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AHF’s grant programmes in NI have been made possible by the Department for Communities (DfC) and Garfield Weston Foundation.


Current Programmes

The AHF can provide grants in Northern Ireland, subject to eligibility, to help with assessing the viability of a project, or to help fund development costs.

There are currently two programmes open: 

Harnessing Heritage, the general grants programme; and Village Catalyst, targeted at projects led by charities or social enterprises in villages under 5,000 population, involving buildings which are either listed or in a Conservation Area. 

Village Catalyst is an innovative partnership programme with DfC, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the NI Housing Executive. The overall aim is to help target rural poverty and social isolation via the reuse of historic buildings.


Application process

Once you have checked your eligibility, please read through our Application Help Notes and then complete our short online Expression of Interest formWe encourage you to discuss any potential application with the Northern Ireland Development Manager before submitting an EoI.

Also please take a look at the guidance notes for the NI programmes, and the details of the supporting information you will be asked to provide. 

We generally expect applicants to cover at least 50% of the cost of the work. i.e. you must normally be able to match our grant offer with your own funds or with funds raised from other sources. Some exclusions apply; contact your Development Manager for more details.

Harnessing Heritage programme

Project Viability Grant (PVG) or Village Catalyst PVG

Maximum £10,000

Project Viability Grants are designed to fund studies to look at potential uses for a building and at its current condition, and to produce a Viability Report to a standard template.  

Successful completion of this will be used to judge whether applicants can then apply for a Project Development Grant which can be used to secure further funding elsewhere. This grant is administered on a rolling basis.  We aim to let you know whether you have been successful within six weeks.

Download Programme Guidance Notes

Download Application Help Notes

Download Viability Report Template

Download Viability Report Guidance


Harnessing Heritage programme

Project Development Grant (PDG)

Maximum £20,000

Project Development Grants are intended to assist an organisation to cover some of the costs of developing and co-ordinating a project to enable it to secure capital funding and take it towards the start of work on site.

To qualify, an organisation must have established that the end use of the project is likely to be viable and that they have decided to take the project forward.

Download Programme Guidance Notes

Download Application Help Notes

Village Catalyst

Project Development Grant (PDG)

Maximum £20,000

If you would like to apply for a Village Catalyst Project Development Grant, please check the eligibility criteria, read the guidance and complete the Expression of Interest form below. If you are eligible, we will send you a link to the online form.

Download Guidance Notes

Download Programme Guidance Notes

Download Application Help Notes

Enquire and Apply

Once you have checked your eligibility, please read through our Application Help Notes and then complete the short online Expression of Interest form.

If your organisation and project are eligible and appear to be a good fit with our priorities, we will then invite you to submit a full application and send you a link to the online application form. You can complete and submit this to us when you are ready, but for grant applications please check our deadlines here.  

Please ensure you read the relevant grant programme guidance before starting your application.

We normally take 6-8 weeks to assess applications for smaller awards and up to three months to assess applications for larger awards. We will tell you when your application will be considered once we receive your application, and you will hear the outcome within one week of the grant meeting. If your application is unsuccessful, we will provide feedback.

The AHF has signed up to #FlexibleFunders; a community of funders committed to open and trusting practices in grant making by:

  •  Making grants in a way that reflects the realities facing VCSE organisations now and for the foreseeable future.

  • Managing grants and relationships in a way that reflects our confidence in and respect for the organisations we fund.

    For more information about #Flexible Funders click here