Heritage Trade Up Programme

Applications have now closed

Heritage Trade Up Programme will support leaders of heritage organisations, in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to promote and support a stronger heritage sector.

Are you looking to strengthen the financial resilience and governance capabilities of your heritage organisation? This fully-funded programme will offer 12 months of capacity building support for a broad range of heritage sector organisations from across the UK.

We’ll support you to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes you need to develop enterprise models and deepen social and/or environmental impact. You will be part of a safe and supportive group of like-minded peers.

Key benefits:

  • Strengthen your organisation with our free learning programme: Eight days of learning between January 2023 and December 2023
  • Receive a £4,000 Match Trading grant that supports your recovery from the Covid pandemic.
  • Gain a network of peers, who will help you develop your plans and act as a sounding board.

Our programmes are based on peer and action-learning. We’re definitely not about textbooks and teachers. Instead, we help you to get the headspace you need to map out next steps, with the support of other leaders facing similar challenges.

Who should apply?

The programme is designed for people who are leading a heritage organisation or trading project. They should have responsibility for the trading activity and be able to shape it and make strategic decisions. The organisation needs to meet the minimum turnover threshold of £15,000.

We encourage applications from across the UK and from organisations led by underrepresented groups, which celebrate heritage for all.

What do we mean by heritage organisations?

We understand heritage to be the narratives, traditions, objects, spaces and places that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present, and handed down to future generations.

Heritage sector organisations are those whose primary purpose it is to protect, preserve, or promote these traditions, practices, and spaces. These may include, for example:

  • Organisations that protect historical buildings, sites, artefacts or natural environments for public benefit, 


  • Organisations that promote the cultural heritage of a community, keeping alive traditions and cultural history through art, music, theatre, archives or education.

Learn more about our view of heritage and previous participant experience in this short video

When and where does Heritage Trade Up take place?

The programme comprises eight days of learning, four Action Learning Sets and an overnight residential between January 2023 and May 2023.

Our aim (dependent upon Covid restrictions at the time) is to run a blended learning approach, offering a mix of online and on-site learning. The on-site learning will take place in one of four locations: London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and York. There will be an access budget to support participants’ travel and accommodation where required.

Our commitment to inclusion

We recognise that discrimination of all sorts infiltrates every part of our society, and we are working hard to counter that wherever we find it. To that end, we actively encourage applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances and backgrounds, as well as those from disabled communities. No educational qualifications are needed to join our programmes.

The Match Trading grant

We want to support you to improve your financial sustainability by increasing your income from trading and sales. To help you do this, we will set aside up to £4,000 of funding for your organisation as part of this programme. 

You’ll get:

  • An initial traditional grant of £1,000 to support you to put into practice new ideas and initiatives.
  • Plus, up to a £3,000 grant that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. This is a Match Trading grant to accelerate recovery and growth.
  • The Match Trading element of the grant will be paid in instalments on a quarterly basis and will be matched against an increase in trading. The increase will be measured against a baseline that we will set with you. For some organisations, this baseline could be very low, i.e., close to zero.  

You can read more about our innovative Match Trading here