Proactive Grants:

This initiative is not open to funding enquiries or applications.

Conservation continues to be an underfunded sector and one which, in the current economic climate, remains under significant pressure. 

Our Proactive Conservation initiative has been running since 2008 and has so far had an allocation of £2.5 million. It was evaluated externally in 2015.

Our definition covers the preservation and restoration of important works of art and artefacts, and includes preventive and remedial work. The focus is on ‘moveable’ heritage and the built environment; it does not include the natural environment.

A key early grant in 2008 was the £180,000 awarded to the Institute of Conservation (ICON) – the lead voice for the sector in the UK – to develop their reach, increase the influence of the sector and raise their profile. ICON also provided us with ongoing expert conservation-related guidance and support.

The central aim of Conservation is to ensure that endangered, specialist skills are not lost forever and we have, in the last 10 years, supported a wide range and number of conservation internships in several disciplines at some of the UK’s leading museums, galleries, and other cultural heritage institutions. They include: geological conservation at National Museums Scotland, taxidermy at the Horniman Museum, parchment at the British Library, photography at National Galleries of Scotland, anatomical and biological specimens at the Hunterian Museum, and conservation science at the British Museum.

We also award £30,000 annually to the Anna Plowden Trust in support of grants up to £1,000 for conservation professionals to attend courses and conferences across the world, developing their careers.

Conservation Case Studies

British Library
British Library
British Library