Historic Environment Grants Programme FAQs

These FAQs will help you in the development and delivery of your project as well as completing your funding application. We advise that you read through all relevant information carefully before making an application.


The heritage sector in Scotland is facing bigger challenges than ever before. The aftermath of the pandemic, together with shifting national and global priorities, have prompted us to take a fresh look at how we support Scotland's histories and places. We want to respond to changing times with a grants programme that is more flexible, inclusive, and accessible. 

The new programme will allow people and organisations to submit applications for funding to support the delivery of different eligible activities included as part of one project where they clearly relate to Scotland's historic environment. We are also introducing three funding streams - express, small and large with their own application and decision timeframes.

Express Grants will be for applications of grant requests of up to £25,000 and will be assessed within eight weeks. We're also taking applications for interim works to heritage structures for the first time: if you don't have a final plan yet for your structure, but urgent work could stabilise it and save you money in the long term, then this is for you. We'll also be continuing to offer grants for large-scale repairs, archaeology, skills and training thatching maintenance and intangible heritage.

We are working on potential themes at the moment and hope to introduce at least one within a year. We will also examine the Expressions of Interest (EOl's) submitted over the course of 2023/24 to determine if there are sector-wide concerns that could be addressed by a focussed programme and respond accordingly.

No, we expect to see applications from across Scotland but won't be making funding decisions based on the geography of a project.

The application process

We have worked hard to make our guidance documents as comprehensive as possible, but the best approach is to fill in an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the first instance, so that one of our Grants Team can get a sense of your project and offer tailored advice. We will treat your EOI as a starting point and not a definitive statement of intent, so there's plenty of scope for you to change your idea if it isn't quite right at the start of the process.

We have a new online system for EOl's, which are your first port of call for any application. We've simplified this as far as possible to make it quick and easy for you to submit. Depending on the project, we'll aim to assess your EOI with 10 working days. We'll then either encourage you to make a full application or tell you why we don't think your project is suitable to progress.

If your EOI is approved then there is no time limit for submitting a full application. However, if your project has significantly changed from when the original EOI was approved then you may have to submit a new EOI. If you are unsure whether or not a new EOI will be required, please e-mail us at grants@hes.scot to explain the situation and we will advise you if this would be needed.

As the full HEG application process starts from the EOI and some of the information from this is used to inform the application, you will need to submit a new EOI on the grants portal. In addition to this, a previous EOI submission will have been made and considered in relation to one of our previous programmes so the new EOI must now relate to the HEG programme criteria. However, you can copy and paste text from other documents into the new online EOI which should hopefully reduce the time needed to complete this if you have a previous EOI.

These will be assessed based on the application submitted for each phase. However, it is likely that as part of our assessment we will also include information on what (if any) previous phases have been funded and also on the longer term project.

Yes, as long as it is not for other interim/ urgent works as there is a limit to how often these can be applied for. A new EOI would need to be submitted for the other works and we would be able to advise you whether or not you can proceed to a full application.


Under this programme, we expect to mainly support not-for-profit organisations. This may include charities, local authorities, religious bodies or partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations. Whilst private owners or commercial organisations are eligible to apply to the HEG, they are unlikely to be a priority for support unless they can demonstrate that the wider benefits to the public to be delivered from the project would significantly outweigh the private gain.

We've tried to keep the scope of projects as open as possible to reflect current issues and concerns while also responding to the outcomes we want to achieve. The HEG Programme Guidance provides more detail on what we are likely to fund, but we are keeping a very open mind, particularly in relation to applications for our Express Grants. Each year, we will collate data on the programme and publish annually at the start of April, so that everyone working in Scottish heritage and further afield can get a better understanding of how our budget is spent and what themes are emerging.

Where two or more historic environment assets relate to the one project then one application can be made. For example, you may have a tangible historic environment asset that you wish to repair and want to incorporate a traditional skills training element (intangible historic environment asset) into the work. Both activities are to be included as part of the same project so only one application would be required.

We do not fund this type of work through the HEG programme. As we provide funding to Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) to support them to provide development funding for this type of work, we would encourage you to contact them to check if you are eligible to apply for this.

Yes more than one application can be submitted for separate projects by the same organisation at the same time. Each application will be assessed on its own merit. In these circumstances, we would encourage the applicant to demonstrate to us that they have the means and the capacity to deliver multiple projects at one time.

Yes, funding for projects focussed on intangible historic environment asset(s) are eligible under the HEG Programme.

To be eligible under the HEG, you will need to send us proof of ownership of the asset before we will be able to approve and award a grant. More information on the requirements for this is included in the HEG Programme Guidance. For projects concerning an ancient monument which is not in the ownership of the applicant organisation, we may be able to support these where there is written permission provided from the owners in the form of the template provided on our HEG Programme Resources page on our website.

We cannot provide core funding under the HEG Programme. However, we may be able to support a proportion of overheads for eligible organisations where it can be demonstrated that these are required to deliver a project.


Our grant funding is from the Scottish Government and changes on an annual basis. In the financial year 2023/24, we have circa 14 million to spend on heritage in Scotland across all of our grants programmes. For the HEG Programme, we have around 2 million available to allocate to projects in 2023/24 which will increase to around 4 million per year from 2024 onwards.

There is no average grant amount for the HEG programme. Whilst the standard maximum grant is £500,000, larger grant requests can be considered in exceptional cases. If you feel a higher grant award is required and is a reasonable request for your project in relation to our criteria and priorities, you should explain your reasons for this in your EOI.

The amount of grant to be awarded will be determined by a number of factors including applicant type, grant-eligible costs and value for money with each application assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to the 'What we can fund' section of the HEG Programme Guidance for more information on this and on typical intervention rates.

We would like grant requests to be around the levels identified for the different applicant types in the HEG Programme Guidance. However, all applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and we do understand that some types of projects are more difficult to attract match funding than others. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to award a grant of up to 50% of the grant-eligible costs. If you feel a higher intervention rate than this is required to deliver your project, you must explain the reasons for this in your EOI.

Our grant will be approved and awarded based on the costs included in the application for non-repair projects and tendered costs for repair projects. Whilst we can sometimes consider additional grant in exceptional circumstances and depending on our available budget, more often than not we will expect the project to be delivered in line with the grant awarded. For repair projects, we would expect a reasonable allowance for contingencies and inflation to be made at both application and tender stage to meet any variation in costs during the delivery of the work.

Match funding doesn't need to be in place before you make an application to us but you should have a plan for where the rest of your funding is coming from and be able to tell us what stage each of those applications are at. All the project funding will need to be confirmed and in place before we will be able to grant our permission to start the project.

Repair projects

No, but if you have any of these, please submit them with your application. It also should be noted that where these permissions and consents have been granted, this does not automatically mean that the proposed works will meet our expected standards for grant-aided works. Please refer to our Guidance for Repair Grants for more information on this.

Yes, there is still the requirement for a CAPA to be procured through a tender process. The requirements for this depend on the value of the service (under f50k and over f50k) and are set out in the HEG Programme Guidance. Where an applicant does not wish to tender for this service and can demonstrate that value for money can still be achieved without tendering, then they would need to discuss and agree this approach with the Grants team prior to submitting an application.

Yes, although these have been renamed to Technical Advisory Reports (TAR). A definition of the purpose of each of these reports is set out in the 'Appendix I: Notes for the Guidance of the Professional Adviser' in our Guidance for Repair Grants.

In the application, we will need to hear about your future plans for the asset. Although for some projects, this might not be at a feasibility study/ business plan stage, we still need to know that there is a plan there to get to this point and also that you have some idea about the longer term vision for the asset.