The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched a funding initiative to support heritage organisations and charities improve their digital capabilities.
Its Digital Skills for Heritage Fund aims to promote digital skills and leadership within the heritage sector. It also has a benchmarking element to evaluate how digitally confident the sector is.
The aim is to support around 2,500 people within the sector to improve their digital skills.
Through the fund around £500,000 is being invested in projects run by membership body Arts Marketing Association and a coalition comprising Charity Digital, Heritage Alliance, Media Trust and Naomi Korn Associates to boost access to digital advice in the sector.
Heritage organisations can register their interest in participating in the programme to increase their digital skills by entering their deals here.
Also, the fund aims to sponsor up to 30 executives, working within medium to large heritage organisations, to become digital leaders. The training for this is being provided by heritage sector support body Culture24.
“CEOs, senior executives and trustees of heritage organisations need digital leadership skills to steer thriving heritage organisations,” said Culture 24.
“Leaders need to be informed about the opportunities and challenges of digital if we are to build successful heritage organisations.”
In addition, heritage organisations are being urged to apply for a share of £250,000 being made available through a Digital Confidence Fund.
Through this fund, grants of £10,000 are being made available to heritage orgainisations and charities in 13 council areas, which have been highlighted as priority areas by the National Lottery.
Grant recipients will also receive £2,500 worth of mentoring from a digital expert.
This aims to help charities and heritage organisations to “punch above their weight, providing low cost ways to connect to communities and bring heritage to more people,” said Josie Fraser, the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Head of Digital Policy.
She added: “Heritage organisations can thrive in the digital era, using tech to attract the visitors and support they need.
“We want to help them succeed, which is why we have developed our Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.”
To promote the fund, the National Lottery is releasing online videos showcasing how digital can be used effectively in the heritage sector.
This includes a film featuring Kati Price, Head of Digital Media and Publishing at the V&A Museum in London.
“Digital is a crucial means by which we fulfil our mission and how we engage millions of people,” said Price.