HLF urged to clarify priorities - Museums Association

HLF urged to clarify priorities

Report calls on nations to review policy directions
Jonathan Knott
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been urged to clarify its strategic priorities in a government report published this week.

The tailored review was informed by individual conversations and roundtables with stakeholders from the UK’s cultural and natural heritage sectors.

In an echo of the Mendoza Review of the English museum sector published earlier this month, it recommends that HLF should “assess and clarify its relationship with, and strategic remit in relation to, other government-sponsored public bodies and National Lottery distributors”.

It adds that the funder should “clarify its own strategic priorities, explain how those priorities are identified and illustrate how evaluation and research are used to inform them”.

The report also recommends clarifying the relationship between HLF and the governments of the UK.

The Scottish and Welsh governments were advised to review their policy directions to HLF to ensure they reflected their priorities. The report also recommends that the UK government should review UK-wide policy directions, and set specific priorities for England’s heritage sector. The Northern Ireland Executive was advised to keep under review whether to set HLF policy directions.

The report says that the administrations should “agree a more structured reporting relationship with HLF” that takes into account these policy directions.

The document also calls on HLF to strengthen its communications, data management, research strategy and evaluation. And it recommends that the funder reviews its grant application processes, which can be “costly and off-putting” for first time applicants and smaller organisations.

HLF’s current strategic framework covers the period from 2013 to 2018. Trustees have decided to extend the current framework for a further year to 2019, and to undertake a full consultation on the next framework during 2017-18.

Links and downloads

Tailored review of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund

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