HLF boosts focus on environment

Simon Stephens, Issue 108/5, p13, May 2008
Environmental factors have been given more weight in HLF's new five-year strategy
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will give environmental factors more weight when deciding on future grant applications, according to the organisation's latest five-year strategy. Valuing our Heritage: Investing in our Future, which was published last month, outlines the HLF's plans from 2008 to 2013.

Head of strategic business development Anne Young said: "For the past five years, we have asked applicants to describe the environmental impacts of their projects and what they intend to do about them. But we are now making it clearer what sort of impacts we are concerned about and how far applicants should go in addressing these."

Young added that the new guidance would emphasise that the HLF is willing to incur the additional costs that are sometimes involved in more sustainable designs.

The news comes at a time when the amount of money that the HLF has to distribute is falling, mainly because of money being diverted to fund the London Olympics in 2012.

In 2002-03, the HLF gave £367m in grants, which fell to about £280m in 2007-08. This figure will decrease to £220m in 2008-09 and £180m in 2009-10. Because money is tight, match funding will be another important criterion for awarding grants.

"Judging what value we are getting for our money when projects are in competition with each other will be an increasingly important part of our assessment and decision making," said Young.


The next issue of Museums Journal will feature an article on museums and sustainability by Maurice Davies, deputy director of the Museums Association.
New chairwoman for HLF

Jenny Abramsky is to become the chairwoman of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).
Abramsky, who replaces Liz Forgan, has worked at the BBC since 1969 and is currently the director of the Audio and Music department. Her previous roles included editing Radio 4's Today programme and launching Radio Five Live, BBC News Online and BBC News 24.
She will lead a 15-strong board of trustees at the HLF. Their role is to advise on its direction and decide on larger grant applications. The board also decides on applications to the NHMF, which distributes £10m each year as the nation's fund of last resort.