Heritage across the UK benefits from a rise in National Lottery ticket sales.
This week, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced a £25 million increase in its annual budget for new awards to heritage projects across the UK. The budget will be £205 million per annum from April 2010.
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the HLF, said: “Thanks to increased Lottery ticket sales, we now have an additional £25 million to invest into the UK’s heritage every year until March 2018. This is extremely welcome news, as there is a significant funding need for heritage across the UK and those with excellent projects should be assured that it’s well worth applying to us. The extra money will be invested in all sorts of transformational projects – from museums and historic buildings to parks, skills and training – so making a real difference to the quality of people’s lives.”
The HLF has just announced confirmed funding for a new Sea City Museum in Southampton as well as initial support for projects in Suffolk, Herefordshire, the Outer Hebrides, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire and a UK-wide partnership project between national and regional film archives.
Heritage tourism contributes more to GDP than cars
The good news comes after publication of a report earlier this month, which revealed for the first time the scale of the heritage tourism industry in the UK, estimating its gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to be £20.6 billion – bigger than the advertising, car or film industries.
Commissioned by the HLF, building on work carried out for VisitBritain, the report, ‘Investing in success: Heritage and the UK tourism economy’, demonstrates how heritage is a major motivation behind the tourism expenditure of both overseas and domestic visitors. It shows that the heritage tourism sector, including visits to historic buildings, museums, parks and the countryside, is worth £12.4 billion a year in expenditure and supports an estimated 195,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, commented: “As we all look to economic recovery, we must keep investing in heritage tourism so that it continues to flourish, bringing with it key economic benefits.”
Sandie Dawe MBE, Chief Executive of VisitBritain, added: “Our heritage economy is vibrant and a crucially important part not just of the £114 billion visitor economy, but of our local, regional and national economies as well. VisitBritain’s research in 32 countries around the world reveals that our core strength as a visitor destination is our heritage, history, pageantry and culture.”
Heritage tourism report’s key points
Economic consultancy Oxford Economics undertook the detailed analysis for the report. They found that:
• Over 10 million holiday trips are made by oversees visitors to the UK each year, with four in ten leisure visitors citing heritage as the primary motivation for their trip to the UK – more than any other single factor.
• Domestic tourism or the ‘staycation’ is the main component of expenditure; of the annual £12.4 billion spent on heritage-based tourism, £7.5 billion (60 per cent) comes from UK residents on day trips and UK holidays.
• £7.3 billion of heritage expenditure is based on visits to built heritage attractions and museums, with the bigger £12.4 billion including visits to parks and the countryside as well.
• Tourism has the potential to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy over the next decade, and the appeal of heritage will be vital to that growth.
The report has been endorsed by other leading heritage organisations including English Heritage, the National Trust, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Broads Authority and the Association of Independent Museums.
It also includes detailed HLF case studies of projects including Croome Park (Worcestershire), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow), Big Pit National Coal Museum (Blaenavon), De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea) and Locomotion, the National Railway Museum (Shildon).
To view the full report, visit: www.hlf.org.uk