Transforming Places Through Heritage

Launching in late June 2019, a new £15 million fund will help support organisations contribute to the regeneration and reimagining of England’s high streets and town centres through the reuse of historic buildings. The Transforming Places Through Heritage programme is part of a wider initiative to revive heritage high streets in England, alongside Historic England’s Heritage Action Zones. Together, these programmes support the Future High Streets Fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

We want to support projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England into thriving places, strengthening local communities and encouraging local economies to prosper.

Our programme is for individual heritage buildings in, or transferring to, community ownership. We will provide funding and expert help to charities and social enterprises developing projects with the potential to bring new life to high streets by creating alternative uses for redundant or underused historic buildings in town centres.

Which areas will be eligible?

The programme will focus on places where strategic regeneration programmes are planned or are already underway. Funding and capacity building support will be targeted primarily at projects within Heritage Action Zones or town/city centre Conservation Areas in places that have secured funding through the Future High Streets Fund administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. Historic building projects located within other area-based regeneration programmes, such as Townscape Heritage areas or where an applicant can demonstrate a significant community-led strategic approach is in place, will also be considered. Therefore projects should not be standalone but sit within a wider initiative to regenerate and bring a new purpose to the immediate surrounding area.

If your local authority is successful in securing investment under the Future High Streets Fund and / or has Heritage Action Zone funding individual projects will not be able to use these sources as match funding for this grant programme.

Who will be able to apply?

Any charity, community business or social enterprise with proposals which meet the programme objectives, such as charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), community interest companies (CICs) and community benefit societies.

It is anticipated that beneficiaries will include organisations working in a range of sectors such as housing, leisure, health and social care, as well as specialist heritage conservation charities, such as building preservation trusts. We are particularly keen to encourage partnerships of heritage and social economy organisations.

The programme’s funding is aimed at projects in England only.

What types of funding will be available?

Seed funding through Project Viability Grants will be available to help test ideas and to get new projects off the ground. 

Project Development Grants will support the later stages of capital projects and development costs.

Different forms of social investment, including community shares and crowd funding match financing, will also be made available to assist projects and organisations to deliver projects and raise additional funds.

For projects with the potential to be exemplars – those which offer the best, most scalable new ideas – a limited number of capital grants will be available.

What other support will be available

A team of Programme Support and Consultant Project Advisors will support projects seeking and receiving funding through the programme.

For further information email ahf@ahfund.org.uk

Please note that current grant programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain open for applications as usual.