Heritage organisations across the UK are under increasing pressure and financial constraints, with many facing extreme challenges to ensure a stable future.
With the additional impact of Covid-19, a culture of enterprise to build a sustainable and resilient heritage sector is needed now more than ever.
Starting in February 2021, Steps to Sustainability, a new National Lottery Heritage Fund programme delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy, will provide a pathway of support to address these challenges. It will help your organisation to be ambitious, forward-thinking and deliver exciting new projects.
On this 14 month journey, you will learn to look outwards, build stronger partnerships and become more comfortable with the commercial aspects of running a heritage organisation. Learning with a network of peers and sector experts from across the UK, you will turn a new business idea into reality.
Whether you are based in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland you will access:
||A five-month programme of activities to help you prepare for and build sustainability
||A nine-month development and support stage to embed sustainability
||Funding of up to £10,000 to help shape the success of your business idea
||Resources and toolkits for success
Programmes will be delivered over 2 rounds and we are inviting applicants from the following regions:
Round 1: Scotland, Yorkshire and NE, NW England, Midlands, Wales (open now)
Round 2: (opens January 2021): Scotland (Gaelic language), Wales (Bilingual), Northern Ireland, East England, London, South East, South West
Click on your region on the map to find out more information on programme dates and how to apply.
Click on your region to find out more information and to download the application form.
- Receive a 14-month package of support to
develop your income generating idea
- Unlock up to £10,000 for your organisation to
get your idea off the ground
- Participate in a programme of online learning
days and webinars
- Apply your learning to develop your idea
throughout the programme
- Be given space and time to test new approaches
to business growth and development
- Receive mentoring or business coaching to support
and implement your idea
- Create new networks with peers from heritage
organisations across the UK
- Connect in heritage café style gatherings to
share experiences and learn from others
- Develop key tools and techniques to run a
- Attend a masterclass to explore alternative
sources of finance
- Have access to a library of learning resources
and workbook to support you on your journey
I can honestly say that the SEA programme I attended has been one of the most important learning journeys in my career" Previous Learner
Who should apply?
Small to medium heritage organisations based in
Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland who:
- Have an income-generating idea which is not yet fully formed
- Need the resources and support this
programme offers to pursue this idea
- Will release up to two people from your organisation, ideally
a trustee and a staff member, to attend
- Can commit to the full programme
- Will contribute £50 per person, per organisation
to access all of the above support
We are interested to hear from even if you don’t think that you can
meet these requirements in full, email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise us of your particular situation.
The project will be led and managed by Social Enterprise Academy Scotland and Social Enterprise Academy Wales (operated by Creating Enterprise CIC in partnership with Wales Co-operative Centre).
The project will also be supported by sector partners - Association of Independent Museums, Museums Galleries Scotland, Northern Ireland Museums Council and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales.
Click the button below to download the application pack and apply:
Trish Thomas | Trish@socialenterprise.academy