Who we are

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. We do this by providing advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-private profit organisations. Set up with £500,000 from the UK Government, the AHF’s lending resources are now worth nearly £13 million as a result of successive government grants, donations and accumulated surplus of income over expenditure.

The AHF believes that better places can be built through community enterprise. Historic buildings and places play an essential role in our everyday lives, our cultural identity and our economy. Our historic environment can inspire creativity and enterprise, it brings communities together, and it makes people happier about where they live. For 40 years, we have been supporting people achieve viable community-led solutions for the re-use of historic buildings at risk. 

What we do

The AHF is unique in that we are able to offer support to local communities at every point in the life-cycle of a project – from start-up advice and grants for early development work and project planning, through to loans for acquisition and as working capital for project delivery. We are often the first point of contact for community groups seeking to rescue historic buildings ‘at risk’.

We have a network of local officers based in each UK nation and the English regions who can offer advice and support to your group, whatever stage you are at. If we can’t help, we’ll signpost you to other organisations that may be able to.

What we have done

Since 1976, the AHF has awarded loans with a total value of £125m to over 890 projects across the UK and has disbursed more than 750 individual early project grants totalling over £10M. Find out more about Our Impact.

Objective One
To support people, communities and organisations to take ownership, repair and 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 environment by championing and showcasing the impact of the projects we have supported.

Our values

We have defined the core values of the AHF that we will adhere to at all times. These are:

  • Equality and diversity

  • Customer-focus

  • Excellence

  • Collaboration

  • Integrity, respect and professionalism

  • Evidence-led decision-making

  • Pioneering and risk-taking

  • Maximising leverage

  • Legacy

Our commitment to each of these core values is set out in our current three-year Strategy.