Memorandum by The Heritage Lottery Fund
The Heritage Lottery Fund was set up under the
National Lottery Act 1993 to distribute money provided by the
National Lottery to heritage projects and activities. The Fund
is distributed by the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial
Fund. Above £300 million per annum is currently distributed
from the Fund throughout the UK.
The aim of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is
"improve the quality of life by safeguarding
and enhancing the heritage of buildings, objects and the environment,
whether man-made or natural, which have been important in the
formation of the character and identity of the United Kingdom,
in a way which will encourage more sections of society to appreciate
and enjoy their heritage and enable them to hand it on in good
heart to future generations."
Our Strategic Plan 1999-2002 sets out how we
will use lottery money to meet the needs of the national heritage
whilst taking account of policy directions given to us by Government.
These require us to take account of:
the scope for reducing economic and
social deprivation at the same time as creating heritage benefits;
the need to ensure that all parts
of the United Kingdom have access to funding;
the need to promote access for people
from all sections of society;
the need to promote knowledge of
and interest in the heritage by children and young people;
the need to further the objectives
of sustainable development.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is able to support
applications for grants to cemeteries within this context.
Cemeteries evoke a sense of history and a sense
of place. This may be heightened if they are also the resting
place of someone well known locally or nationally. They may lie
within the curtilage of a listed church or the individual tombs
may themselves be listed. Cemeteries, particularly those laid
out during the 19th century to cater for a growing urban population,
can also be listed as designed landscapes in the English Heritage
National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. They may fall
within a conservation area.
Cemeteries are also important places within
the collective identity of families or communities, as they are
often social documents to the past life of a locality expressed
in a telling and memorable fashion. Quite apart from the personal
memories they evoke, they are also a document, through the remains
of those buried within them, to the lives and work, the social
and economic history, of past ages.
Cemeteries can provide valued public open space.
They often represent a "green oasis" in urban areas
and can be important in terms of nature and habitat conservation.
They may represent an integral part of a community's history and
development and can be used an educational resource. Where families
of people laid to rest in the cemetery and other volunteers participate
in their upkeep, cemeteries can act as a focus for community involvement
and increasing awareness of the heritage.
Cemeteries may be eligible for funding under
several of HLF's current grant programmes. Grants are awarded
where the cemetery meets our core aims of providing conservation
and wider public benefits, rather than because cemeteries comprise
a special kind of heritage in themselves.
The majority of grants specifically to cemeteries
have been made under the Urban Parks Programme. In common with
historic urban parks, many of the major 19th century cemeteries
are often neglected, inaccessible or poorly maintained. Projects
incorporate the restoration of the historic designs, planting
and features; the protection of natural habitats; improved public
access and security, and enhanced maintenance.
HLF's main grants programme has supported the
repair and conservation of a number of disused cemetery buildings
of historic importance, providing public access.
Cemeteries may also be eligible for grants under
our Revenue Grants Programme and the Awards for All schemes. Capital
projects could include small-scale environmental improvements
and the restoration of features.
Revenue Grants aim to widen and enhance popular
access to the heritage by encouraging projects which meet the
aims of developing new audiences, delivering educational benefits,
increasing study, understanding and enjoyment of heritage assets
and encouraging active participation in heritage activities. This
might include encouraging awareness of the site as a leisure space,
a repository of social history, or a place of nature interest.
A Revenue Grant could fund, for example, interpretation
of a cemetery, historical surveys, or studies of natural habitats;
particularly where local groups initiate these activities.
Work to churchyard burial grounds has occasionally
been supported under the Joint Grant Scheme for Churches and Other
Places of Worship (JPOW) which is run jointly with English Heritage.
JPOW is primarily aimed at buildings, which are in regular use
for public worship, (unlike cemetery chapels). It gives priority
to urgent structural repairs and the provision of enhanced community
facilities. The enhancement of churchyards and repair of historic
features is an occasional adjunct and additional benefit supported
through such schemes.
To date HLF has funded 12 projects which are
mainly concerned with cemeteries, totalling £3,352,133. This
does not include those projects where a small amount of work to
a cemeteryor a green space which may once have been a cemeteryhas
been funded within a larger grant.
Whitstable Road Jewish Cemetery, Canterbury, Kent
The Jewish Cemetery in Canterbury is associated
with one of the oldest Jewish Communities in England. The Cemetery
itself dates from 1760, and is situated just outside the city
walls, within a conservation area. Hidden away behind the surrounding
historic townscape, the cemetery was closed to the public and
little known beyond the Jewish community, to whom it is of significant
cultural importance. A grant of £42,000 was awarded in 1997
to Canterbury City Council to undertake the clearance of sycamore
and encroaching undergrowth, repair the 18th century walls, and
to improve both physical access and provide an interpretation
board and signage. The Council entered into a lease with the Jewish
Burial Grounds charity in order to undertake both the project
and long-term management of the site, and open the cemetery to
All Saints Cemetery, Nunhead, London
All Saints Cemetery was created in 1840 by James
Bunstone Bunning and is widely regarded as one of the finest designs
of its period. The Chapel and Cemetery are grade II listed and
lie within a conservation area and a site of Nature Conservation
Importance. Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £1.25 million to
the London Borough of Southwark in December 1997 to repair and
stabilise the chapel and other structures within the cemetery
including two neo-classical lodges and monumental gates. Work
has yet to begin on site, but once complete the cemetery environment
will be safer, more secure and include a ranger presence. As such
it will offer greater opportunities for educational visits and
an accessible resource for recreational use, including improved
access for people with disabilities.
Highgate Cemetery, London
Highgate Cemetery was opened in 1839 and divides
into two roughly equal areas, the East and West Cemeteries. The
whole cemetery is a conservation area and a grade II* listed landscape
and includes more than 30 listed structures. Heritage Lottery
fund awarded a grant of £500,000 to the Friends of Highgate
Cemetery and the Highgate Cemetery Charity in October 1997 for
the restoration of the boundary walls and railings of the West
Cemetery. Work is currently in progress and is due to complete
by the end of 2001.
Birmingham Cathedral Churchyard
Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £2,253,000
in March 1997 for a full programme of restoration to the Churchyard
of the Cathedral Church of St Philip, reinstating the 18th Century
churchyard layout as fully as possible in sympathy with this grade
I listed church. Together, the Cathedral and Churchyard form an
integral part of the heart of Birmingham.
Work began on site in March this year and will
include landscaping and tree planting, repair and installation
of walls and railings, improvements to pedestrian access, signage
an site furniture and the introduction of security cameras.
These case studies illustrate how the allocation
of Lottery money to cemeteries has been able to deliver heritage
benefits alongside wider public benefits. In each instance HLF
grant has helped to foster productive partnerships and lever in
other sources of funding.