Dr Virginia Tandy

The impact of the postwar funding system on the production and practices of heritage


  • Prof Helen Rees Leahy
  • Dr Abigail Gilmore

Overview of the PhD

My research explores how the development of public funding for heritage in postwar Britain has impacted on the practice and production of heritage. It begins with the National Land Fund and its links to nationalisation and the commemoration of war dead and culminates with the work of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Examining significant funding decisions made over the last 70 years, it analyses the social and political contexts in which those decisions were made and how they were debated in the public sphere. It considers the anticipated and unanticipated consequences of those decisions and how these affected the policies and practices of the funding bodies charged with distributing both taxpayers’ money and lottery stakes. Recognising the significant investment in heritage by the Heritage Lottery Fund over the last 20 years, the rise in the public legitimacy of heritage and the development of a heritage economy around the delivery of major projects is also a major theme.


Virginia Tandy has a wealth of experience in strategic cultural development and delivery and has held Director level posts both in local government and the independent cultural sector. A board member of a wide range of regional and national organisations, she was elected President of the Museums Association from 2006-2008. Currently a trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Chair of Curious Minds, the creative and cultural education agency for the NW, she is a postgraduate researcher in cultural policy at the University of Manchester, a consultant and coach in the HE and cultural sectors and an adviser to charitable foundations.

Contact details

Email: vt@virginiatandy.com