Submission to: Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee , National Assembly for Wales



The National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly known as the Heritage Lottery Fund / HLF) has been invited by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee to share its experience and expertise and contribute to the wider discussion around ‘The role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion’.  We have also been asked to provide background to how we work.  The discussion has so far focussed on:



Declaration of Interest

Baroness Kay Andrews OBE, the author of the March 2014 ‘Culture and Poverty’ report, is the current Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Committee for Wales and is also Trustee for Wales and Deputy Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (the parent body for the National Lottery Heritage Fund).

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund (the Fund)

The National Lottery was created by the John Major government with the first draw taking place in November 1994 and the unprecedented flow of funding to good causes starting soon afterwards. 


Parliament ultimately decides on which good causes should benefit and in 2010 set the shares at 40% for community and 20% each for sport, arts and heritage.  Funds are awarded by the 12 independent and expert arm’s length distributors around the UK - of which the National Lottery Heritage Fund is one. 


Created in 1994, the Fund, then known as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) supports projects involving the national and local heritage of the United Kingdom. A UK-wide arm’s length public body, we receive policy directions from the UK Government and from the Welsh Government (see Appendix One).  Over the past 25 years we have invested over £400million of National Lottery funds into more than 2,600 projects in Wales.


The Fund invests in the full breadth of heritage, from museums, libraries and archives, to historic buildings and industrial sites, parks, landscape and natural heritage, and the intangible, cultures and traditions and people’s memories. We understand ‘culture’ as referring to both heritage and the arts.


Heritage is for everyone

We see heritage as broad and inclusive; it is not defined by us but by those seeking our funding – applicants tell us what they value from the past and want to sustain and hand on to the future. In this way our funding helps to tell the stories of the many communities that make up our countries today and of our diverse, shared, heritage. Our projects speak to this inclusive approach, one strongly supported by National Lottery players.  Regardless of the respondent’s background, our work with National Lottery players in 2017 revealed strong connections with heritage.  Heritage has wide appeal and is highly valued. 



How effective has the Welsh Government been in improving participation in and access to culture for people in poverty?

The recently published National Lottery Heritage Fund Strategic Funding Framework 2019 – 2024, recognises explicitly, the potential of heritage to improve community cohesion and empowerment, to promote inclusion and

enhance health and wellbeing.   We are raising our ambition to achieve greater inclusion in the heritage sector and for the next five years, every application for funding for every project, will need to achieve our new inclusion outcome “ a wider range of people will be involved in heritage”.


25 years of grant-giving experience and evidence shows the positive impacts of participation in heritage on health and quality of life. Commissioning Baroness Andrews to produce the report and to recommend ways in which cultural and heritage bodies could work more closely together, demonstrated that Welsh Government understood the difference that heritage can make to people and to communities.  Introducing legislation such as the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, further recognises the potential for culture and heritage.


There is considerable anecdotal evidence and examples to demonstrate that the Fusion model has been effective in improving access to heritage and culture for a wider range of people.  National Lottery funding has added value to the funds allocated by the Welsh Government.  


The Fund has been represented on the Cultural Inclusion Board since its first meeting in May 2015 and considers that the leadership and convening role of Welsh Government colleagues and the funding of Fusion Coordinators has enabled much of this success.


Our ‘Changing Lives’ advocacy campaign has highlighted individuals from around the UK who have benefited from HLF projects and gained social mobility:



How effective have the efforts of Welsh Government sponsored bodies (namely the Arts Council, National Museum, National Library and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales) and local government been in using culture to tackle poverty?


The Fund works closely with each of the organisations identified in the Inquiry, either as a partner, a funder or within the National Lottery family.  Submissions to the Inquiry and evidence already presented to the Committee have highlighted the good work that is already happening across Wales, thanks to the investment of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  In the case of the named organisations, these usually large scale projects reflect the priorities that have shaped our work over the last five years.  For example, to bring a further step change to our impact on work with young people, we launched Kick the Dust, a UK £10m programme designed to increase the ambition of heritage organisations working with young people aged 11-25. We commissioned young people to name the programme and recruited 16 youth ambassadors from around the UK to help us make funding decisions.  National Museum Wales successfully applied for a grant and is currently delivering a project with a grant of £874,554. 


Our funding has supported great strides in delivering increased participation over the last two decades. We are clear there is more to do.  There are still many cultural, social and economic barriers that exist in accessing heritage.  We are committed to showing leadership and working in partnership to achieve higher levels of participation in heritage, key to a flourishing, more equitable society.


Our future work will be supported by a new inclusion strategy, informed by our public consultation. As well as setting clear expectations that our funded organisations and the beneficiaries of the projects we fund should reflect more closely the demographics of the population across the UK, we want to drive the heritage and cultural sectors, alongside other agencies, to deliver better evaluation and collect more robust data on who is – and who is not - engaging with heritage to inform grant making moving forward


The lack of diversity in the heritage workforce and a culture of graduate/post-graduate entry routes to employment are also problems we have sought to tackle with targeted funding. In 2017 we funded a third round of Skills for the Future funding and challenged organisations to recruit and train a more diverse workforce representative of the UK population. Creative and Cultural Skills Wales received a grant of £696,000 from the Fund to deliver a programme of activity that will provide high quality, accredited training to 33 trainees with the aim of addressing issues relating to lack of diversity in the workforce. 


Training will take place across Wales within a network of 7 lead heritage partners (MALD, Cadw, National Museum Wales, National Library of Wales, Wrexham Museum and Archives, Glamorgan Archives and Cardiff Story. and their sites (National Waterfront Museum, National History Museum, Big Pit, National Slate Museum, Conwy Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Wrexham Museum, National Library of Wales), supported further by 15-20 additional heritage partners spanning the cultural heritage sector who will host the 3-month placements.


How effective have the Fusion pioneer programmes been in stimulating local collaboration?

As a result of the Fusion programme, organisations have collaborated in new and innovative ways.


The programme has created new opportunities for partnerships to be developed between heritage and non-heritage organisations.  A platform has been provided for the heritage sectors to contribute to wider discussions and agendas demonstrate and communicate the value that heritage can offer to addressing issues of inclusion and wellbeing. 


In addition to local collaboration, the Fusion programme has enabled wider strategic discussions to take place.  For example, as a result of Baroness Andrews’ report and the Fusion programme, the Public Transport Users Advisory Panel (PTUAP) had reported to the then Minister for Economy, Science and Transport with a series of recommendations around overcoming the barriers around transport to cultural sites.  This was the first time in Wales the issue of transport barriers to cultural participation had been considered in a strategic context.  A new resource was created and published on the Welsh Government website that provided best practice around transport considerations for heritage and cultural organisations.


There is evidence to suggest that as a direct result of Fusion, the networks and range of partners that heritage organisations work with has increased significantly.    


What impact has the Welsh Government’s Fusion programme had on using culture to tackle poverty?

There is no doubt that the Fusion programme has created new opportunities for partners to come together to work and think differently in a way that may not have happened without it.  The National Lottery Heritage Fund has welcomed the programme and recognises that small amounts of money can create change.  The programme has increased capacity in the sector through the creation of new resources (for example the ‘Getting Started with Volunteers’ toolkit, created by the WCVA).   New training opportunities have been created and we are yet to see the impact of many funded projects. 

There is a continued need to continue to evaluate the programme and the impact it is making, including collecting robust data that can be shared more widely across Welsh Government Directorates and priorities (health, education, social services). 





Policy Directions in relation to Wales

The Welsh Ministers, in exercise of their powers conferred by section 26 (2) of the National Lottery Etc Act 1993 as transferred by the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 and having consulted the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (“the Fund”) pursuant to section 26 (5), hereby gives the following directions to the Fund:


To have regard to principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 which aims to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales and encourages public bodies to think more about the long term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined –up approach. There are seven well-being goals including, ‘A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh Language’ and five ways of working – long-term, prevention, integration, collaboration and involvement.


In deciding to whom it distributes money, for what purpose, and under what conditions, the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund shall take into account the following matters:


1.    Encourage the conservation, preservation, presentation, promotion and interpretation of all aspects of the natural, cultural and intangible heritage of Wales for future generations.


2.    Have regard to the interests of Wales as a whole and the interests of different parts of Wales, taking account of the diverse demographic and deprivation patterns in the different parts of Wales.


3.    Promote and support the Welsh language, reflecting the bilingual nature of Wales, and to work to the principle of not treating the Welsh language less favourably than English in all the Fund’s activities in Wales. To operate in line with the Fund’s agreed Welsh Language Scheme, and to monitor its implementation according to the agreed procedures.



4.    Work strategically with others to maximise the impact of National Lottery funding for people and heritage, encouraging national, regional and local partnerships to do so.


5.    Encourage the financial sustainability of the heritage assets of Wales and where viable and appropriate the community use of heritage assets in Wales with special regard to those at risk.


6.    Provide opportunities for people, especially young people to gain the skills required to conserve, preserve, present and promote the heritage of Wales.


7.     Encourage the use of appropriate professional standards in all projects.


8.     Provide opportunities for people from across Wales of all ages and backgrounds, especially children and young people to have access to, to learn about, to enjoy and thereby, promote the diverse heritage of Wales.