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HLF Future strategy

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by 61624, Aug 20, 2022.

  1. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    A topic of great interest to many (most/all?) of us is that of HLF grants. I see that 72010 "Hengist" website is drawing attention to an HLF survey being conducted at present, on how they should allocate their resources in future (Naturally the 72010 group would like to see new build projects become eligible for funding and are looking for support for that. I'll declare an interest and say that I'd like to see more of an emphasis being placed on covered accommodation for both restored items and items awaiting restoration, and a switch of emphasis on qualifying aims for projects to the merits of the project itself - but you may have different ideas!!):

    The National Lottery Heritage Fund is running a public consultation on what type of project to fund from 2024 on-wards. Currently they do not fund New Build https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/have-your-say

    (see https://www.facebook.com/groups/104...411103588324&notif_t=group_activity&ref=notif for more)
     
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  2. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    There seems to be many worthy causes before worrying about new builds, surely heritage should focus on keeping alive the history that we already have. I would agree covered accommodation and also maintaining existing infrastructure should be high on the list.
     
  3. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    From a heritage perspective helping get precious items under cover is #1 for me , secondly a willingness to support the restoration of vintage stock . Some vehicles are probably at last chance saloon and could do with lottery support without the education/add on ties
     
  4. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    The survey is your opportunity to put forward your point of view. A pet peeve of mine is that as things stand, the starting point for any application is meeting their requirements and that what you are applying for ends up tagged on almost as an afterthought; I would also like to see recognition given to the need for so-called hen-houses to be protected for future generations to have a go at. Restored pre-BR stock is still very much in the minority compared to Mk m1 designs so we should be doing more to save what is left, whether restored or not so it is still available when its time comes.
     
  5. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see HLF return to middle size grants, as they were during the "heyday years" of the 2000's.

    The present system, to my unscientific eyes, seems to favour either small grants (£500 for a children's play area) or enormous grants (multi million) but not so much in between. I've seen far fewer grants in the bracket of roughly £20,000-£300,000, which were ideal for worthy loco, rolling stock and railway shed projects.

    And before I'm shot down, I realise there are examples of middle sized grants being recently given.... I just think there's fewer than there was 10 to 15 years ago.

    Sent from my moto g(8) power using Tapatalk
     
  6. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    I have just asked for covered accommodation.
     
  7. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    I usually use Premier Inn. ;):D
     
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  8. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    I get the point but without the education tie ons then we aren't protecting heritage or building a base of younger specialists, its reads like a project that benefits only a few people. Whereas if you can bring in a promising young apprentice then you have someone learning how carriages go together, the choices in materials and modern equivalents people won't get snippy about that you can pass on or build into the staff base for future restorations. Through my work we're looking funding from various funding quangos and they want to see a benefit built in to the end product. So rehabbing and entire floor of the building for creatives to hire long term is an end goal and the other floor above that is being looked at to see what gaps are missing locally and if they can bring jobs to the town. We wouldn't just get the money as a building restoration with no real plan for what to do afterwards.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Fair comment, but surely that’s about the relationship between horse and cart. The project matters, and one of the side effects is the training and experience for staff; if it becomes about that training and experience, it gets distorted - hence some of my concerns in the NYMR thread.

    For me, the issue is about sustainability. Just building or rebuilding something is worthwhile, but it then raises all the questions of how it can be operated and maintained into the future.

    We saw with Millennium funding how a number of projects were built on very optimistic prospectuses, but couldn’t keep themselves going because there was nothing underneath them. Much as I’d like more flexibility, I’d not like to revert to those days.


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  10. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    So tie covered accommodation with developing skills used to restore and maintain the heritage fleet. To me it all goes together. If it were joined up by HLF then the Bluebell New carriage sheds would have been eligible for funding, something like that to me seems more deserving than some of the other awards.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The Sheffield Park Carriage Shed did receive significant Lottery funding, but that was the best part of 20 years ago, and things have changed since.

    More recently, the Horsted Keynes shed ("OP4") was turned down for lottery funding, so all the funding was in house, raised by donations. In some ways, that may have been a blessing in disguise. AIUI, the sticking point was that by the time an application was made for what became OP4, the conditions had a significant requirement for access / interpretation. That's understandable in its way, but the issue at Horsted Keynes was that such a design would have required more space to allow the public to circulate, so on a given footprint of land, it would have housed fewer vehicles. The building as constructed, when combined with existing storage, is sufficient to house all but about three of the wooden carriages on the railway. Had it been built as a display building, we would likely have lost at least one, and maybe two, roads: we would have got something much like "Train Story" at Havenstreet, but at the expense of still needing yet another building (and funding) for perhaps the equivalent of ten full-length carriages. The ground at Horsted Keynes already had to be made up to carry the existing OP4 building; anything significantly larger would have been impossible, so room for public circulation would have been at the expense of getting carriages under cover.

    Of course, criteria change (which is what the consultation is about) and maybe future rounds would be less restrictive about public access. But realistically, a facility like OP4, when seen just as storage, would likely always be too restrictive in "public benefit" for a funder like the HLF. Even if you pitched it as "we are saving these derelict carriages so that they can be enjoyed by future generations, otherwise they will soon rot away if left outside", for many of them the actual opportunity for the public to benefit - in terms of being able to ride in them - could be up to a hundred years away. So it is a fantastically worthy project, but also I suspect one where it is simultaneously difficult to deliver something that is ideal for the railway (in terms of maximising storage) but also good for the HLF (in terms of maximising public access and engagement).

    Tom
     
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  12. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line New Member

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    But you did include the heritage skills centre and mai tenace Road so it was just more covered accommodation.
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed. To my mind it is a better project for that, and maybe what I'd like to see the HLF focused towards - i.e. more about capacity building (in the jargon), rather than having to be about public engagement. Nothing wrong with the latter, but I think you can make the tail wag the dog if you are not careful, and there are better opportunities on a heritage railway for engagement than trying to shoehorn it into storage and engineering spaces. Whereas without skills being maintained and passed on, it will all be a bit moot in the future.

    Tom
     
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