Onwards & Upwards National Lottery funded project to create a sustainable future for monuments in NAT’s care.

In 2018 Norfolk Archaeological Trust received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Made possible by National Lottery players, the grant of £178,500 funded the research and development NAT needed to continue caring for Norfolk’s archaeological sites into the future.

NAT has a long history of conserving monuments at risk in Norfolk. However, the challenges of possibly reduced farm payments, plus the opportunities arising from increased volunteer support, required NAT to review its business model.

Thanks to National Lottery players this project enabled NAT to work closely with external consultants to research and review potential new sources of income, and to develop a new Strategic Plan and a sustainable Business Plan. The research also looked at ways of improving public access to Trust sites, and providing more opportunities and training for volunteers. The project included a review of NAT’s governance, including procedures for the recruitment and appointment of trustees, and provided a training programme for implementation of the Business Plan. Re-branding, and production of this website were important outputs of the project.

A full-time Volunteer co-ordinator post, and a part time Rural Sites Manager post were created for 18 months to support implementation of the project.

Commenting on the award, Chairman of the Trust Peter Griffiths, said: ‘We’re extremely grateful to the National Lottery for supporting the Trust during this important transitional phase in our mission to care for some of Norfolk’s most significant heritage sites.’ The project started in April 2018 and continued until March 2020. An evaluation document summarising the main activities of the project, outputs and outcomes, and lessons learned can be downloaded here: EVALUATION-FINAL.

Outputs and Outcomes

A key output of the project was a new Strategy 2020-2025 which can be downloaded HERE

The Business Plan was produced in response to strategic goal 5, to develop a sustainable business model through ‘a more entrepreneurial approach, improved financial management and rejuvenated governance’. The business plan sets out how this goal will be achieved and how NAT’s activities will be developed and sustained over the next five years. It was signed off by NAT Council in April 2020.

Progress of the Onwards & Upwards Project was reported regularly through our Spring newsletter and Annual reports:

Spring newsletter 2018

Annual report 2018

Spring newsletter 2019

Annual report 2019

Spring newsletter 2020 – forthcoming

Info on National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF): Thanks to National Lottery players, NLHF invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife www.heritagefund.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported

Main photo: NAT members taking part in Onwards & Upwards consultation at the AGM in 2018
Small photo: NAT council members and staff attending one of the workshops run by consultants Architrave during the project