New opportunities with HLF

Heritage Lottery FundThe Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recently announced some changes to its schemes, starting April 2013.

There are several interesting developments worth pointing out.

First of all, it is clear that the Landscape Partnership programme continues to receive a considerable amount of the available HLF money; the HLF has also announced that this scheme will run for at least another five years. Some changes have, however, been made to the Landscape Partnership scheme, making the process for new schemes simpler and more flexible; the main changes are summarised as such on HLF’s news page:

“The application process has been simplified with new guidance materials available online. Greater flexibility has been built into the programme and awards will now start at £100,000 (previously £250,000) with the upper limit rising from £2m to £3m. The recommended scheme area size will continue to be between 20km² and 200km² but flexibility has been introduced to allow partnerships to cover a greater area depending on the scale and nature of the landscape.”

If you are interested to start your own Landscape Partnership scheme, be aware that the deadline for first-round applications is 31 May 2013 for decisions in October 2013. For an application pack with all of the new guidance documents, go to the HLF’s Landscape Partnership page.

_9_74_1

Fen Drayton landscape_image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE

Secondly, the HLF has split the previous ‘Your Heritage’ programme into two new programmes, ‘Our Heritage’ for grants between £10,000 and £100,000, and ‘Sharing Heritage’, for grants between £3,000 and £10,000.

The latter is an interesting scheme: not only is this a ‘rolling programme’, meaning that there is no set deadline in the year and you can apply at any time, the decision-making process is also very short, with a maximum of 8 weeks only. The application form is also not complicated. More important perhaps is that for the ‘Sharing Heritage’ scheme no cash match funding needs to be found, something which could present insurmountable difficulties for community groups with some of the other HLF programmes. The HLF commits £3 million each year to the ‘Sharing Heritage’ programme, helping people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area.

This means that all sorts of community groups could apply for small grants up to 10K. Throughout the delivery phase of the Ouse Washes LP we will encourage community groups to apply for these and similar grant schemes (such as the ‘Young Roots’ programme). Through active community engagement with the landscape by adding on related projects, we could ensure a legacy for the landscape beyond the four years of the Ouse Washes LP scheme,  which is central to what we are trying to achieve (see our vision for more on this).

See here for an overview of all of HLF’s schemes, all with updated guidance. Look here for a quick overview of the main differences between the different programmes.

Advertisements

Why the Ouse Washes?

We are just starting to develop the first round Landscape Partnership (LP) application building on the excellent work done by partners to make the Expression of Interest successful. As the partnership evolves, over the next weeks, it is important to remember why this area of Fenland has been chosen to centre a LP on. There are many reasons, one being it has so much to offer, and much of this rich, internationally important heritage is currently unknown and unexplored. 

This is a partnership approach and we have been working to raising awareness and gain support amongst key partners such as local authorities, parish councils and community/voluntary groups in the surrounding market towns and villages. It is hoped that LP will support the community stewardship of local assets such as historic places of worship, nature reserves, water resources and footpaths. We would want to leave a legacy of community engagement, with key partners and communities working together to co-produce effective conservation management, green space access, climate change mitigation and flood resilience schemes. This will protect and enhance the enjoyment and understand of the Ouse Washes in the future.

We would really like to hear from you – particularly your innovative project ideas that fit the overall aims of this LP. The success of the programme will be based around a portfolio of smaller projects, which together will provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefits for this rural area.

Welcome

Welcome to the new blog for the Ouse Washes: Gateway to the Fens Landscape Partnership Scheme.

We’ve set this blog up so that anyone associated with or interested in the Scheme can keep up to date with its progress as we develop it from a raw idea into a fully thought-out application ready for submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund in February 2012.

We hope you will take the opportunity to visit the other pages on this site which will tell you about why we think the Ouse Washes deserve to be conserved, celebrated and made more accessible both to people who live locally and visitors to the area.

If you have any thoughts on this site or on the Landscape Partnership Scheme itself then please feel free to reply or comment on posts. We’d be delighted to hear from you and will endeavour to use feedback provided to improve this site or to feed into our application development work.