Grants and Funding

Partnership Fund

This fund is designed to support a relatively small number of organisations, normally for established activities closely aligned with HES strategic priorities.

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1 Introduction

Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Partnership Fund is open to applications from third-sector organisations delivering strategic outcomes with national impact for Scotland’s historic environment or the Scottish historic environment sector. Applicants are likely to include charitable organisations playing an intermediary role or representing a specific area of activity within the sector. 

Whilst it is an open fund, the Partnership Fund is designed to support a relatively small number of organisations, normally for established activities closely aligned with HES strategic priorities. If you are interested in applying for time-limited project-based funding or piloting an activity before applying to the Partnership Fund, you should apply to Historic Environment Grants (HEG) which is scheduled to launch in late 2022. An overview of the HEG can be found on Page 9 of our 'Grants Framework 2021 Onwards'. 

If you are unsure which programme you should apply to, please contact us for an initial discussion by emailing grants@hes.scot.

The guidance on these webpages provides detailed information and resources relating to the Partnership Fund, covering the following:

  • Who can apply and the types of activities we can fund
  • How to submit an expression of interest and application form
  • Detailed guidance regarding cost eligibility
  • Programme resources and templates that you will use to complete your application
  • What to expect if you are awarded a grant, including contractual conditions, and reporting and claiming procedures
  • How to contact HES if you have any questions

Please read all the sections of this website before submitting an expression of interest or application to the Partnership Fund.

You can also download a PDF version of this information from the Programme resources section.

Overview

To be considered eligible under the Partnership Fund, the activities proposed for funding must:

  • Be established activities with a track-record of making a significant contribution to HES Grants Priorities, delivering national impact for Scotland’s historic environment sector;
  • Demonstrate alignment with national strategies for the historic environment (e.g. Our Place in Time (OPiT), Scotland's Archaeology Strategy, Skills Investment Plan for Scotland's Historic Environment Sector) and be aligned with wider national social, economic and environmental priorities;
  • Address a clear and demonstrable need or opportunity for Scotland’s historic environment sector which is not being met by other organisations and cannot be delivered without financial support from HES;
  • Offer good value for money, with an appropriate level of match funding, either from your own resources or from other funders. You will also be asked to consider how your organisation can increase its financial viability to work towards reducing reliance on HES funding in the longer term.

Please read the Programme criteria section for more information.

Funding can only be requested for the delivery of defined activities. This can include direct activity costs and an appropriate level of indirect costs (full cost recovery) associated with the funded activities (i.e. not general core funding).

Organisations can apply for up to three years of funding in a single application. Whilst it is possible to make consecutive applications for ongoing activities, each application will undergo a full assessment process to determine suitability for continued funding. Funding is provided on the basis of financial years (1 April to 30 March).

Please read the What we can fund section for more information.

The Partnership Fund has one application deadline per year in September. If your organisation is interested in applying to the Partnership Fund, an Expression of Interest (EOI) must be submitted via our online Grants Portal, no later than one month before the application deadline. If your EOI is approved, this means you are invited to apply to the Partnership Fund via our Grants Portal by the advertised application date. We will aim to notify you about the outcome of your application within three months of the application deadline. 

Submit an Expression of Interest

2022 Application Process

Stage Deadline
Expression of Interest No later than 15 August 2022
Application deadline 15 September 2022
Decision Mid-December 2022
Offer letters issued January/February 2023 for funding to start in April 2023

More information about the application process can be found in the How to apply and Programme resources sections.

If you are awarded a grant under the Partnership Fund, you will be required to meet a number of conditions and fulfil specific reporting requirements. More information can be found under If you are awarded a grant.

2 Programme criteria

Historic Environment Scotland’s Partnership Fund is open to applications from third-sector organisations delivering strategic outcomes with national impact for Scotland’s historic environment or the Scottish historic environment sector. Applicants are likely to include charitable organisations playing an intermediary role or representing a specific area of activity within the sector. 

Whilst the Partnership Fund is open to new applicants, it is designed to support a relatively small number of organisations, mostly for established activities closely aligned with HES strategic priorities. If you are interested in applying for time-limited project-based funding or piloting an activity before applying to the Partnership Fund, you should apply to Historic Environment Grants (HEG) which is scheduled to launch in late 2022. An overview of the HEG can be found on Page 9 of our 'Grants Framework 2021 Onwards'. If you are unsure which programme you should apply to, please contact us for an initial discussion by emailing grants@hes.scot.

Applicant organisations must be fully constituted with an organisational bank account and have a demonstrable track record of sound financial management, including administration of a similar level of grant funding.

To be considered eligible to apply to the Partnership Fund, the proposed activities must:

  • Be established activities with a track-record of making a significant contribution to HES Grants Priorities delivering national impact for Scotland’s historic environment sector;
  • Demonstrate alignment with national strategies for the historic environment (e.g. Our Place in Time (OPiT), Scotland's Archaeology Strategy, Skills Investment Plan for Scotland's Historic Environment Sector) and be aligned with wider national social, economic and environmental priorities;
  • Address a clear and demonstrable need or opportunity for Scotland’s historic environment sector which is not being met by other organisations and cannot be delivered without financial support from HES;
  • Offer good value for money, with an appropriate level of match funding, either from your own resources or from other funders. You will also be asked to consider how your organisation can increase its financial viability to work towards reducing reliance on HES funding in the longer term.

We will consider the above criteria when assessing your application. We will also consider any potential risks associated with the delivery or sustainability of your proposed activities and the outcomes they aim to deliver.

As part of your application, we will ask you to tell us how you plan to evaluate the impact of your funding, including a summary of evaluation activities to be undertaken, who will carry them out and when they will take place. If you are awarded a grant, you will be required to produce an Evaluation Report at the end of your funding period.  We will also ask you to complete and submit online an annual HES Grants Data Report, which is a tool to help HES collect data about the impact of our grants. Further information is available in the Programme resources section.

3 What we can fund

What types of activities are eligible for funding?

The types of activities that will be eligible for grant under the Partnership Fund will vary, but some examples of possible eligible activities include:

  • Professional or volunteer training programmes addressing recognised historic environment skills gaps at a national level
  • Developmental, advocacy or capacity-building activities enabling the sector to achieve strategic outcomes in line with national priorities
  • Outreach activities or learning programmes delivering high-impact outcomes for audiences across Scotland

Please note that resilience funding is not available under the Partnership Fund. If you are interested in applying for a resilience project, you should apply under Historic Environment Grants (the Open Programme) which is due to launch in late 2022. Applications for other time-limited project activities should also be made under Historic Environment Grants. If you are unsure which programme you should apply to, please contact us for an initial discussion by emailing grants@hes.scot.

How many activities can be funded under one application?

It is possible to request funding for up to three different areas of activity by detailing separate Activity Streams within the application form. You will also need to complete an Activity Plan in support of your application. A template for this can be downloaded from the Programme resources section

Each Activity Stream will need to be clearly defined as a distinct area or programme of activity with an established track-record of delivering national impact for Scotland’s historic environment or historic environment sector.

Each Activity Stream will be assessed against programme criteria, and it is possible that not all Activity Streams will be awarded funding. 

How much funding should I apply for?

There is no set limit on funding requests, but each request must demonstrate strong value for money. This includes ensuring that an appropriate level of match funding, either from your own resources or other funders, is included in your budget. As a guide, applicants should aim to request no higher than 50% funding from HES. If you feel a higher intervention rate is required, please explain this in your application, and the individual circumstances of each organisation will be taken into account.

In the application form you will also be asked to consider how your organisation can increase its financial viability to work towards reducing reliance on HES funding to demonstrate the sustainability of your activities in the longer term.

How many years can I request funding for?

Organisations can apply for up to three years of funding in a single application. Whilst it is possible to make consecutive applications for ongoing activities, each application will undergo a full assessment process to determine suitability for continued funding. Funding is provided on the basis of financial years (1 April to 30 March). 

What costs can I include in my application?

Partnership Fund grants can only cover direct activity costs and an appropriate level of indirect costs (full cost recovery) associated with the funded activities.

We will ask you to provide summary costs for each of your Activity Streams in the application and more detailed costs in the Budget Profile template which can be found in the Programme resources section. We may also ask you to submit costs in different formats, depending on the nature of your application.

Costs should be rounded up to the nearest £1 with VAT only to be included where it is non-recoverable.

Below is a description of the cost headings that you will be asked to use in the summary ‘Costs and Income’ section of the application form.

When completing this section of the application, you should use the most relevant cost heading for each of your Activity Streams and include costs for the full period for which HES grant is being requested (max. 3 years). If any of your activity costs are not covered by these headings, these should be included in the row marked ‘Other’ with an explanation of what these include provided in your application and Budget Profile.

Direct costs

Staff: This will be the salary costs of any staff directly employed/to be appointed by your organisation to deliver the Activity Streams included in your application.  

Where there is more than one member of staff directly employed/to be appointed by your organisation to deliver the activities, this should be explained in your application with the relevant costs included for each post. Where one or more members of staff have been directly employed/are to be appointed to deliver more than one of the activities for which HES funding is being requested, you should explain in your application how much of each staff post time is being allocated to delivering each activity and the associated cost.

All salaries should be based on sector guidelines, and recipients of HES grant are required to demonstrate commitment to the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First principles (find out about The Fair Work Framework). Any posts funded by HES must pay the Real Living Wage as a minimum.

In your application, we will ask you to tell us about any relevant policies you already have in place to support delivery of your Fair Work First commitment. If you do not already have policies in place, please tell us about actions you are planning to take and the timeframe for this. Fair Work guidance for employers can be found on The Fair Work website.  

Event/engagement: These are the costs of any events and/or engagement sessions that you are delivering as part of the activities included in your application and Activity Plan. This can cover costs such as venue hire, catering, equipment hire and speaker fees.

Formal learning: These are the costs associated with delivering any formal and accredited learning as part of the activities included in your application and Activity Plan. This could include costs for venue hire and of any specialist providers contracted to deliver the training.

Informal learning: These are the costs associated with delivering any informal learning as part of the activities included in your application and Activity Plan.

Materials and equipment: These are the costs to cover any materials and/or equipment that need to be purchased to specifically deliver the activities included in your application. This should not include the costs for any materials and equipment which is purchased for more general use by your organisation.

Consultant or professional fees: This is the cost associated with procuring any external consultants or professionals to support the delivery of activities included in your application and Activity Plan.

Other: This will cover all other specific costs relating to the delivery of the activities included in your application which are not covered by the other direct cost headings. For example, travel and subsistence. An explanation of what these other costs include should be provided in your application and Budget Profile.

Non-cash contributions/Volunteer Time: Non-cash contributions are any direct costs you need to deliver your activities that do not have to pay for (for example, room hire or equipment). These costs can be used as part of your match funding contribution, but they are not eligible for HES grant. For this reason, they must be included in both the cost and income tables in your application form.

If any volunteers are directly involved with delivering any of the activities included in your application, the time they spend on this should be quantified. You should explain in your application what the contribution will be and how the value of this has been calculated.

Any non-cash contributions/volunteer time should also be outlined in a supporting letter signed by someone with appropriate financial authority in your organisation. You will need to record this time as part of your reporting, setting out as volunteer contributions and using a standard rate (£20 per hour) to calculate the value of your volunteer time.

Indirect costs (Full Cost Recovery)

Staff: These costs will relate to other staff in your organisation who are not directly involved with delivering the activities included in your application but will be supporting this work. For example, this could be an administration or finance assistant who helps to put together and submit the grant claim information.

You should explain in your application what their contribution will be and include the value of this in the Budget Profile. Where there are one or more members of staff helping to support the delivery of more than one of the activities, you should explain in your application how much of the post time is being allocated to supporting the delivery of each activity and the costs associated with this set out in your Budget Profile.

Overheads: This is the proportion of the cost of any general overheads for the organisation that can be allocated to the delivery of the activities and the activity staff. For example, this could be a proportion of your organisation’s office running costs (e.g. rent, electricity, telephone, accountant and legal fees etc).

What we cannot fund

HES cannot provide funding support to the following under the Partnership Fund:

  • General operational/core running costs not related to the delivery of the approved Activity Streams
  • Recoverable VAT
  • Work or activity without public benefit and clear link to our Grants Priorities
  • Work for activity that has already started before the grant funded period.
  • Organisational resilience projects - these should be applied for under Historic Environment Grants which is due to launch late 2022
  • The contribution of any HES grant to build up organisational reserves

Income headings

Below is a description of the income headings that you will be asked to use in the summary ‘Costs and Income’ section of the application form.

When completing this section of the application, the income should cover the full period for which HES grant is being requested (max. 3 years) and must be the same as the total cost included for each Activity Stream.

HES Grant Request: This is the amount you are requesting from HES to support the delivery of the Activity Streams.

Applicant contribution: This is the amount that your organisation is directly contributing to the delivery of the Activity Streams. 

Match Funding: This refers to other external funding sources to support the delivery of the Activity Streams. You will need to include the details of this match funding in your application.

Non-cash contributions/volunteer time: You may wish to make up some of your funding contribution as non-cash contributions and/or volunteer time. The income amount for this should be the same as the amount included under the cost heading for non-cash contributions/volunteer time.

More information on how to calculate and evidence this contribution/time is provided under the cost heading section above.

4 How to apply

The Partnership Fund has one application deadline per year in September. This year’s deadline is 15 September 2022. The process for applying is outlined below:

Stage Deadline
Expression of Interest No later than 15 August 2022
Application deadline 15 September 2022
Decision Mid-December 2022
Offer letters issued January/February 2023 for funding to start in April 2023

If your organisation is interested in applying to the Partnership Fund, an Expression of Interest (EOI) must be submitted via our online Grants Portal, please note that applications cannot be submitted without first having an expression of interest approved. EOIs can be submitted at any time in the year up to one month before the application deadline, but it is strongly recommended to submit them well in advance of the application deadline. We aim to respond to EOIs within 10 working days.

Apply now

In our response to your EOI, we will let you know whether your proposal is likely to fit the criteria of the Partnership Fund. If your EOI is approved, this means you are invited to apply to the Partnership Fund via our Grants Portal by the advertised application date. 

You should read the full application guidance on this website before making your application. Please also refer to the Programme resources section for additional guidance and templates that you will need to make your application. Please note that the following supporting documents will be required with your application:

  • Applicant organisation’s governing document
  • Audited (or accountant verified) organisational accounts for the last three years
  • Activity Plan (template available in Programme resources section)
  • Budget Profile (template available in Programme resources section)
  • The draft Evaluation Report from your current funding period (if you are currently funded by HES)
  • Any other relevant supporting information

We may also request other supporting documents (such as plans or cost breakdowns in different formats) depending on the nature of your activities.

Please note that being invited to make an application is not a guarantee that your application will be approved. Your application will be assessed alongside other applications through a competitive process according to our published Programme criteria and in accordance with funding availability. We will aim to notify you about the outcome of your application within three months of the application deadline.

For more information about how we take decisions, please see How Our Funding Works.

5 If you are awarded a grant

Grant contract

If you are awarded a Partnership Fund grant, you will be required to enter into a formal contract with HES. You are encouraged to read the Partnership Fund Offer and Grant Conditions in the Programme resources section. Your Partnership Fund Offer Letter will confirm the Approved Budget for your grant.

After your contract has been issued, you will be required to submit an Outcomes Plan setting out the outcomes and objectives for your grant funded activities. The objectives agreed through this process will be used in the quarterly reporting process during your funding period.

You will also need to submit a communications plan within one month from the date of the offer to tell us about any publicity and/or promotional activities that will be taking place over the grant funded period where you will be acknowledging our funding.

You will be able to request permission to start your grant funded activities once you have signed your contract, had your Outcomes and Communication Plans agreed by HES and fulfilled any other conditions as outlined in your offer letter (e.g. ensuring that your match funding is in place).

Procurement

For all goods, works and services up to £50,000 (excluding VAT) which are required to deliver your Activity Streams, you must get at least three written quotes before selecting your preferred supplier. If you are unable to get three quotes then you must discuss the reason/s for this with your Grants Manager so we can advise if we are still content for the project and grant to proceed on this basis. You should provide a detailed report on the quotes you receive which sets out the reasons for your decision on which to accept.

For procuring any goods, works and services valued at more than £50,000 (excluding VAT) then you must advertise that competition on Public Contracts Scotland. Your competition should be based on a cost and quality approach to ensure that value for money is achieved. You will also need to provide a detailed report on the tenders you have issued, received and evaluated, together with your decision on which to accept. 

The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 apply in certain grant cases and particularly where you obtain more than 50% of funding from public bodies.  The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 may also apply.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with all rules relevant to public procurement that are relevant to your project. 

Acknowledging your funding

As part of the conditions of our funding, we will expect you to acknowledge the funding from HES in all publicity and promotional activities either in print or on social media. You are also required to acknowledge the funding you receive from HES in all publications and marketing material distributed to your stakeholders and members. Find out more about acknowledging your funding. 

Claiming, reporting and evaluation

Partnership Fund grants will normally be paid on a quarterly basis in arrears unless there is a case for an advanced payment being required, in which case you should discuss this directly with HES.

During your funding period, you will be required to submit a Claim Form, Progress Report and updated Budget Profile by the dates outlined in the table below via the online Grants Portal.

Quarterly Claim Period Final Claim Submission Date
1 April to 30 June 31 July
1 July to 30 September 31 October
1 October to 31 December 31 January
1 January to 31 March 30 April

The Progress Report Form will ask you to update us on your progress against your Objectives (as agreed through the Outcomes Planning process) and notify us of any material changes or risks to your funding. It will also ask you to upload any images that you have taken in relation to the grant aided activities. For any images provided, you will need to ensure that you have the necessary permissions and the permissions of any people in the image for these to be shared and for HES to use these for publicity.

It is important that you update your Budget Profile spreadsheet to match the Approved Budget from your Offer Letter. We will ask you to upload an updated Budget Profile with each Progress Report to update us on costs, income and HES grant claims (actual and projected). Payment will be made following review and approval of the Progress Report and Claim Form. The Final Progress Report Form at the end of your funding period will request summary information relating to the entire grant.

At the end of each funding year (by 30 September after the relevant funding year), you will be required to submit Audited (or accountant verified) Accounts and an Accountants Certificate to verify expenditure as presented in your Claims for that year. 

A template for the Accountants Certificate be found in the Programme resources section and must be completed by your auditor or, where you are not required to prepare audited accounts in terms of your governing legislation and have not otherwise chosen to prepare such audited accounts, an independent Chartered Accountant.

Once all reporting information for the financial year has been submitted, any overpayment of grant will need to be returned to HES, and any funds not used within the allocated financial year will be lost, unless otherwise agreed in advance with HES. Please note that you are required to retain evidence of expenditure relating to your grant in the form of receipts, invoices, bank statements, etc and that HES can request this for examination at any time.

To assist with programme evaluation, a Grants Data Report will also need to be completed on the Grants Portal within three months of the end of each financial year in which you have received funding.

A draft version of your Evaluation Report should be submitted to HES no later than 30 September during the final year of your funding period. This is to allow the results of this report to be taken into consideration if you are making an application for continued funding. The final version of the Evaluation Report should be submitted no later than 30 June after final year of your funding period. Please ensure that your report contains some images to document your grant aided activities. For any images provided, you will need to ensure that you have the necessary permissions and the permissions of any people in the image for these to be shared and for HES to use these for publicity

Further information and templates can be found within the Programme resources section.

6 Programme resources and contacting us

Guidance documents

Templates

Other (for information only)

Contacting us

If you have any questions or would like further support in making an application for funding, please contact us at grants@hes.scot, and one of our grants team will be happy to discuss your proposals with you.

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