Sources of Funding
The National Lottery Heritage Fund remains a key funding source for industrial heritage, and notwithstanding an increasingly competitive application process as other funding sources are squeezed, the suite of current and recently introduced programmes offers important opportunities for the sector.
The Association for Independent Museums (AIM) operates a number of easily-accessible grant schemes to help members with sustainability, income generation, governance, remedial conservation, collections care and training. As with all funding and grant schemes please carefully read through guidance documents for eligibilty requirements and terms and conditions.
The Sustainability Grant Scheme which is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is intended to help medium and smaller size members improve their long term sustainability. Funding is aimed at projects that explore increased and/or diversified income streams, and develop organised resilience.
To be eligible for grants under this scheme members must have either an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year. Grants are available to museums that have received a grant directly from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in the last three years. Applications are currently closed for this scheme.
AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme is funded by the Pilgrim Trust and run in association with the AIM Remedial Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM ICON Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit Scheme (see below).
This programme has been set up to help small museums develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections through improvements to collections care within their museum. The grants may be used to procure specialist advice or equipment to implement that advice, or support training staff or volunteers to use new equipment. Applications close on 31 March and 31 September.
AIM Collections Care Audit Scheme is also funded by the Pilgrim Trust and is run in association with ICON. The purpose of this scheme is to enable small museums to have a basic, professional collections care audit, to identify key issues and priorities for their museum, overcoming the financial and other barriers to accessing professional advice.
The audits are intended to support the museum to care for its collection more effectively and efficiently in the long-term; support the museum to meet standards for Accreditation; and ensure that AIM Collections Care Grants are effectively used to fund the most important and urgent needs of applicant museums by giving museums the option to undertake an audit before making a full application to that particular scheme. Applications close on 31 March and 31 September.
AIM Remedial Conservation Grant Scheme is another Pilgrim Trust funded grant scheme which is intended to help small museums with the conservation of objects in their collections. Accessioned objects in any media are eligible. Whilst we expect museums to have a conservation plan, the object does not have to be the most at risk in the collection. However, the reason for your choice must be made clear in your application; for example, the object might be planned for use in a temporary exhibition. Conservation work should be carried out by a conservator chosen from the ICON register, unless there are exceptional circumstances where this is not possible. Applications close on 31 March and 31 September.
AIM Training Grants are available to support member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce (paid or voluntary). These aim to promote best practice by supporting attendance at conferences and training courses, museum study visits, and mentoring placements. Funding can be provided towards fees, accommodation and travel costs, and the maximum grant is £300. Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year.
AIM Hallmarks Awards are intended to help museums begin to use the principles in the Hallmarks (see Support and Information section below) to improve the way they work. This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply to this fund for support in planning future development. Other museums, which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour.
Grants are available in sums between £5,000 and £15,000 and the deadline for the next round of funding is 15 May 2017.
AIM Biffa Award History Makers Grant Scheme is a three year programme which will fund museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures who have made a significant impact on the industrial, scientific, commercial or social history of the UK, shaping the world we live in today. Grants of up to £75,000 will be awarded to create new museum displays. The closing date for the next annual round is October 2017.
Architectural Heritage Fund
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity founded in 1976 to promote the conservation of historic buildings in the UK. Services include:
- Advising on the restoration and reuse of historic buildings which are listed or in a conservation area
- Advising on the setting up of building preservation trusts, charities specialising in historic building regeneration
- Giving grants to charities intending to restore historic buildings
- Making low-interest loans to charities to help acquire a building or to provide working capital during a restoration project
- Providing information on sources of funds for restoring and repairing historic buildings
- Producing helpful publications
AHF can provide grants to help with assessing the viability of a project (known as a project viability grant- up to £5,000), or to help fund development costs (known as a project development grant- up to £25,000 with at least 50% match funding required). If you are interested in applying first read through the guidance notes and then contact your local Support Officer to discuss further.
AHF also provide low-interest loans to charities or eligible non-profit organisations either for the acquisition of a building, or to provide working capital throughout a restoration project. If you think that this could be an option for your project please contact the AHF’s Investment Team to discuss your situation further.
Association for Industrial Archaeology
The Association for Industrial Archaeology‘s Restoration Grant is specifically for projects looking to restore historically, technically, architecturally and/or archaeologically important industrial heritage including buildings, structures, machinery and vessels.
Up to £20,000 capital funding is available, however the AIA grant must be at least 20% of the total. These grants are usually awarded to fund the restoration of a single, tangible structure or artefact which must be covered by a Conservation Policy/Statement.
- The heritage asset must be sustainably managed and accessible to the public
- The applicant must be a not-for-profit organisation such as a trust or charity
The grant can fund new projects or the completion of projects which have already started.
Application is made through a simple four page application form. This is an annual award with a deadline of March 31 each year.
Historic England Management Agreements
Historic England can offer funding to improve the managment of monuments or access to them through agreements with the owner or occupier of the land. With this type of funding priority will be given to scheduled monuments at risk, whilst funding will be focussed on sites where Countryside Stewardship funding, through Natural England is not available or appropriate.
Historic England’s Management Agreements usually run for a term of three to five years and payment will usually be made annually against an agreed programme of regular management. These can include a payment for one-off repairs, which are usually carried out at the start of the term.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of entering into a management agreement for a monument on your land, please contact the Business Manager in your local Historic England office.
Historic England Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk
Historic England can provide grants towards the repair and conservation of listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens through this scheme. Priorities for this funding are sites recorded on the Heritage at Risk Register and projects where there is a lack of alternative sources of funding. Grants will generally be between £10,000 to £200,000 (although they can be more), and will usually be part of a partnership funding package which maximises the value of Historic England grant aid.
Repair Grants can cover project development, the repair of standing buildings and earthworks, the protection of buried remains, public realm work, and other project costs. They will, however, not fund alterations, general maintenance, minor repair or reconstruction projects.
For more information, terms and conditions, guidance, and application forms see the relevant Historic England webpage. It is highly recommended that you speak to Historic England regional staff before considering an application as funds are limited and projects must hit national and regional priorities to have any realistic chance of progressing.
Countryside Stewardship Grants
Countryside Stewardship is an agri-environment scheme providing funding to land managers in return for delivery of environmental management on their land. The objectives of the scheme include the protection of historic environment, including archaeology and buildings. Successful applicants enter into a five year agreement so they must have control of the land for that period. There are three main elements to the scheme:
- Higher Tier which is targeted at the highest priority sites with a range of options designed to deliver significant environmental benefits
- Mid Tier which are agreements concentrating on delivering environmental gains at a landscape scale. Natural England will provide direction on what the priorities are in each locality and will score applications on how well they meet those priorities
- One-year capital grant agreements which will be offered in addition to land management agreements. These include universal capital grants which provide up to£5000 per agreement for heritage related projects including hedge and wall restoration
The Heritage Alliance’s Heritage Funding Directory
Managed by The Heritage Alliance, the Heritage Funding Directory is a free and easy to use guide and index to potential sources of support, financial or otherwise, for anyone seeking to undertake heritage projects. As well as detailing sources of grants from trusts and foundations, the directory also lists organisations offering loan finance, awards, scholarships and other ‘in kind’ resources.
The directory covers wider categories of heritage including historic landscapes, parks, gardens, churchyards and cemeteries, archives, churches, museums, archaeology, environmental, heritage skills, conservation, and industrial heritage.
To search for sources of funding/support for industrial heritage tick the Industrial, Transport, Maritime option under Heritage Sector and then choose the Nature of Support and Source Type that you need- you can also search by keyword or browse a complete list of funding sources.
It is also recommended that you sign up to to the Heritage Alliance’s free fortnightly e-bulletin Heritage Update which provides up-to-date news on all the new sources of support.
Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Buildings Fund
The Big Lottery Fund‘s Reaching Communities Buildings fund provides funding for land and buildings projects costing more than £100,000. It can also provide revenue funding to help to get the building running and deliver project activities.
The funding is targeted at buildings or sites based in the most deprived ‘Lower Super Output Areas’ in England.
All projects should involve the people who will benefit from the project in planning and running the project, and must achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- People have better chances in life, with better access to training and development to improve their life skills,
- Stronger communities, with more active citizens, working together to tackle their problems,
- Improved rural and urban environments, which communities are better able to access and enjoy,
- Healthier and more active people and communities.
Applications ongoing. To find out more, or to apply, see here.
Support and Information
Association for Independent Museums (AIM)
AIM is a national charitable organisation which connects, supports and represents independent museums, galleries and other organisations. Providing a thriving network for the independent sector, AIM’s membership ranges from voluntarily run community organisations to some of the largest museums in the country, and includes galleries, historic houses, heritage organisations, including ships and historic railways, as well as museum consultants and commercial suppliers.
AIM supports and represents museums through advocacy with a wide range of organisations, government, and national bodies, runs an annual conference, facilitates workshops on a wide-range of topics across the country, and runs a mentoring scheme. It also produces specialist guidance, toolkits and ‘success guides‘, and runs a number of easily accessible grant schemes (for more details see the Sources of Funding section above). It also runs an accountancy helpline for AIM members and provides a list of sector relevant suppliers and consultants.
In 2015 AIM launched AIM Hallmarks for Prospering Museums which identify and provides bespoke training on what it is about how successful heritage organisations work that enable them to prosper and thrive, and offers a framework to help museums and heritage organisations throughout the UK. Hallmark Awards, which are supported by Arts Council England and the Welsh Government, provides funding to help museums begin to use the principles in the Hallmarks to improve the way they work. This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working.
Membership is welcomed from individuals and groups from all sectors.
If you are an industrial heritage site/museum/group/organisation and think that membership of AIM would be beneficial to you but can’t currently justify the expense or afford the membership fee please get in touch with the Industrial Heritage Support Officer who may be able to help. Likewise, if you would like a recent copy of the AIM Bulletin please get in touch.