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A Golden Age for Heritage - our major new research for HLF published

The story of £1.6bn in investment into the fabric of the UK's heritage.

Today the Heritage Lottery Fund publishes BOP’s report into the impact of its major grants programme. It is the story of a 1.6bn investment into the fabric of the UK’s heritage over the last twenty years, with over 100 individual projects completed.

The impact of this investment goes far beyond repair and restoration. Our report uncovers a story of transformation in which heritage asset of all shapes and sizes – from national icons like the British Museum and Stonehenge to regional attractions like the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Museum of Docklands – have been invented, re-imagined and opened out to a wider public.

A few impact headlines:

- 94 million visits a year are now made to the attractions that received these grants – up by 53% since before the projects took place.

- The biggest increase in visits are from families and young people.

- Local tourism revenue has increased by just under £500million, creating an extra 9.600 jobs.

- 2,536 new jobs have been created in the funded organisations.

- Half the grant recipients have extended their work with schools, creating 58 new education spaces.

Beneath the headlines lie important lessons about leadership and innovation - especially how funders and grantees have worked together – not always comfortably! – to rethink the role of heritage organisations and to open out to new, larger audiences.

Read the summary report here, and access over 70 case studies and a rich store of visual material.

Paul Owens - paul@bop.co.uk