The Great Place Scheme will fund projects in areas where there is a commitment to embed heritage in local plans and decision-making. By strengthening the networks between heritage, civic and community organisations, and by involving citizens and local businesses, projects will enhance the role that heritage plays in the future of each place participating in the Scheme. In time this will lead to the wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits that heritage can achieve.

This is a pilot scheme. It will fund activities which can be built on in the future, and whose learning can be shared with other places.


The Great Place Scheme will enable heritage organisations to make a step-change in how they work together, and with other organisations in other sectors, in order that heritage contribute more to meeting local social, environmental and economic objectives.

What will the Great Place Scheme do?

The Great Place Scheme will invest in 5 to 10 places across Scotland to achieve the following:

  • Build on existing strengths within the heritage sector in order to maximise its positive social, environmental and economic contribution.
  •  Develop partnerships between the heritage sector and place-based initiatives operating in Scotland, so that the contribution of the sector and future potential for greater collaboration is recognised and supported by long-term plans and strategies for the area.

The Scheme will enable places throughout Scotland to put heritage at the heart of the future vision for their area. The successful places will be able to access investment, advice and guidance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

How much funding is available?

You can apply for between £100,000 and £1,000,000 for activity to be delivered over a period of up to three years.

The application process has one round only, but you must submit an Expression of Interest before completing an application form.

Geographic focus

In Scotland we aim to support 5 to 10 places, from a range of different areas which are both urban and rural, to participate in the Scheme.

We invite you to think creatively about the geographies that you could serve. This might be across more than one council area, or the relationship between an urban area and adjoining rural areas. Boundaries need not be contiguous or administrative. 

You will need to determine the scale and the geographic boundaries of the ‘place’ where your project will be delivered. You should make a case in your application for why the geography you have chosen is relevant and meaningful in the light of the ambitions of the Great Place Scheme.  The size of a place should be considered, to ensure sufficient resources and impact can be made through the project. A place could be:

  • a city or town and its hinterland;
  • a single local authority area;
  • Wards from one burgh or different burghs;
  • a grouping of rural towns/ townships;
  • An island or group of neighbouring islands;
  • A national park or other designation eg. a landscape designation, World Heritage Site or conservation area.

How to apply

In order to apply for this Scheme, you must submit an Expression of Interest by midday 8th June 2017. Please fill in a copy of the word document below and send this to us at [email protected]

We will contact you by 7 July 2017 to tell you whether or not you are being invited to submit an application, based on whether your proposal is felt to have the most potential to deliver against the Scheme’s outcomes. Proposals encouraged to apply will need to submit a full application by 26th September 2017.

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

Partnerships led by a not-for-profit organisation . See the application guidance section 3 for more details.

What types of activity will the Great Place Scheme support?

We expect most of the activities supported will involve talking to local people such as through community-based discussions and events; investigating new ideas such as exploring the role of heritage in the local economy; creating new tools such as enabling heritage organisations to work with commissioners in co-producing frameworks for social outcomes; and building capacity among local communities to engage with heritage. More ideas are in the application guidance section 4.

When will decisions be made?

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 8th June 2017 and for full applications is 26th September 2017. We expect to announce the 5 to 10 successful Places in the pilot phase of the Scheme by the end of December 2017.

Does all partnership funding need to be in place at the point of application?

No. We would expect to see 75% committed to the Scheme with the deadline for the remainder to be secured by the end of September 2018.

The Expression of Interest form has a word limit of 500 words. What does this cover?

The word limit applies only to Section 3, where we ask you to outline your proposals. Information such as your project title, information about your contact person, organisational details and likely grant request can be additional to this.