How much funding is available?

Funding availability varies; it is best to call the office to find out what is available. Approximately $4,000,000 will be available for grants for each of Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.

Who can apply for LCHIP funding?

Towns, cities and counties (political subdivisions of the state) and qualified not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding from LCHIP.

How can a municipality/non-profit apply for funding?

The application process begins by submitting a project to the Land and Community Heritage (LCH) Register. Submissions are accepted at any time. Projects registered on the LCH will receive notification when a new grant round opens. A grant round is a specified period during which applications are accepted and funding decisions are made.

Who decides which projects get funded?

Grant applications are reviewed by the LCHIP staff and professional Review Panels. The LCHIP Board of Directors makes the final decisions on all grant funding. The 18-member Board of Directors includes two state Senators, two state Representatives, eight members of the public appointed by the Governor and Council, and the heads or designees of the six relevant state agencies: Department of Cultural Resources, Department of Environmental Services, Fish & Game, Department of Resources & Economic Development, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy & Planning.

Which projects get funded?

LCHIP grants are awarded to land conservation and historic preservation projects in large and small communities all over the state. LCHIP's enabling legislation (RSA 227-M) establishes criteria that guide the LCHIP Board of Directors in making grant award decisions.

How long does it take to complete an average project?

Every project is different. Land conservation projects are allowed eighteen months from grant award to closing, while historic preservation projects are allowed twenty-four months.

How does the Heritage Investment Program pay for its administration?

LCHIP get s up to $200,000 a year from the conservation license plate program which supports more than 60% of the program's administrative costs. The remaining costs are covered by interest on bank accounts and a small percent of each grant awarded.

How do LCHIP grants benefit the economy of the State?

For every $1 of grant funds invested in a project, the community raises nearly $7 from other sources to match it. That far exceeds the 50% required level of match. Between 2001 and 2013 $27 million of state money through LCHIP has led to a total investment in projects of $237 million. Bringing all that new money into communities strengthens the local economy. LCHIP projects also generate on average more than a hundred jobs per grant round and contribute wages to people working in the communities.

How much funding is really needed to have an effective Program?

The Land and Community Heritage Commission that recommended the creation of LCHIP in 1999 determined a funding level of $12 million per year was needed to have a meaningful program. This amount has never been available. Demand for funding continues to exceed the amount available.

Why is state funding important?

Official state recognition through LCHIP grant awards adds to the visibility and importance of the project and encourages other funders to help support the project. This often allows the applicants to raise much more than the 50% match the program requires.

Why is this program a priority at a time of economic challenges?

The historic and natural resources that are protected and conserved through LCHIP grants are cornerstones of the New Hampshire Advantage, contributing to both the quality of life and the economic and environmental well-being of the people of the state. It is critically important to continue to invest in these resources that protect the character and values of New Hampshire. As time passes, both the value and the cost of protecting these resources will increase.

How Can I Learn More?

Call the office at 603-224-4113.