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Evaluating Conservation Outcomes

In the UK, the Heritage Lottery Fund invests in a wide range of conservation activities and heritage assets, involving landscapes, biodiversity, collections, archives, and historic buildings and structures.  We were commissioned by the HLF to carry out the final two years of a three year research programme, investigating the conservation outcomes of its investment in these diverse heritage assets through its main ‘Heritage Grants’ scheme.  The aim of the study was to give the HLF a better understanding of both the conservation outcomes of its funding and the effectiveness of its associated assessment systems.

Over the two years of our involvement in the study, we examined in detail the planning, performance and outcomes of 40 randomly-selected recently-completed major grant aided projects from all parts of the UK.  We visited each site, interviewed project managers, staff, building users and HLF case officers, and carried out a comprehensive audit of files and supplementary material, examining inter alia the implementation of procedures and other key matters. Our final report provided detail on our findings and set out twelve wide ranging recommendations relating to the funding of projects and the HLF’s internal processes.

Client: Heritage Lottery Fund

Main Image:  Welney Visitor Centre (architect: Allies and Morrison)