South East Industrial Heritage Network member Amberley Museum (based in a former chalk quarry in Sussex) received some good news at the end of April with confirmation that it has received emergency funding from Arts Council England to meet its core costs for three months.
The museum was the venue of the inaugural South East Industrial Heritage Network meeting in July 2019. The site encompasses 36 acres and over 40 exhibits, including de Witt lime kilns (complete with railway and locomotives), as well as transport and craft galleries, and the ‘Connected Earth’ telecommunications exhibition gallery.
However, Amberley Museum still need help in securing the long-term future of the industrial museum and have a launched a fund raising campaign, like many other IHN members. Find out more below:
Here is a round-up of the latest advice and guidance, and a reminder about funding streams, for the museum and heritage sector at the end of April 2020.
The Audience Agency COVID-19 Digital SOS (24th April) is offering one-to-one support to help build your organisation’s resilience and improve your digital effectiveness. This is part of their Culture in the Time of Corona Resource Hub.
Charity Finance Group – Coronavirus and your charity (23rd April) have added guidance on how to manage financial difficulties, fundraising appeals and VAT deferral.
Association of Independent MuseumsCoronavirus resources (21st April) have a page on their website dedicated to coronavirus resources, including the Job Retention Scheme, HR and insurance advice, and an offer of online advice surgeries to support museums during the pandemic. AIM have also introduced ‘AIM Hallmarks at Home’ series of webinars for members.
Cultural Sector Mindset survey A Different View, working with AIM and Blooloop, is running a survey that aims to take the temperature on where organisations are now, and again in the future. The purpose of this is twofold:
the survey will gather ‘mindset’ data to gauge the mood of organisations – and how it might change as this crisis works its way through
the survey will gather information on perceived/expected impacts of the COVID closure, and how these might change the way organisations operate and shape delivery in the future. The survey should take five minutes to complete and is here
Historic England’s much-anticipated Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund launched today (17 April). The intention is to extend a safety net to SMALL heritage organisations and has been set up in response to a recent survey by Historic England.
The Grant Fund
The grants available will help organisations, voluntary groups, and self-employed contractors to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and crucially to prepare for recovery. Applicants are invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to address financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus. Grants of up to £50,000 are also available for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills. The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 3 May 2020 and the funding for successful applications will be awarded from mid-May.
The fund will be used to support third-sector organisations and voluntary groups managing heritage projects, as well as heritage organisations and self-employed contractors who are severely affected by the impact of Coronavirus and who need additional emergency financial support beyond the Government’s measures. Follow this link for the ‘calls for proposals’ document and details of the full eligibility criteria: https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/fund/
COVID-19 Impact Survey
Historic England’s survey of the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the heritage sector, received 557 responses from microbusinesses (those with fewer than 10 staff), 79 responses from larger businesses (those with 100 or more employees), and 97 responses from entirely voluntary-run organisations. This contributors operate in a wide range of heritage fields such as archaeology, gardens and landscapes, and historic buildings. However, maritime/transport heritage was least well represented amongst respondents at just 4%. There was a good geographical spread of respondents across England with no one region dominating the data set.
According to Historic England the impact of Coronavirus on respondents is widespread and severe. Nearly four out of five (76%) of respondents report lost business in the short term, and three out of five (58%) had postponed or cancelled income-generating events. At the time of the survey (early April 2020), 39% had decided to furlough staff, but only 5% of respondents had decided to terminate employment contracts, suggesting that furloughing is helping to buffer the impacts. The survey indicated that smaller charities and faith-based organisations have been badly affected by the unavailability of volunteers. One business in four (25%) have experienced delays in being paid for goods and services, while one in three (31%) have incurred additional costs to the business to cope with social distancing measures. The survey indicates that the most vulnerable of the respondents are either:
The Call for Proposals sits alongside Historic England’s continuing Heritage Protection Commissions Open Proposals Programme. HE say that they are assessing the need and the risks for the projects and organisations they already fund to see what is vulnerable and where their help will make the most difference. The aim is to extend the safety net as far as they can and so help heritage organisations both to survive the immediate challenges and to prepare for the recovery.
The current health crisis is having a severe impact on all our lives. We are having to learn to do things differently and in some cases not to do things at all. The industrial heritage and archaeology sector is no different. Museums are closed, access to buildings, monuments, and landscapes restricted, and many professional archaeology units and specialist heritage architectural practices closed or highly restricted in the work they can undertake. Furthermore, there is a blizzard of advice and a growing number of potential sources of funding that might be useful for industrial heritage bodies, charities, groups, and societies.
How to navigate this new landscape is something we are all facing. Buildings, monuments, and collections still need maintaining. We can still learn from others experiences, even if that is remotely. The IHSO project aims to keep you informed in these difficult times through a variety of online means:
We are using our Facebook pages for regular (sometimes daily) updates about new initiatives, funding and advice. Please join in the conversation here – we’d like to hear how you and your group and site are coping: https://www.facebook.com/IHSOengland/
On twitter we are sharing on a daily basis as many experiences from as many industrial heritage and archaeology sites and groups as we can. Follow us @IHSOengland
We also have a dedicated website for the IHSO project which we are using as the main platform for regular updates on funding, advice, potential training opportunities and calls to take part in surveys. You can sign up for regular blog alerts about posts here by scrolling down the page and clinking on the ‘Subscribe’ button: https://industrialheritagesupport.com/
We shall also be updating regularly these Industrial Heritage Network pages about future meetings and initiatives. If you have news about your organisation, requests for help, or advice to pass on, we can post updates here on our IHN regional webpages.
There will come a time later in the year when we can meet face-to-face again. Until then we shall do as much networking as we can remotely.
The deadline for the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s conservation and research grant schemes, 31st March 2020, is fast approaching.
Thanks to a series of donations the Association for Industrial archaeology can make available Restoration Grants of up to £20,000 for a range of historic and industrial archaeology purposes.
The first awards were made in 2009, and they have since been able to allocate nearly three quarters of a million pounds. Details of some of those projects can be found in the link below. From 2020 onwards the available Grants pot is divided into two categories:
Major projects where the maximum grant that can be awarded is £20,000. The grant from the AIA must be a significant part of the total project cost, not just a small contribution to a very large project, so that the AIA grant has real impact. The AIA would not normally fund projects where our grant represents less than 20% of the total project costs
Small projects which are allocated at least 20% of the available funds. The grant limit is £7,500, for which the total cost of the project, excluding the value of volunteer labour, must not exceed £10,000.
Download Criteria and How to Apply for a Restoration Grant can be found here:
The research grant scheme underpins the study aim of the Association which is to promote the study, preservation and presentation of Britain’s industrial archaeology and heritage. It does that by:
Encouraging individual researchers to study industrial archaeology subjects
Encouraging the development of industrial archaeology skills within commercial units, the main repository of professional skills in the subject
Supporting local industrial archaeology and industrial heritage societies in exploring and understanding their local areas
Helping to develop the next generation of industrial archaeologists
The total fund available in any single year is £1,500 and multiple grants may be given up to this maximum in a single year. The AIA may consider part-funding a wider grant application or project as long as the AIA grant is a significant part of the larger application / project. Follow the link below for an application form:
Many industrial museums, and local and regional industrial archaeology and heritage societies are now feeling the impact of the growing Coronovius (COVID-19) crisis. The Association of Independent Museums has issued some guidance that is relevant not just for independent museums but for all those individuals and groups involved with industrial archaeology and heritage sites: https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
There are links to key websites on medical advice for individuals and workplaces; supporting your organisation; charity finances; and a business resilience check list.
As ever, the primary concern is to ensure the well-being of museum staff, local society members, volunteers, and visitors as the situation with Coronavirus or COVID-19 evolves, so for the very latest information, check the guidance available on the Public Health England and NHS websites here:
Our new Industrial Heritage Support Officer for England, Dr Mike Nevell, started on 2nd March and is looking forward to meeting and talking to all the members of the industrial heritage networks over the next few months.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in industrial archaeology and industrial heritage. His previous post was Head of Centre, at the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford. He might be familiar to some, though, through his past roles as a Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology and co-editor of the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s international journal, Industrial Archaeology Review. He has been involved with many local groups and local museums over the last three decades, and has occasionally appeared on archaeology television programmes. Mike’s specialist areas include stationary steam engines, textile mills, warehouses and workers’ housing, and the archaeology of industrialisation, on which subjects he has published extensively.