membership organisation that campaigns for socially engaged museums and a representative workforce. We advocate for and support museums and everyone who works in and with them so that the value and impact of museums and their collections is realised. Our membership consists of over 16,000 organisations and people. They range from volunteer-run local museums to national institutions and people working across all types of roles and functions. We recognise the differences in context, culture, legislation, policy and practice between the four nations of the UK and we strive for equitable treatment for all our members. We are independent and not-for-profit and advocate for museums without fear or favour from governments or funding influences. For more information, see our website:

About the National Trust

The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people, Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley who saw the importance of the nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 780 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The National Trust receives more than 26.9 million visits each year to the places it cares for that have an entry fee, and an estimated 100m visits to the outdoor places looked after by the charity. Together with 5.9 million members and more than 65,000 volunteers, they help to support the conservation charity in its work to care for nature, beauty, history.  For everyone, for ever.

About The Heritage Alliance

The Heritage Alliance is England’s largest coalition of heritage interests. It brings together almost 150 independent heritage organisations from English Heritage, the National Trust, The Canal & River Trust and Historic Houses, to specialist bodies representing visitors, owners, volunteers, professional practitioners, museums, mobile heritage, funders and academics. Between them, over 7 million volunteers, trustees, members and staff demonstrate the strength and commitment of the independent heritage movement. The Heritage Alliance is ready to put our resources and expertise at the disposal of decision makers to secure the best future for England, built on its invaluable past.

Heritage Update 414

March 17, 2020

Heritage Update 414

This week’s Heritage Update is out! Get all the latest news, jobs, and COVID-19, information you need from the heritage sector here.