The past year had been going exceptionally well, with the AHF launching Transforming Places through Heritage fund in England, securing significant new grant funding from Historic Environment Scotland and also ongoing funding for its programmes in Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the impact of COVID-19 has brought unprecedented disruption for everyone, including the AHF and the projects we support. The pandemic is an era-defining event, the impact of which will be felt for years to come.
This Annual Review mostly covers the pre-COVID-19 period of the last year. You will see the variety of projects we have supported but also the increasing number of projects focused on high street and town centre regeneration. The Heritage Impact Fund (HIF), our partnership loan fund with National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cadw, Department for Communities (Northern Ireland), Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland was able to deliver a significant number of loan offers more quickly than we had expected – the demand and quality of projects coming forward has been very impressive. But COVID-19 will change the trajectory of many of these schemes and organisations.