New Social Investment Funding for Heritage Projects that Benefit Local Communities

2nd August 2018

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is an independent charity established to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. The AHF provides advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by UK-based charities, community businesses and social enterprises with a built-heritage focus.

The AHF’s Heritage Projects Fund makes short-term loans of between £15,000 and £1 million to support projects that involve a change of ownership and/or bring about the beneficial re-use of historically important buildings. The funding can be used for the acquisition of a historic building, or to provide working capital throughout a restoration project.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Have the potential to make a significant positive social impact, particularly (but not exclusively) in disadvantaged areas, such as urban communities experiencing structural economic decline or isolated rural areas with poor access to services.
  • Show evidence of active community engagement (eg the building may be listed as an Asset of Community Value or the applicant could be planning a Community Share issue).

Alongside this Fund, the AHF have launched its new Community Heritage Projects Fund, which offers blended social investments – in the form of loans and community shares – of between £15,000 and £50,000 to support specific heritage building projects as well as the activities and sustainability of community enterprises working with or within buildings of heritage significance, to enable them to thrive. Eligible organisations are expected to be able to demonstrate that their work brings positive impacts upon their respective communities and the whole of society.

All social investments made by AHF are expected to contribute towards its overall strategic objectives and outcomes for heritage and communities:

  • To support people, communities and organisations to take ownership, to repair and to adapt historic buildings and places for new sustainable uses.
  • To attract more investment for the conservation and sustainable re-use of the UK’s architectural heritage.
  • To inspire the start-up and growth of new community enterprises that utilise historic buildings and places for public benefit.
  • To demonstrate the value of a well-managed historic built environment by championing and showcasing the impact of the projects we have supported.

Applications may be submitted at any time.

To find out more visit the website http://ahfund.org.uk/