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3 Spital Yard
Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
United Kingdom

020 7925 0199

The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

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Our Funding Priorities

Our Funding Priorities

The Architectural Heritage Fund's social investments are designed to help us deliver our overall strategic objectives and outcomes for heritage and communities:

Objective One: To support people, communities and organisations to take ownership, to repair and to adapt historic buildings and places for new sustainable uses.

Objective Two: To attract more investment for the conservation and sustainable re-use of the UK’s architectural heritage.

Objective Three: To inspire the start-up and growth of new community enterprises that utilise historic buildings and places for public benefit.

Objective Four: To demonstrate the value of a well-managed historic built environment by championing and showcasing the impact of the projects we have supported.

We are particularly interested in supporting applicants applying to Heritage Lottery Fund's Heritage Enterprise programme.

 We will assess your application in terms of social impact first, followed by the significance of the building involved.

We will give priority to projects that have the potential to make a significant positive social impact, particularly (but by no means exclusively) in disadvantaged areas such as urban communities experiencing structural economic decline or isolated rural areas with poor access to services. We want to help build stronger and more cohesive communities by supporting social ventures that will create employment, training and/or volunteering opportunities both during the project’s development and in the years following completion. We want to encourage community ownership of heritage assets and support the growth of community businesses, bringing disused or under-used historic buildings back into productive use. High priority projects will show evidence of active community engagement. The building may be listed as an Asset of Community Value or you may be planning a Community Share issue, for example.

We have identified the key stages of a project’s development on our Theory of Change model and your organisation should be better equipped to deliver the project as a result of our funding.

Who Can Apply?

To apply you must be a formally constituted and incorporated charity, community business or social enterprise whose members have limited liability. This includes:

  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)
  • Charitable Companies Limited by Guarantee
  • Not-for-private-profit Companies Limited by Guarantee
  • Community Interest Companies (CICs) Limited by Guarantee
  • Community Benefit Societies
  • Parish and Town Councils; Community Councils (in Scotland and Wales)

If your organisation is not a registered charity then it must have an asset lock in place.
[This is a provision in the governing document to protect its assets. It means that if the organisation is wound up any assets must be transferred to a similar not-for-profit organisation (another asset-locked body) once creditors have been paid.]

We will also accept applications from organisations working in partnership, including joint applications from voluntary sector groups with commercial partners. A not-for-profit organisation must be nominated as the lead applicant. You must provide a signed partnership agreement indicating the involvement of each partner and how the project will be managed.

The applicant must have acquired, or intend to acquire, title to the property for which the investment is sought ('title' being either the freehold, or a long leasehold interest). 


The following are not eligible to apply for our funds:

  • Private individuals.
  • Unincorporated trusts or associations.
  • Local authorities and other public sector bodies.
  • For-private-profit companies, unless in a partnership led by a charity or social
  • enterprise, etc.
  • Churches or other places of worship, where the building will remain in use primarily as a place of religious worship.