Home > Our Projects

National Lottery Heritage Fund: Embedding sustainability principles into the heritage sector

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands Project Team: Alan Carr (Senior Sustainability Adviser), Julie Pope (Office & Stakeholder Manager)


SWM has been supporting the Heritage Fund since March 2018 and has previously run a series of sustainability training workshops for the organisation, assessed 118 development stage applications for their sustainability credentials and ran a further webinar to begin to help staff assess applications themselves. This fourth project brought together all the previous three by enabling us to rollout our training and expertise to the whole organisation. This was born through our positive relationship with Fit for the Future Network who helped broker the discussions with the Heritage Fund initially.


  • To run seven training sessions for Heritage Fund staff, trustees and Board members from all over the UK to fully embed sustainability principles into the organisation’s thinking.
  • To provide a series of application assessments, including a step-by-step guide on how these were assessed to allow staff to follow the same approach.
  • To produce a framework for sustainability that will be used by all applicants and assessors going forward so that projects that have a sustainability focus are prioritised for funding.


This project concluded nearly four years of support to the Heritage Fund. There were various outcomes throughout the project, but the overarching one was the full embedment of sustainability across the organisation, both through staff training and the development of a framework to allow Development Managers to assess applications for their sustainability credentials in a consistent way in future. This will ensure that all future applicants consider how they can make their projects more sustainable, including reducing emissions, enhancing biodiversity, preparing for climate impacts, integrating inclusivity and sustainable construction practices. The ultimate objective of this is that the millions of pounds of grant funding that is administered by the Fund every year is going towards projects that contribute to sustainability outcomes on a more consistent basis, clearly establishing that to protect our past we need to invest in the future.
Some testimonials from training session attendees:

“Great facilitation/hosting from SWM. Good range of content and pitched at the appropriate level. Liked how many resources/links were shared for further reading rather than trying to cram it all in.”

“I will be using [the outputs] in my feedback to project enquiries and advice sessions to potential applicants to ensure they think of sustainability when developing their ideas.”

“I take confidence from the discussions and reflection and do feel more confident engaging grantees to talk about environmental sustainability.”

“[The session] has inspired me to do more as an individual.”

Download the full case study

For further information on the project or to work with us in one of a variety of ways, please check out Our Services webpage or contact the SWM team at enquiries@swm.org.uk.

Related content