Northern Heritage Economy Program Grants

24 Sep 2019 3:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


The Northern Heritage Economy Program (NHEP) is a collaborative initiative of the Maine Preservation, the Preservation League of New York State, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. This grant program is funded with a $1,000,000 grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) through their Regional Forest Economy Partnership program, with $250,000 allocated to Maine. We anticipate awarding grants of $25,000-$100,000 to eligible projects.

The NHEP will provide grants to community-driven preservation projects to address the negative economic shift produced by the decline of the forest products industry in the rural areas of the Northern Border Regional Commission region (Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont).

Applications will open later this fall. Read on to learn about the program and to request information.


Program Goal: Revitalize vacant and underused historic buildings in rural communities to stimulate economic development and tourism, build community cohesion, and create jobs in areas suffering from the decline of the forest products industry.

Program Strategy: Provide seed money to nonprofit or municipal grantees to create and/or enhance “third places” in rural communities where people gather, exchange ideas, experience culture, build relationships, and create community. These places help to make communities a desirable place to live, work, and start a business and include public spaces, such as libraries and community centers providing critical resources for workforce development training, and cultural and arts centers offering classes, performances and partnerships.

In Maine, grants may be made only for projects in the following counties: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington.

All applicants must have the balance of their project funding in place, including the required match, and plan to have their project completed by July 2021.


  • Be an established nonprofit organization, municipality, political subdivision of state government, or federally recognized tribe in order to receive funding

  • Have in-hand a 50% match of any grant requested from the NHEP at the time of application - $2 grant funds to $1 local

  • Own the target property(ies) and be prepared to maintain that ownership for a minimum of twenty (20) years following the completion of the project

  • Propose a project in a county eligible to receive funding (see above) from the Northern Border Regional Commission and in a community negatively impacted by at least one of the NBRC’s threshold priorities:

    • Industry changes in employment as a result of the decline of the forest industry

    • Percent change in wages in the project area

    • Location of mill and other forest-based manufacturing closings in the past 20 years

    • County population losses


  • Serve as a capital improvement project for a historic building

  • Be completed by July 2021

  • Impact rural communities suffering from the decline of the forest products industry

  • Have as their focus the enhanced use, or the rehabilitation of, historic buildings using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation

  • Leverage additional public and private forms of support

  • Stimulate economic development and creation of jobs

  • Build local and regional partnerships

  • Involve the broader community and build community cohesion

  • Have a lasting and positive impact on the community


Applicants who have received NBRC funding and do not have their project 75% completed by the application deadline are not eligible to apply for a NHEP grant.

For more information, see

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