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Museum Development Network Training Session – AIM Grants . Wednesday 20 th November Museum of London. GRANT SCHEMES. AIM/BIFFA National Heritage Landscape Partnership Scheme Sustainability Grants Conservation Grants Preventive Conservation Grants Training Grants. AIM/BIFFA NHLPS.

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grant schemes
  • AIM/BIFFA National Heritage Landscape Partnership Scheme
  • Sustainability Grants
  • Conservation Grants
  • Preventive Conservation Grants
  • Training Grants


  • Application procedure is more involved and lengthy than our other grant streams
  • Funding is from Biffa using the Landfill Communities Fund, regulated by Entrust
  • Application for Year 3 of the Fund will be from May 2014. Keep watching for the opening date!
  • Closing date expected to be 22nd August 2014
  • Expressions of interest are welcomed throughout the year and will be looked at by AIM and the Biffa Award Panel for feedback.
  • Specific Criteria which must be met


Key Criteria

  • Complete the project within 12 months of allocation of an award.
  • Project needs to be stand alone – can be part of a larger HLF development .
  • Are within 25 miles of an active Biffa operation and within 10 miles of any landfill site.
  • Applicants will need to members of AIM at the point of application.
  • Are an independently constituted organisation with charitable status.  
  • Privately owned sites are not eligible.
  • Applicants will need to have secured 10%, Third Party Payment
  • Be a site of Industrial Significance – National and International
  • Transform derelict buildings & sites into inspirational resources

Examples of industries to date:-

Chemical Industry, Mining, Textile Mills, Weaving, Rope Making, Flax production, Stamp Metal Works, Aviation, Fishing , Shipbuilding, Brick making & Engineering

  • Examples of typical funded projects
  • Conservation – stamps, presses, hydraulic systems and stratospheric Testing Chamber!
  • Interpretation - I pad guides, panels, trails with apps, 3d projections, education & handling materials and research
  • Regeneration- Building works to sites – roof structures – improving and opening access
pure conservation grants
  • 3 Year Scheme funded by the Pilgrim Trust
  • Two Rounds per annum
  • 31 March and 30 September deadlines
  • Average award is c. £2,800 – though applications can be up to £10,000
  • Greater number of applications for Conservator led Volunteer projects
  • Simple application procedure, basic criteria are be an AIM member, ownership of the object, being accredited or actively working towards accreditation, have less than 60,000 visitors p.a. OR a turnover of less than £300,000 p.a.
  • Scheme 2 from September 2010 – April 2013 we had72 applications, there were 51 successful bids, amounting to the total sum awarded of £146,536.10.
  • 13 awards were granted to museums in the Eastern area, followed by the South East & Scotland whilst the East Midlands and North East only benefitted from 1 award.
pure conservation grants1


  • The importance of the object(s) to the museum and its place in the Conservation Plan
  • That the object(s) will be on public display for an appropriate time (dependent on object type)
  • That the project treatment described is appropriate to achieve the aim of preserving or restoring the object
  • That the conservator is appropriate or ICON registered
  • That post restoration storage is appropriate
  • Urgency of the conservation required and the stability of the object
pure conservation grants2


  • We cannot fund conservation treatment arising from accidental or wilful damage to museum objects, nor can we support applications for in situ building conservation or routine maintenance.
  • We need to know how important the object/s involved are to the museum. This particularly applies to social and local history objects which may not be obvious to the Grant Committee.
  • You need to make a convincing case for why the project has to be undertaken and why the project needs to be undertaken now. If for example you want to purchase conservation equipment under the Preventive Grant Scheme tell us why you need it and why it is a priority for you. Will it make step change in improving your environmental sustainability?
  • Do not send supplementary documents unless they directly relate to the application. For example if Accredited we do not need policy documents relating to Accreditation. Unduly long applications are not necessarily helpful. Full conservation plans are often not necessary – just excerpts from the plan
  • While we would not wish to compromise on the quality of the proposed works, obtaining value for money is an important criterion for us in assessing the project. If there are alternative approaches have you considered them? Are the proposed works or treatment appropriate? This is particularly important with higher value projects.
  • Include a budget!
  • We recommend the use of Accredited ICON registered Conservators unless there are particular reasons to employ another specialist for conservation treatment, ensure that person has the skills and experience relevant for the works proposed. ALWAYS HAVE THE CONSERVATOR EXAMINE THE OBJECT
larger conservator led volunteer projects
Larger Conservator led Volunteer Projects
  • British Postal Museum-

Funded 3 Mail Rail Units

  • Worcester Porcelain Museum –

funded the 2 year NADFAS led paper archive


  • Petersfield Museum – The Bedales Costume Collection – over 1,000 pieces in collection
preventive conservation grants
  • 3 Year Scheme funded by the Pilgrim Trust only started in April 2013
  • Two Rounds per annum
  • 31 March and 30 September deadlines
  • Average award is c. £2,750 – though applications can be up to £10,000
  • Simple application procedure, basic criteria are being an AIM member, ownership of the collections, being accredited or actively working towards accreditation, have less than 60,000 visitors p.a. OR a turnover of less than £300,000 p.a.
  • Scheme 1 to date from April 2013 – September 2013 we had 25 applications, there were 16 successful bids, amounting to the total sum awarded of £43,995.
  • The majority of awards have been made to museums in the South east, South West and London
preventive conservation grants1


  • The heritage importance of the collections
  • % of collections impacted
  • Proposed project will address priority conservation needs and risk*
  • That the project described represents good value for money
  • That the conservator/conservation advice is appropriate  
  • Value of grant in making a step change to sustainability in museum
  • Staff and volunteers have/will acquire the skills needed to develop more sustainable approaches to preventive conservation  

* (should refer to Conservation Plan, if it exists)

preventive conservation grants2

Good Example :Powell Cotton Museum for Stores Improvement and re-housing collection who were awarded over £9,000 for the entire project

Clear project proposal that addresses all the criteria and sets out the application under criteria led headings.

It shows they have taken advise and have a conservation plan in place. The Conservator led project will create a sustainable approach that involves all staff members and volunteers. They are telling us all we need to know. The plan, the cost and the reasoning, guidance and impact.

examples of what not to do
Examples of what not to do???

Ignore the criteria

Lack of information,

egentire project description was 28 words- give the info on type of collection, type of project – how you are storing the collection etc

Too much information,

eg sending supplementary documentation such as accreditation documentation, sending us bound volumes on the history of the museum and the provenance of each object can put off the panel!

Ignore or not seek professional advise or care

Ask what a budget is!

Repeatedly resubmit the same application! – We check them and know!

Forget about the object or grant application!

sustainability grants
  • 3 Year Scheme funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
  • Two Rounds per annum
  • 15 January and 1 June deadlines
  • Grants mostly less than £5,000
  • Simple application procedure, basic criteria are being an AIM member, ownership of the collections, being accredited or actively working towards accreditation, have less than 60,000 visitors p.a. OR a turnover of less than £300,000 p.a.
  • The two grant awarding rounds June 2012 & January 2013. Received 37 applications, asking for £144.000 grants . We awarded 18 grants to a value of £65,000
sustainability grants1
  • Governance review and succession planning
  • Development of business plans
  • A professional review of marketing strategy
  • IT development advice and implementation including hardware / software / Web Development
  • Employment of a catering consultant
  • Catering equipment
  • The employment of a retail consultant
  • Retail Equipment
  • Improvements to the visibility or attractiveness of a museum
sustainability grant criteria
  • Does the application demonstrate real need against the organisation’s forward plan?
  • Does the application demonstrate, through self audit and/or external validation, an objective assessment of the priority of this need?
  • Does the project offer a step change in the sustainability of the organisation and does the applicant have the capacity to deliver the step change in sustainability claimed?
  • Does the project offer good value for money and a good return on investment?
  • Does the application have value for others as a best practice case study or show particular innovation?
notable applications
Notable Applications
  • Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum – Application for purchase of chairs. Cost £4,000 supporting venue hire , functions and stopping the necessity to hire seats which was £250 for 100.
  • Beckfords Tower & Museum

Application for £2,000Picture Racking system with a saving of £8,900 over 10 years

  • Dunollie House

Application for a new ‘Visitor Hub’ at the entrance to the estate costing £5,000. Vistor numbers have doubled ,revenue increased and new position created

notable applications1
Notable Applications
  • Kilmartin House

Application for £5,175 towards Product Development and Branding Project and the NEW COFFEE MACHINE!

top tips
Top Tips!
  • Read the Guidance Notes carefully.
  • Take the guesswork out of the Application
  • If using Consultants let us know what they are going to deliver
  • Applications will be assessed against the criteria set out in the guidance notes.
  • We need to see a convincing case for you project.
  • Make a good business case and show the Project Budget, Plan & Projections
  • Will it make a step change?
  • The grant applied for should be the minimum sum needed.
  • Project should be fit for purpose given the scale of your operation
training grants
Training Grants
  • These will open again in January 2014
  • Supported by AIM’s own funds, simple application form
  • AIM Training Grants are available to support member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce (paid or voluntary).
  • The purpose of AIM Training Grants are to promote best practice by supporting attendance at conferences and training courses.
  • Applicants museums must be AIM members and priority will be given to smaller museums receiving less than 50,000 visitors p.a.
training grants1
Training Grants

We can grant aid fees, accommodation (only where distance travel is involved) and travel costs towards:

• Courses, seminars and workshops

• Museum conferences

• Museum study visits

• Mentoring placements

  • The maximum grant is £300 and receipt of previous AIM grants will be taken into account where relevant. We cannot support retrospective applications.
  • Applications for 2014 will be considered quarterly and should be submitted no later than:
  • 10th March for training courses between 1 April – 30 June
  • 10th June for training courses between 1 July – 30 September
  • 10th September for training courses between 1 October – 31 December
  • 1st December for training courses between 1 January – 31 March

For more information see:

  • AIM Support