AIA Announces Restoration Grants for 2020

The former GWR Patter Store, Swindon (courtesy of the Diocese of Bristol).
Although the heritage sector faces very difficult times, the AIA’s has been able to continue its support for the restoration of industrial buildings and artefacts through their annual restoration grants. A total of over £144,000 has been awarded to 12 projects in 2020. This brings the total amount the AIA has awarded for the restoration of industrial buildings and artefacts to £750,000 since the scheme started in 2009. This is thanks to the generosity of its anonymous donors. Full details of the successful projects will be published in the next issue of Industrial Archaeology News.

The largest grant made this year was £20,000 given towards the restoration of the Grade II listed Great Western Railway Pattern Store in Swindon. Built in 1897 as a fire-proof depository for patterns for railway parts, it was a world-leading workshop for railway engineering. After facing an uncertain future for many years, the building has been bought by the Diocese of Bristol to create a pioneering ‘Resourcing Church’ to serve the town. The AIA grant will be used to complete the renovation of the north elevation and roof, with its historic water tank.

For more information about AIA’s restoration grant scheme, please visit the AIA website

Historic England Guidance on Re-Opening (Industrial) Heritage Sites

The headstocks at the Lancashire Mining Museum

On the 24th June 2020 the UK Government issued advice on re-opening the Visitor Economy from the 4th July as the COVID-19 epidemic eases. This includes advice on how safe working can be implemented whilst maintaining social distancing (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy).

With a few notable exceptions, such as some water-powered and wind-powered flour mills, all the 600 plus protected industrial heritage sites in England traditionally open to the public were closed on the 23rd March this year. After more than three months sites as diverse as the Amberley Museum, Blue Bell Railway, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, and the Lancashire Mining Museum are preparing to re-open over the summer.

The Blue Bell Railway

If you are amongst the thousands of heritage sites in England preparing to reopen a heritage location to the public, including those with retail and wider visitor attractions, or you are preparing to go back to work at a historic site, Historic England has prepared this page which may be useful. Here you will find sections on:

  • guidance from the Government and other sector bodies;
  • pubs and restaurants within historic sites;
  • retail within historic buildings;
  • working safely as a heritage professional at heritage locations;
  • places of worship;
  • historic parks and gardens;
  • and industrial heritage sites

This advice should help owners and staff of historic sites, especially at the hundreds of volunteer-run industrial heritage sites in England, think through the considerations for reopening or returning to work. Please note that the considerations listed are not exhaustive and it should be also noted that they do NOT add additional requirements to the Government guidance or legislation.

Historic England Launch Second COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Historic England launched on 9th May the ‘Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund’. This will award grants to help fund urgent maintenance, repairs, and surveys at some of England’s locally-cherished historic buildings and sites.

The work funded will help heritage sites reopen to the public and thrive again as quickly as possible – subject of course to Covid-19 restrictions. The business generated will help heritage specialists who, according to recent HE research, have been severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This is the second fund launched by Historic England to help the heritage sector recover from the effects of the pandemic, and is a £3 million temporary funding stream. The first emergency fund is now closed to applications.

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered for urgent minor repairs from problems such as damaged roofs, masonry, and windows, to the hiring of scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or to commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs. The work funded must be started before Saturday 31 October 2020. The application steps are as follows:

  1. Read the HE guidance (link below)
  2. Complete an HE expression of interest (EOI) survey – deadline Sunday 28 June 2020
  3. HE will tell you if your EOI has been successful by Monday 27 July 2020
  4. Submit a full application – deadline Monday 31 August 2020

Application details can be found here: https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-HAR-fund/

For further enquiries contact Historic England at emergencyhar@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Historic England Announce £1.8 million in Coronavirus Grants

Historic England have announced £1.8 million in grants for 70 projects to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector. The grants range from social distancing guidance for archaeologists during digs, to supporting voluntary organisations and craft workers such as stonemasons, to emergency funding for King Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose.

The Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund was set up in April in response to Historic England’s survey of heritage organisations which revealed the adverse impact of Coronavirus on the sector. The grants will help organisations, voluntary groups and self-employed contractors survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.

Applicants were invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to address financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus and for grants of up to £50,000 for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills. The fund was over-subscribed, attracting around 300 applications. Applications included innovative ways of engaging visitors and volunteers while historic places are closed and online training for conservation skills. Industrial sites supported include the Grade II listed Old Low Light building on North Shield’s Fish Quay now in use as a heritage and community Centre.

The next strand of Historic England’s Covid-19 grants response is Heritage at Risk emergency funding, in mid-June. This will make use of the important, highly skilled businesses that form a key part of the heritage sector to address the most urgent needs of our historic environment (when current restrictions have been sufficiently relaxed).

Further details here:

https://historicengland.org.uk/…/covid-19-emergency-grants…/

Applicants were invited to apply for grants of up to £25,000 to address financial difficulties arising from Coronavirus and for grants of up to £50,000 for projects and activities that reduce risks to heritage by providing information, resources and skills. The fund was over-subscribed, attracting around 300 applications. Applications included innovative ways of engaging visitors and volunteers while historic places are closed and online training for conservation skills. Industrial sites supported include the Grade II listed Old Low Light building on North Shield’s Fish Quay now in use as a heritage and community Centre.

The next strand of Historic England’s Covid-19 grants response is Heritage at Risk emergency funding, in mid-June. This will make use of the important, highly skilled businesses that form a key part of the heritage sector to address the most urgent needs of our historic environment (when current restrictions have been sufficiently relaxed).

Further details here:

https://historicengland.org.uk/…/covid-19-emergency-grants…/

Amberley Museum Receives Emergency Support Funding

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.

The limekilns at Amberley Museum

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:

https://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/news/help-amberley-museum-to-open-again-after-covid-19

COVID-19 Emergency Funding & Support Round Up: 27/04/20

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 Museums Coronavirus 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.

The latest DCMS Museums & galleries sector coronavirus bulletin can be found here: Coronavirus bulletin 20200420 (20th April 2020)Gov.uk Find coronavirus financial support for your business
has a flow chart that will help identify what Government financial support might be available for your museum.

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:

  1. the survey will gather ‘mindset’ data to gauge the mood of organisations – and how it might change as this crisis works its way through
  2. 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 new Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Targets Small Heritage Organisations

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:

  • craftspeople / smaller crafts-based businesses
  • ‘professional services’: architects / surveyors / engineers

Over 40% of these businesses forecast their businesses failing within 3 months even if the current Government support scheme delivers.

Follow this link for the survey details: https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/heritage-sector/survey/

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.

Keeping Up-to-Date with the Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Industrial Heritage

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.

Conservation & Research Grants: Deadline for AIA Applications 31 March 2020

The deadline for the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s conservation and research grant schemes, 31st March 2020, is fast approaching.

Conservation Grants

LionSaltWaggon
The Lion Salt Works salt wagon, before conservation with monies for the AIA in 2014.

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:

https://industrial-archaeology.org/aia-awards/restoration-grants/

Research Grants

AIA_Student_Poster2020The 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:

https://industrial-archaeology.org/aia-awards/research-grants/

If you have any further questions please contact the coordinator:

research-grants@industrial-archaeology.org

AIM Guidance on Coronovirus (COVID-19)

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/