AIM Annual Conference Back in Person for 2022

The AIM annual conference is returning to a physical event this summer, with the venue being Port Sunlight, on the Wirral peninsula. Supported by headline sponsors, Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers, the conference will run over two days, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 June.

This year’s conference theme is ‘Making it happen’ with museum colleagues from across the UK exploring the vision for independent museums as we recover from the challenges of the pandemic. Sessions will highlight how to implement the changes sector debates call for, with practical and relevant examples from museums of all shapes and sizes. As ever with AIM Conference, delegates can look forward to a schedule packed with inspirational and practical advice, debate, and discussion.

Tickets are on sale now with early bird rates for AIM members. More details here:

EIAG Industrial Heritage Fair 2022

The 2022 Essex Industrial Archaeology Group (EIAG) Industrial Heritage Fair will be on 1st October 2022, at the Silver End Village Hall. The Group’s aim is to have an exhibition of around 30 organisations related to Industrial Archaeology in Essex, with stands to display what they do to enable the public to find out more.  This should be a good way of promoting the organisations after several years of restrictions.

In addition to the exhibition there will be talks by local experts on Industrial Archaeology along with the possibility of guided walks round the historic village of Silver End and visits to its Heritage Centre.  EIAG are now taking bookings for stands.  For further information please email your expression of interest to who will send out a booking form. Background details to the Group and copies of their Newsletter can be found here:

New Open-Access Article on Capturing Skills for Demonstrating Heritage Machinery

Written for the Science Museum Journal by Pippi Carty-Hornsby, ‘Preserving skills and knowledge in heritage machinery operations’, Science Museum Group Journal, Autumn 2021, Issue 16, details an approach to knowledge capture on a collection of working textile machinery at the Science and Industry Museum. The machinery collection dates between 1880 and 1955 and the knowledge capture process outlined in the case study was prompted by the retirement announcement of the last machine operator on staff with first-hand experience of the textile industry.

Heritage machinery demonstrations provide a unique opportunity for visitors to museums to experience the sights, smells and sounds of Britain’s industrial past. However, with many of the operating roles in the sector being staffed by an ageing population, heritage machinery demonstrations are at risk of substantial knowledge loss over the coming years. Without intervention, many of the tacit skills and knowledge that the operators hold will be lost, along with the opportunity for the public to learn from and experience the machinery first-hand.

The method outlined in this article includes a review of existing documentation, operation recording and interrogation of results, comparison and discussion with stakeholders, and production of documentation and resources. The results of this process included a set of documents that reflected both modern health and safety and conservation and collections care guidelines, as well as cross-media resources that can be used as a future training aid. Though the case study detailed here features textile machinery, it is applicable across many strands of heritage machinery and could provide a useful tool for similar ‘at-risk’ machinery operations in museums and other cultural institutions.

For free access to this article follow this link:

Textile gallery, Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

Latest Heritage Grants Update for Industrial Sites, January 2022

Arts Council England

The application window for the Emergency Resource Support Fund, through the Culture Recovery Fund, has been extended. This is designed to support arts and heritage organisations through the impact of the Omicron variant this winter. A further £30 million has been made available by the UK Government. This fund aims to provide emergency funding awards to organisations that were financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.
Deadline extended to 18th January 2022 to submit a permission to apply

National Heritage Lottery

A variety of grant funding streams are now open through the National Heritage Lottery. These include the National Lottery Project Grants, which is an open access programme for arts, libraries, and museum projects. NLPG is a rolling programme, so applications can be made at any time. Decisions on applications for £30,000 or less take 8 weeks, decisions for over £30,000 take 12 weeks.

The Unlocking Collections grant stream is a time-limited priority fund within the National Lottery Project Grants portfolio aimed at enabling museums to develop their collections-based work and increase public engagement with, and use of, their collections. Applications accepted until November 2022.

The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund is designed to support voluntary and community organisations who want to deliver creative activity as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Deadline 28th February 2022.

Association for Industrial Archaeology

The AIA’s annual round of grants and awards is open. There are a variety of grants available (including community, research, and travel bursaries), as well as awards ranging from conservation and adaptive re-use, to publications: see here: The deadline for most is 31st January 2022. However, the Restoration Grants deadline is 31st March 2022.

Volunteer Opportunity at Dunham Massey Watermill in 2022

The National Trust staff at Dunham Massey are looking for volunteers for their water-powered mill. Built in the early 17th century as an estate corn mill, it was converted to a sawmill in 1860. The waterwheel still drives machinery including a frame saw, band saw, circular saw, boring machine, and a lathe. The mill volunteers play a vital role in bringing Dunham Massey to life. Working as a close team, you will inspire visitors by sharing your passion and knowledge for the Mill, the oldest building on the estate.

Dunham Massey is a National Trust estate close to Altrincham, in Trafford Greater Manchester. It comprises a Georgian mansion house, deer park, and seasonal gardens. Their staff team is supported by over 400 volunteers across the property. At Dunham Massey the NT is making the volunteering opportunities more vibrant, accessible, and diverse, and they’d like volunteers to help to achieve this.

What’s in it for you?

  • Being part of a friendly, supportive, and dedicated team
  • Expanding your knowledge about a fascinating part of the Dunham Massey estate
  • Meeting people from all walks of life and making new friends
  • Building your confidence and improving your communication skills

Anyone interested should apply through the National Trust website – follow the link here:

The brick-built Watermill at Dunham Massey. Two millstones lean against the wall beside the entry door.

AIA Research Grants Application Now Open for 2022

Applications for the 2022 Association for Industrial Archaeology Research Grants scheme is now open. The AIA exists to promote the study, preservation and presentation of Britain’s industrial archaeology and heritage, and the research grant scheme underpins key aims of the Association. 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.

Applicant Requirements:

· Anyone working in industrial archaeology in the UK – volunteer, student, academic or professional.

· Societies or organisations can apply but need to nominate an individual as the lead.

· The kind of work supported includes excavation, field survey, and documentary analysis but does NOT include conference attendance (we have separate funds for such support).

· The grant must form a significant part of the overall research funding being sought or must support a distinct and discrete element of a wider research project.

· The researcher must acknowledge the role of the AIA in supporting their work in any publicity.

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2022. Follow this link to download full details and an application form (.docx 40kB). If you have any further questions please contact the coordinator:

AIA Community Engagement Award Open

The Association for industrial Archaeology’s Community Engagement Award application process is now open. This award is given to projects anywhere in the world which promote, preserve, or interpret industrial archaeology or heritage and demonstrate an element of Community Engagement. Nominations can be made by anyone, including those who have been involved in the project.

In judging nominations and identifying the winning application, the adjudicators will consider:

  • The degree to which the organisation/project has successfully identified and targeted communities that might be interested in the project
  • The size and diversity of the community which has engaged with the project
  • The impact of the project on community members, including their knowledge and wellbeing
  • The impact of community involvement on the industrial heritage project or asset/s

The Award is £500. The winners will be given the opportunity to apply for a further £500 in funding to carry out follow-up community engagement relating to the same project. The winners will also be invited to the AIA’s Annual Conference to receive their Award and to speak about their project. Details of the winning entry will be published in IA News and will be publicised through the AIA’s communication channels.

One person nominated by the winners will also receive one years’ free membership of the Association for Industrial Archaeology.

The deadline for the current round is the 31 January 2022. You can download the guideline and nomination forms by following these links:  Guidelines (.pdf) Nomination form (.docx)

Forms should be returned to:
AIA, 4 Column House Gardens, Preston Street, Shrewsbury SY2 5GY UK

All About TikTok: Charity Digital’s Latest Guide to Using Social Media

Throughout 2021 Charity Digital has been providing introductory guides for charities who want to use social media to boost their reach and interaction with the public. Their latest guide is to the TikTok platform, which many IHN members may know from the Black Country Living Museum’s very successful and, in terms of industrial heritage, pioneering use of the platform in 2020 and 2021.

The popularity of social media app TikTok has rocketed in the past few years. It offers a mix of video content aimed at young adults and teenagers, such as lip syncing and dancing. The app is a topic of discussion in the charity sector because it offers plenty of scope for interesting fundraising ideas. You can find out more about using TikTok by following this link:

Charity Digital also provides short guides to these other Social Media platforms. Just follow the links below for further details:







View Historic England’s Fourth ‘Mills of the North’ Webinar Online

Historic England’s fourth industrial heritage webinar ‘Textile Mills of the North – the impact of Reuse and Regeneration’ is now free to view on-line. Follow this link:  

The three speakers considered how mill reuse is driving the regeneration of whole areas, building meaningful communities, and helping sites to become more environmentally sustainable. A second complementary mills webinar is now in development which will look more closely at delivering high-quality design in mill reuse and details will be posted soon. The webinar also referenced the recent Historic England publication ‘Driving Northern Growth through repurposing Historic Mills’ – available to download this following this link: This document re-assesses the re-use potential of under-used and vacant mills, identifies their possible contribution to rebalancing the country’s economy, and improving environmental sustainability, and highlights regeneration success stories since 2017.

Heritage Digital Fundraising Seminar, 30 November 2021

On the 30th November Heritage Digital will be running its latest business support session, a webinar on ‘Developing a fundraising strategy for your heritage organisation’. Digital methods are now the most popular way to give money to charitable causes in the UK, yet conservation, environment, and heritage charities took only 4% of online giving in the UK in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit. 

This free session will specifically benefit those small and mid-sized heritage organisations receiving under £1 million per year in income, and those within heritage organisations responsible for digital/fundraising. The session will provide participants with: 

  • The basic principles of digital fundraising
  • The main methods of effectively fundraising with digital
  • The core elements of a digital fundraising strategy

To read more details and sign up follow this link: