4 October 2018

Royal Pavilion Garden bid unsuccessful this time around

A very tough competitive process has resulted in a bid for £194,100 of Heritage Lottery funding for the Royal Pavilion Garden being turned down on its first application.

The application for funding was submitted in the summer, and while the project did meet Heritage Lottery Fund criteria, the Board of Trustees had to take decisions on more projects than the available budget would allow.

However, decision makers noted the heritage importance of the project, the need to improve the Garden and praised the community involvement which backed the bid. They added that they expected the council to re-apply for funding.

The grant would have allowed the council to progress plans to improve and enhance the historic garden and apply for a full National Lottery grant.

The council is now considering re-submitting the bid.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK but since December 2017 its annual funding budgets have been reduced by almost 50%.  The maximum amount for a Heritage Lottery Fund - Heritage Grant (over £100,000) which the council bid for, is £5 million.

Commenting on the decision, Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the tourism, development and culture committee said: “This is disappointing news.  However, we will still look to make improvements to the Royal Pavilion Garden over time, in partnership with our stakeholders, so that we address the issues which resulted in the Garden being put on the Heritage at Risk register.  

“In view of our financial constraints, these will necessarily be smaller scale improvements carried out as and when we can identify funding.  We have been heartened by the support of residents, who clearly value this unique asset, and we hope that they will continue to support the ideas we have put forward for the future.”

Information about the Heritage Lottery Fund

This year, 2018-2019, is a transitional year for HLF and they have begun to simplify the grant programme portfolio ahead of the new Strategic Funding Framework. HLF is preparing to open the new Strategic Funding Framework in late January 2019.

Frequently asked questions

Why did the council bid for a Heritage Lottery Grant?

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK.  In terms of matching the criteria, HLF is the most appropriate funding stream to apply for at this stage of the project.

What is the criteria for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant?

The Heritage Grants open programme is for projects related to the national, regional or local heritage of the UK including historic buildings and natural and designed landscapes and gardens. The fund aims to make a difference to heritage, people and communities.

How much is available through the Heritage Lottery Fund programme?

Grants are between £100,000 and £5million.

Why didn’t the Heritage Lottery Fund back this project?

The demand for HLF funding is highly competitive and this has been compounded by recent cuts to HLF’s annual budget; which has been reduced by around 50% from £380m to £190m.

It’s not unusual for a project to be unsuccessful first time around.  HLF has stated that the Royal Pavilion Garden scheme was a very strong project. Unfortunately as they had to take decisions on far more projects than the available budget would allow, Brighton & Hove’s  application was rejected due to insufficient funds and not for any other reason.

Has the HLF supported other heritage projects in Brighton & Hove?

The city has received a substantial share of HLF money for other heritage projects over recent years, including the Volk’s Railway (£1.65 million), Saltdean Lido (£4.7m), Stanmer Park restoration project (£3.75m) and the Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange (£4.99m).

What happens now?

We will consider the feedback from the Heritage Lottery Fund and aim to re-submit an application as soon as possible.