Funding Opportunity: AIM Brighter Day Grant Scheme for 2023

The Association of Independent Museums’ Brighter Day Grant Scheme, funded by the Arts Scholars Trust, is now open for applications from AIM members. The priority for this round of funding is ensuring that museums at risk of closure, losing vital skills and knowledge, or unable to provide effective collections care, are supported to ensure future viability. The scheme has a special focus on small museums and others that have found it difficult to access support. This is particularly relevant to Industrial Heritage Sites who are members of AIM.

The fund will support education, training, curation, and exhibition projects that address collections care and sustainability of historic and decorative arts collections. Grants can be applied for at a minimum of £1,500 and maximum of £8,000. Museums can only apply for one grant per round. Match funding is not required.

The closing date is 9am Monday 6th February 2023. Further details can be found here: https://aim-museums.co.uk/for-aim-members/grants/aim-brighter-day-scheme/

AIA Industrial Archaeology Research Grants Now Open

The next round of the AIA’s research grant scheme, for 2023, is now open for applications. These grants are one of the ways in which the Association looks to deliver its aims. The scheme is designed to: encourage individual researchers to study industrial archaeology subjects; encourage the development of industrial archaeology skills within commercial units, the main repository of professional skills in the subject; to support local industrial archaeology and industrial heritage societies in exploring and understanding their local areas; and help to develop the next generation of industrial archaeologists.

In previous years the AIA has supported local society and university researches studying subjects such as Caribbean plantations, 18th century workers’ grafitti, and lime kilns as ways of aiding the understanding, preserving, and presenting industrial archaeology and heritage. The latest round of applications is open until the 31st January 2023. 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.

Click to download full details and an application form (.pdf 43kB)

If you have any further questions please contact the coordinator:  research-grants@industrial-archaeology.org

AIA Restoration Grants Top £1.2 Million over 13 Years

Since 2009, the Association for Industrial Archaeology has been supporting the industrial heritage sector through its Restoration Grants scheme. The £116,000 distributed this year brings the total amount of grants made since the scheme started in 2009 to almost £1.2million. The AIA is incredibly proud to be able to support the preservation and promotion of industrial heritage in this way.

13 applications were received for 2022 and as in most previous years, transport-related projects predominated. The recipients of the major grants for this year were:

  • Kent and Sussex Railway: 1930s GWR railcar
  • Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre (Leicestershire): 1834 Robert Stephenson lifting railway bridge
  • Canal and River Trust: Butter Brothers derrick crane, Worcester
  • Black Country Living Museum: steam-powered narrowboat President
  • Worcester Locomotive Society: Kitson saddle tank locomotive, Carnarvon

In addition, small grants were made for restoration work at Wingfield Station, Derbyshire, and for the lifeboats on the Dundee lightship North Carr.

For more details follow this link to the AIA website:  https://industrial-archaeology.org/index.php/aia-awards/restoration-grants/


Kitson saddle tank locomotive, ‘Carnarvon’. Photo courtesy of Worcester Locomotive Society.



£4.5 Million Increase to the Heritage Stimulus Fund

81 projects across 78 historic sites are set to receive a share of £4.5 million through Historic England, from Round 3 of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This February 2022 further round of funding will ensure essential repairs and restoration can be completed and help bring heritage sites back to life by supporting major building programmes, safeguarding jobs, and generating employment.

The sites supported, which include 33 buildings supported for the first time, include additional monies for several industrial heritage buildings and structures. These include South Wingfield Station in Derbyshire and Wheal Betsy in Devon. The Canal and River Trust will receive further funds to help restore locks on the Ashton, Grand Union, Hertford Union, Leeds Liverpool, Peak Forest, and Walsall canals. For a full list of recipients from all three CRF rounds in England follow this link: https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/culturerecoveryfund/map/recipients-list/

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
email: secretary@industrial-archaeology.org.uk

Industrial Heritage Sites Receive Share of Heritage Capital Kickstart Fund

Three industrial heritage sites were amongst 22 heritage projects to receive further pandemic financial support in February 2021. The grants, awarded through the National Heritage Lottery’s Heritage Capital Kickstart Fund, will help revive heritage sites impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). Regeneration and maintenance projects that were planned before the pandemic, and are facing delays or increased costs, can now resume for the successful organisations. The Heritage Capital Kickstart Fund is distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It is part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund package.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “These are all ongoing major refurbishment and restoration projects, funded by us, which have been threatened by the pandemic. From the oldest surviving outdoor swimming baths to a Victorian pier, and from a much-loved park to an historic abbey, these are all places that will enrich hundreds of lives when they reopen. We are delighted this extra funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that these exciting projects will go ahead.”

The Black Country Living Museum receives the single largest grant, of £3,740,000, towards the largest development in its 46-year history to create historical areas spanning the 1940s–1960s, as well as a new visitor centre. The museum is currently operating as a vaccination centre, but when the development starts, it will create new opportunities for work and skills development in the local area.

The North Yorkshire Moors Historic Railway Trust receives a grant of £296,000 for their for their Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project. The project will see major restorations of the Goathland Station bridges, expansion of the railway’s conservation and heritage apprenticeship programmes, improvement to their lineside ecological conservation work, and improved access for disabled visitors.

The third industrial heritage site to receive an award is the Beamish Museum. They receive a grant of £975,500 to be used for the restart and completion of the major Remaking Beamish project, which includes a 1950s Town, 1950s Farm, and expansion of the 1820s area. The 1950s Town includes houses, shops, a café, cinema, and playground. Aged miners’ homes will provide a centre for people living with dementia, older people, and their families and carers.

Further details of the fund’s recipients can found here: £13.5million to kickstart 22 heritage projects | The National Lottery Heritage Fund

NHLF Re-open Grant Funds

The National Heritage Fund have re-opened their grant streams for applications between £3,000 and £5million. However, the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means that the NHLF have revised their approach as to what they will fund for the period February 2021 to April 2022.

The NHLF are looking to fund projects that: boost the local economy; encourage skills development and job creation; support wellbeing; create better places to live, work and visit; and improve the resilience of organisations working in heritage. Every project will also need to achieve the NHLF inclusion outcome of ‘a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’, and each project will be expected to demonstrate that they are building long-term environmental sustainability into their plans, as appropriate. Three levels of grants are availble:

grants from £3,000 to £10,000

grants from £10,000 to £250,000

grants from £250,000 to £5 million

Details on the new funding criteria can be found here in the Priorities for National Lottery Grants for Heritage for 2021-22.

AIA Research & Community Awards deadline 31 January 2021

The AIA’s annual round of grants are currently open – but hurry, as the first deadline is 31st January. Two that are particularly relevant in these COVID_19 socially distanced times are the Research and Community awards and grants.

Marple limekilns, Stockport

Last year the AIA funded research on salt making on the west Cumbrian coast and the development of the Marple Lime Kilns in Stockport. Although fieldwork and research are difficult in this COVID-19 restricted era, the AIA remains committed to furthering industrial archaeology research and engagement. That is why they have launched a new community fund for 2021, with grants of up to £500 available recognising projects that have successfully engaged local communities with industrial archaeology and heritage. Applications for the 2021 round of AIA conservation grants closes on the 31st March.

Follow this link for more details on how to apply: AIA Awards | Giving our past a future (industrial-archaeology.org)

AIM Advice and Resources During Lockdown3

As the heritage sector grapples with Lockdown 3, its worth remembering that there is a large amount of advice and help available for industrial heritage. For instance, the Association of Independent Museums has updated its Coronavirus resources page. There you can find links to the latest Government advice for museums, the second round of the Cultural Recovery Fund (closing on the 26 January 2021), financial support, and other funding packages available from Government for heritage businesses.

AIM also provides online training and detailed advice for museums during lockdown, from a COVID-19 Action Checklist, business resilience checklist, and good governance in a crisis, to insurance, business rates, and funding tips. There’s also details about how to improve your online and digital presence. Follow this link for more details: Coronavirus resources – AIM – Association of Independent Museums (aim-museums.co.uk)

National Lottery Heritage Fund Re-opens Grants

From the 25th November, NLHF will resume accepting applications for grants in the £3,000-£10,000 and £10,000-£100,000 ranges. This will provide some much-needed financial assistance, particularly to those heritage sector organisations who have, so far, been unable to access COVID-19 emergency funds. The NHLF are looking for projects with an emphasis on organisational resilience and inclusion.

Furthermore, from 8th February 2021, NLHF will resume accepting applications for larger grants worth £100,000-£250,000 and £250,000-£5m. More details here: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/responding-coronavirus-covid-19