Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund contacts and resources

Dubh lochans on the blanket bog at Forsinard Flows

How we can help?

The project team are happy to give advice to organisations that are considering applying to the Fund. Each applicant will be assigned a lead contact from the team.

Who can apply?

Applicants can come from the public, voluntary or third sectors (private businesses are not able to apply for ERDF).  Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to meet the stringent financial, audit and record keeping requirements required by the EU.

How to Apply?

To apply for funding from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, you will need to wait until the funding round opens w/c 7 January when you can request the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund Application Form to be set up for you by sending an email to : Before you do this, please read our applicant guidance document thoroughly. You can download a read only, non-writeable version of our applicant guidance and the application form

When can I find out more, or speak to a funding officer?

We have held a series of information session meetings throughout the Highlands and Islands to explain the Fund to potential applicants. We can still answer any questions about the application process so please get in touch to arrange a discussions with one of our officers.   

FAQs and the NCHF Presentation are available to download.

Please contact us directly if you wish to speak to a Funding Officer.

Our Approach to Project Assessment

Once applications are received, they will be screened for eligibility and completeness and then assessed for quality. We will assess projects against our assessment criteria, the Fund’s outcomes and value for money. We will be looking for a balance of outcomes, as well as evidence of the additional value that the project will deliver, that all other possible funding options have been explored that the money is needed (i.e. the project cannot proceed without NCHF) and that there is a clear framework for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on results.

The results of the assessment are then considered by our Performance Management Board who recommends the projects which should receive funding, as well as confirming that due process has been followed. The Board have been selected based on their expertise and experience in relevant subject areas, and include several members from other organisations. At present these include Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Historic Environment Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Visit Scotland, Scottish Government, Directorate for Culture,Tourism and Major Events.

The selection process ends with approval and sign off of the Performance Management Board recommendations by the SNH CEO.

Once a project is approved, our Project and Funding Officer will maintain on-going contact with grantees, checking they are fulfilling audit requirements, publicising the work and ultimately evaluating the outputs and results of the project.

If you need advice from SNH about the natural heritage in relation to your project, or need a representative on a steering group, we can put you in contact with your local SNH area office. The NCHF team don’t have the capacity to provide this service but we encourage you to contact and work with our colleagues.

View our NCHF Assessment and Selection process diagram

Gaining advice and avoiding conflict of interest

To maintain separation of roles and to avoid any conflict of interest, your lead contact will not be involved in the assessment of your application. While their advice will give your project a better chance of success, receiving their support or encouragement does not guarantee your project will be funded because our funds are competitive and projects are subject to our independent assessment and scoring process.

Contact us

Please contact us by email to

Once your enquiry has been submitted, a member of the team will acknowledge your correspondence and respond, where required, within 2 working days.

Complaints and customer care

We're committed to providing you with an excellent service and your views and feedback are really important to us. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us so we can try to put things right for you. We welcome compliments as well.

For further information, please visit our customer care page.