Chair - National Heritage Memorial Fund/ National Lottery Heritage Fund

Body: National Heritage Memorial Fund/ National Lottery Heritage Fund
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Across UK
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The Chair’s annual salary is £40,000 for the two days being £100,000 full time equivalent.
Time Requirements: We expect that the NHMF Chair will devote two days a week to National Lottery Heritage Fund business.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE has been appointed as Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a three year period from 01 April 2021 until 31 March 2024.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    25/09/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Prime Minister wishes to appoint a new Chair to lead the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Board. The appointment is made with the advice of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

Applications are encouraged from all sections of the community to help ensure that the NHMF/ NLHF board is representative of the diverse society it serves. The NHMF would particularly welcome applications from individuals who are based outside of London.

The role of the Chair

The Chair is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Board, taking ownership and responsibility for developing and delivering strategy. The Chair provides the Board with direction and purpose and promotes good governance. This involves chairing Board meetings six times a year, attending other committee meetings, and meeting regularly with senior staff. The Chair manages the performance of Trustees and the Chief Executive and contributes to the recruitment of new Trustees and senior staff.

The Chair will need to have a broad appreciation of heritage and promoting its public understanding and enjoyment, together with strong skills in strategic leadership, analytical thinking, influencing, communication and a sound understanding of corporate governance. The Chair will ensure with the Board that the organisation is responding to the priorities of the UK Government and devolved bodies appropriately. The chair will also need to ensure that the organisation is responsive to the National Lottery players and the public at large.

The Chair will oversee the embedding of the priorities outlined in the Strategic Funding Framework, as well as leading on the Fund’s strategic campaigns. Another priority will be recognising the NHMF’s 40th anniversary in 2020. These initiatives take place within the context of the Fund’s overall Corporate Strategy.

The Chair will also be expected to ensure that any statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds are complied with, that all expenditure is in accordance with Treasury rules for the management of public money, and that the NHMF/ NLHF maintains high standards of corporate governance at all times. The Chair has an important role to play in supporting the organisation’s Accounting Officer in delivering high standards of regularity and probity.

The Chair is the primary Board-level advocate for The Fund and takes a lead role in championing the aims and strategic objectives of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund with government at Westminster and in the devolved administrations, stakeholders, opinion formers and grant applicants. Chair can expect to attend meetings and receptions with ministers and MPs, give speeches at key events, host stakeholder and opinion former gatherings, and attend site visits and project openings, travelling regularly across the UK. The Chair will also be responsible for leading the involvement of other Trustees in this kind of work.

Person Specification

In their application, candidates must demonstrate how they meet the following essential criteria:

  • A broad appreciation of the UK’s heritage, and a commitment to promoting its wider public understanding and enjoyment to the widest audience.
  • A commitment to the aims, strategic objectives, and values of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund across the whole of the UK, together with an understanding of the environment within which Lottery bodies operate.
  • A proven track record at Board or equivalent level and the ability to lead a non-executive board, chair busy and pressured meetings, and support the leadership of a high profile organisation through periods of change by providing strategic guidance and effective challenge.
  • An ability to understand and oversee compliance of public sector spending principles.
  • Strong communication skills, including as a public speaker and with the media, combined with evidence of acting as a senior ambassador for an organisational cause.
  • A commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality.

Additional Information

About the NHMF / NLHF

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was established in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of our national heritage at risk of loss to the nation, as a memorial to those who have given their lives for the UK, and has a current annual budget of £5 million. The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) is the fund of last resort for the nation’s heritage, coming to the rescue by funding emergency acquisitions. 

In 1994, the NHMF became the distributor of the heritage share of National Lottery money for good causes, which it now operates through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (‘The Fund’ formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund). This is the main focus of the NHMF’s activity on which it expects to spend around £225M in grants and other investments in 2019-2020. Since its inception in 1994, the Fund has awarded over £8 billion to over 44,000 heritage projects across the UK from money raised by the National Lottery for good causes.

The Fund’s Strategic Funding Framework (SFF) 2019-2024: Inspiring, leading, and resourcing the UK’s heritage sets out a radical new approach to delivering around £1.2BN for the UK’s heritage over the next five years. 

As part of the SFF, The Fund decided in 2019 to delegate funding decisions up to £5 million to committees in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and three new geographical areas in England – North, Midlands & East; and London & South. 

The Fund has identified two key priorities for heritage: Landscapes and Nature and community heritage. All projects supported by The Fund will be required to do their utmost to reduce biodiversity loss, maintain the beauty and quality of urban and rural landscapes, and help people to reconnect with the UK’s natural heritage. Likewise, there will be continued support for local and community heritage in several ways highlighted in its SFF. 

The Fund has the ambition to achieve greater inclusion in Heritage, and this will be achieved through measures aimed at reaching millions of people in the UK who are typically under-represented in heritage; most notably through requiring all projects achieve its new inclusion outcome: “A wider range of people will be involved in heritage.” and provide more information about The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund, respectively.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of not more than two sides of A4
  • a supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, providing examples and setting out how you meet the criteria
  • the Diversity Monitoring Form concerning your personal information and political activity, and the Declaration of Interests Form.

Completed applications should be emailed to:

Please put ‘National Heritage Memorial Fund Chair’ in the Subject line.

If you have any questions about the appointments process, please contact Phil Hodges, Campaign Manager at DCMS ( 0207 211 2898). 

If you would like to speak about the role itself, please contact Demmy Adewole (, Governance Manager at The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Final NHMF Chair Role Spec
Public-Appointments-Privacy-Notice-2020 (1)
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