Spatial Intelligence at The National Lottery Heritage Fund


The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest funder for the UK’s heritage, giving grants to a wide range of projects involving local, regional and national heritage. The Heritage Fund uses funding raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Since 1994, the organisation has awarded £8.8 billion to more than 51,000 projects across the UK and have recently launched Heritage 2033, their ten-year strategy to invest an further £3.6 billion in saving heritage, protecting the environment and increasing inclusion, access and participation

Business Challenge

Prior to 2023 the Heritage Fund had limited GIS resources and wanted to increase their capabilities to consume and analyse spatial data. They worked collaboratively with our geospatial consultancy team to define organisational requirements, demonstrate the pilot projects used to introduce new GIS resources to the organisation and outline their ambition to use spatial intelligence to provide a strategic overview of funded projects, maximise their impact and support long term improvements for heritage and communities.

Client Solution

The Heritage Fund worked with Envitia to identify the spatial datasets need to inform decisions for place-based investment, sharing their expertise and facilitating data requirements sessions with staff across the Heritage Fund. This identified datasets about landscape, environment, and local authority level datasets that have been added to their GIS portal ready to use in self-service mapping tools. Together we also identified the functional and non-functional requirements for an enterprise GIS product within the Heritage Fund and worked with Envitia to incorporate the required applications into their existing infrastructure.

  • Species Survival Fund: The Heritage Fund have been asked by Defra to allocate £25 million of funding to projects tacking declining biodiversity . An Esri Web App has allowed the team to see the project extents, add contextual layers to improve their relationship to existing projects and to print their own maps in a map template matching the corporate style guide.
  • Heritage Places: A detailed methodology was developed to identify nine areas in the UK as the first nine Heritage Places.  An Esri Story Map Collection has been used to explain this methodology and let users interact with the relevant data in the identified areas.
  • Boards & Committee Dashboard: This dashboard is used at board and committee meetings to show which projects need a decision on funding along with contextual financial and demographic information. This dashboard is maintained using FME Flow and requires no maintenance from the team.
Positive Business Outcomes

With an evidence-based approach, NHLF can identify gaps in support to the heritage sector, particularly where there is heritage at risk and in need of conservation. They are also able to take a more proactive approach to strengthen strategic investment, targeting resources towards the most urgent needs.

With the GIS and through their continued development of National Lottery Heritage Fund’s data strategy, they will continue to drive enhanced data-driven decision-making on how best to invest public money over the next 10 years. 

GIS is playing a major role in delivering their 10 year strategy, ‘Heritage 2033’, and their new ambition to support landscape scale projects, place-based initiatives and heritage ‘at risk’.

Our client is now able to connect different datasets to combine national indicators and local intelligence about the need, opportunity and potential for heritage.

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