After consultation with the landscape and natural heritage sectors, the Heritage Lottery Fund has simplified its Landscape Partnership grant process
Greater flexibility has been built into the programme and awards will now start at £100,000 (previously £250,000), with the upper limit rising from £2m to £3m.
The recommended scheme area size will continue to be between 20km² and 200km², but flexibility has been introduced to allow partnerships to cover a greater area depending on the scale and nature of the landscape.
The HLF will commit £20m over the next year to conserve distinctive landscapes across the UK. The investment, it says, will support schemes that will ensure a boost for rural areas and provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefits.
The HLF describes its Landscape Partnership programme as the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects. In the nine years since it began, a total of £132m has been invested in 83 different areas – from Orkney’s Scapa Flow to the Needles, off the Isle of Wight. It has, HLF adds, helped forge new partnerships between public and community bodies, ‘ensuring people are better equipped to tackle the needs of their local landscapes in a co-ordinated and practical way’.
Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape and Natural Environment at HLF says that HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme has gone from strength to strength, ‘stimulating long-term partnerships and innovative ways of working’. The result, he says, has been greater access, appreciation and understanding of landscapes and nature for the people living, working and visiting these areas.
‘The UK’s beautiful countryside is a precious asset and under ever increasing pressure,’ Bennellick adds. ‘This investment will leave a lasting legacy of landscape conservation and management, from national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the less well-known landscapes that make our local neighbourhoods special and distinctive.’
First-round LP applications must be received by 31 May 2013 for decisions in October 2013. An online application pack is available here.