Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants Now Open

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants are now open for applications. The National Lottery Project Grants scheme is the Arts Council England’s (ACE) open access programme for arts, museums, and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community, and cultural organisations.

With a closing date of April 2021, this round of £59.8 million funding focuses on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners, such as industrial sites and museums. ACE have published supplementary guidance that outlines these changes. The fund will also focus more on activities that give organisations the time to think, plan, and test new ideas. For the first time with this fund, Arts Council England are investing in activity where the route to public engagement may take longer, and may take place beyond the boundaries of the activities being applied for. The usual requirement to provide 10% match funding has been removed.

Details can be found by following this link:

A Village in Lockdown: Understanding the Impact of Covid-19 on Port Sunlight

IHN North West member Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT) has received a Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund grant from Historic England to understand and document the impact of Covid-19 on Port Sunlight and to identify ways to mitigate the threats and maximise the opportunities for the village’s heritage and its community.

The main focus of the project is a programme of stakeholder research and engagement that includes the village’s residential community – of tenants, owner-occupiers and landlords – as well as businesses, clubs and societies. PSVT now wishes to commission this important piece of work, which must conclude no later than 1st March 2021. The deadline for tender submission is 10am Thursday 24 September, 2020. For further information and to view the full brief, click here:

A village in lockdown: Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on Port Sunlight

The Heritage Alliance Launches the ‘Rebuilding Heritage’ Support Programme

The Heritage Alliance has launched, this September, a ‘Rebuilding Heritage’ support network. This is a free programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and will provide support to heritage individuals and organisations to enable them to respond and adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will draw on expertise from the Clore Leadership, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Creative United, and Media Trust, to offer a programme of tailored support that will respond to sector feedback and changing circumstances.

The first round of support is themed ‘Ways Out Of Crisis’ and the details of the free webinars and support sessions will be announced at the end of September and available in October via the website at If you would like to receive updates on the programme development please sign up to the Rebuilding Heritage mailing list here.

BIAG Industrial Archaeology Twitter Conference, 15 Sept 2020

The Berkshire Industrial Archaeology Group are holding a twitter conference on Tuesday 15 September 2020. This is part of the Heritage Open Day online events for 2020. This trail blazing event for local industrial archaeology groups, and HOD, starts at 4pm and runs to 7pm with seven papers on topics ranging from what is Industrial Archaeology to Berkshire’s Gas Industry. Our own Industrial Heritage Support Officer, Dr Mike Nevell, will be tweeting about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Industrial Heritage site. #BIAG20

The Programme is as follows:

  • 16.00 – I like it – tell me more: Getting into Industrial Archaeology– Jo
  • 16.15 – Saving a Revolution: Industrial Heritage and the Impact of COVID-19 – Mike
  • 16.45 – Surviving the Wrecking Ball: Industrial Buildings in Berkshire – Jo
  • 17.15 – Funiculars: The Ups and Downs of a leisure Transport Phenomenon – Victoria
  • 17.45 – Berkshire’s Gas Industry – Jo
  • 18.15 – Reading Cemetery: The Industrialisation of Death – John
  • 18.45 – The Conservation of Industrial Written Heritage – Jo

Full details here:

John Lang Construction Archive Photos Now Online

Historic England’s ‘Breaking New Ground’ project has now finished the digitisation of 10,000 images from the John Laing Photographic Collection, a project supported by the John Laing Charitable Trust. The project conserved, catalogued, and digitised the images from the company and made them freely available in the Historic England Archive online.

The John Laing building company began in 1848 when James Laing and his wife Ann, along with some employees, built a single house in Carlisle. It remained a family business until the construction side of the business was sold in 2001. John Laing constructed the UK’s first major motorway, the Second Severn Crossing, and Sizewell B power station. They also built a number of important post-war buildings such as Coventry Cathedral and the Preston Bus Station, and built much of Milton Keynes new town. Amongst the other industrial buildings they constructed are the Walls Ice Cream Factory in Gloucester, Patons and Baldwins Knitting Factory in Darlington, and the Shoreham Cement Works in West Sussex.

As well as highlighting the projects undertaken by the company, the images provide a valuable insight into the work and play of the lives of the workers and their families during the post-war 20th century building boom. Further information on the project, and how to view the images using an interactive map, can be found here –

Heritage Open Days 2020 Go Online

The cross-compound horizontal steam engine at Grane Mill, Haslingden, Lancashire, that used to power 11 looms. Open for HOD in 2020.

Each September, Heritage Open Days (HOD) highlights places of historical interest, providing free access or conducted tours to the public. This includes a significant number of industrial heritage sites. This year’s HOD is still going ahead but with many places providing online events, such as the Etruria Industrial Museum in Staffordshire and Stacey Arms drainage mill in Tunstall, Norfolk. For those sites still physically open constraints will be in place as a result of Covid-19.

Many industrial heritage sites not normally open to the public will be accessible, such as Bradwell Windmill in Buckinghamshire; Grane Textile Mill and Marsh Windmill both in Lancashire; Guns Mill in Gloucestershire; Newland Iron Furnace and Warwick Bridge corn mill, both in Cumbria; Stevens Windmill in Cambridgeshire; and Sunny Banks Mills in Leeds. Individual access details, booking directions, and appropriate COVID-19 protocols for each site can be found on the HOD website below.

You can find local places to visit from September 11-20th at

Heritage Alliance to Launch ‘Heritage, Health and Wellbeing’ Report

The Heritage Alliance will be launching their ‘Heritage, Health and Wellbeing’ report on September 28th at a virtual event. The report explores the positive impact heritage can have on individual and community wellbeing, analysing existing work and several case studies, with recommendations.

The event will discuss these recommendations and hear from a number of speakers from across the heritage sector about their experiences in integrating wellbeing into their work. There will also be an opportunity for audience Q&A. Booking here:

NMDC Good Practice Guidelines On Opening Museums

With around a third of industrial heritage sites re-opening in July and more in August it’s a good time to highlight the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) guidelines on re-opening museums. These have been compiled with support from DCMS and the Museums and Galleries Working Group. The guidelines are intended to help employers, employees, and the self-employed, and volunteers in the museum sector in England in understanding how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines provide a set of practical considerations for museums to work through before reopening, which should be used in conjunction with COVID-safe guidelines published by HM Government. These are intended to enhance, not supplant, existing regulations and to sit alongside and inform the existing business practices and standards museums already consider when managing risk and conducting business planning activities.

The intention is to periodically update these as and when new Government guidance becomes available during the different steps of adjustment to lockdown. To download the guidelines follow this link:

NMDC has also produced a timeline of possible stages of reopening, since there will be no single date on which all museums reopen. Rather, there is a range of different approaches depending on the individual museum. The timeline can be found here:

Historic England Industrial Heritage Webinars Now Online

The Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, run by the Canal and River Trust.

Over the summer of 2020 Historic England ran two industrial heritage training webinars. If you missed the two industrial heritage webinars run by Historic England earlier in thee summer no need to fret! Both are now available to listen to online, along with a host of other subjects.

The first of webinar provided an initial overview of Historic England’s developing Industrial Heritage Strategy from Shane Gould (Head of Industrial Heritage Strategy, Historic England). Norman Redhead (Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service), described the work of a local authority archaeological officer in the identification, assessment and recording of industrial heritage sites through the planning process, as well as the assessment of public benefit regarding such sites. Finally, Dr Joanne O’Hara, (Somerset West and Taunton Council) considered the role of enforcement powers in tackling industrial listed buildings at risk drawing on a case study in Somerset.

In the second industrial heritage webinar Shane Gould considered in greater depth the topics and issues addressed by Historic England’s developing Industrial Heritage Strategy. These include planning & conservation, reuse, industrial sites as heritage attractions, knowledge & skills and research, whilst our own IHSO England officer, Dr Michael Nevell, provided an overview of the Industrial Heritage Support project.

Follow this link to hear both webinars:

Mills Development Conference Online

There is still time (just) to join the online Mills Development Conference on 4th August from 9am to 2.30pm. Mills were one of the drivers of the industrial revolution within the UK – but now thousands of mills lay derelict and underutilised. This event will delve into the incredible opportunities they present to help drive economic growth and tackle the housing crisis. Mill owners, regional authorities, regeneration experts and major developers will all come together to discuss their future projects and how those in the audience can get involved.

Link here for booking: