Information Hub

The purpose of the Information Hub is to signpost information on funding, training, support, and information which will help you sustain and develop your industrial heritage site. This will be updated and added to on a regular basis.

Sources of Funding
Training Opportunities
Support and Information


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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.

logoThe 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

photoThe 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

aialogoThe 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.

In addition:

  • 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

logoHistoric 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

logoHistoric 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

nateng_logo_new-greenCountryside 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

For more information, to contact the Natural England Enquiries Team, or to apply for a Countryside Stewardship Grant click here

The Heritage Alliance’s Heritage Funding Directory

ha-twitter-logoManaged 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

big-lotteryThe 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.


Rebuilding Heritage

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The Rebuilding Heritage programme is providing free 121 and group support for organisations and individuals in the heritage sector. This support is open to organisations (including voluntary organisations) and to individuals, for example: sole traders/freelancers and those running a limited business. This is a UK-wide programme covering England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Applications for Round 4 are open and the deadline is 11pm, Tuesday 30 March 2021.
Heritage organisations and businesses who apply and are successful in this round will receive their support throughout May-June 2021. Booking details here: Booking Now – Rebuilding Heritage – Free Webinar Series


Association for Independent Museums (AIM)

logoAIM 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.

AIM also provides up-to-date museum and heritage sector information through its bi-monthly AIM Bulletin, AIM Focus Papers, and the AIM e-news mailings.

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.

For more information on AIM and the range of support it provides to the sector click here. AIM also runs a blog for independent museums and heritage sites.

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.

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Rebuilding Heritage

Rebuilding Heritage supports the heritage sector, in its broadest sense, to respond to the pandemic crisis and to transition to recovery. It provides training, advice, and support through:

  • one-to-one and group coaching and training sessions
  • opportunities for knowledge sharing
  • open access webinars
  • online guides and case studies

Across the heritage sector many organisations are being forced to rethink how they operate, why and who for. At this point of change, as well as difficulties there are also opportunities which can be embraced. Rebuilding Heritage will bring organisations together to share best practice, to find solutions to problems, and to develop a broad collective vision of the future for the sector.

This is a UK-wide programme covering England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The programme is coordinated by The Heritage Alliance and is delivered through a partnership with Clore Leadership, Creative United, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, and Media Trust. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Further details here: Home – Rebuilding Heritage – Free Support Programme for the Heritage Sector


The Heritage Alliance

Building on their insights into the sector’s distinctive needs the Heritage Alliance works in partnership to inspire, lead and build the capabilities of its members and the wider sector to be more sustainable and resilient. Details about the current support projects can be found here: Sector Support and Projects – The Heritage Alliance

You can 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.