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Icon welcomes individuals and organisations from all backgrounds who identify with the conservation and preservation of our cultural heritage.  Our membership embraces the entire conservation community as well as members of the public who are keen to learn more or show their support for conservation work.

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Icon's practice is to respond to government and other consultations on which we believe the conservation profession and community have something relevant and useful to contribute. This page summarises Icon's recent responses and provides links to the full responses as well as providing links to other current policy initiatives. 


Museum Collections
Heritage Science (also see our dedicated web pages on this theme)
Lottery Funding
Understanding the Future: Museums in the 21st Century
Historic Environment
Other Policy Areas


Effective Collections
Museums Association (July 2007)
Formally launched by the Museums Association on 10 July 2007 with an introductory report entitled ‘Making Collections Effective’, Effective Collections is a programme of work emerging from the central theme of the 2005 Collections for the Future report - that too many museum collections are underused. The programme seeks to enrich displays across UK museums, and to give museums that currently do not lend and borrow the skills and confidence that they need.  Focusing on loans the programme will:

  • Broker relationships between museums to facilitate lending relationships;
  • Offer stored collection reviews;
  • Simplify loans administration by bringing together relevant documentation;
  • Help museums with the skills and the lasting networks to enable loans and long-term lending relationships to continue into the future.

Further information is available from the Museums Association website

Disposal consultation
Museums Association (October 2006)
In response to the findings of the Museums Association's (MA's) Collections for the Future report the association is reviewing its advice and guidance on museum disposal. This advice should give museums the confidence to engage more actively with disposal and encourage more museums to consider disposal as an integral part of collections development. Icon has responded to the consultation in general terms supporting the MA's decision to re-examine this complex issue and to review its Ethical Guidelines on Disposal in the light of findings from the consultation.
The Icon response can be read here
pdf MA_DisposalOct06 45.06 Kb

Caring for our Collections
House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee (September 2006)
This inquiry is a sequel to the Committee's recent inquiry and Third Report, Protecting and Preserving our Heritage (HC 912), which concentrated on the historic environment, namely built heritage and archaeology. The focus of this inquiry is on museums and galleries, cultural property and archives.
Read Icon's full response here pdf CMS_CareofCollectionsSep06 444.29 Kb



Enquiry into the role of science, engineering and technology in the conservation of the United Kingdom's heritage
House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Heritage (November 2005 to December 2007)
UK conservation and conservation science have a high reputation worldwide, but they are currently under-valued. In its written response to this important inquiry, Icon outlined the role of science in conservation and the extent to which it works or does not work within the United Kingdom, and made some recommendations.
See Icon's combined responses of November 2005 and February 2006 pdf HoLScienceHeritageFeb06 121.98 Kb
Read the response submitted by the Institute of Conservation Science doc HoLICSresponse 71.00 Kb

Representatives of Icon gave evidence to the Select Committee on 16 May 2006, see NewsDesk item.

The UK's cultural heritage under threat - peers warn. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee publishes its report. Read more.
The Government response to the Select Committee report on Science and Heritage has now been laid before Parliament, and can be seen here. The Committee also received a number of comments on the Government response (including one from Icon), which can be read at
The Science and Technology committee's report on Science and Heritage will be debated in the House of Lords Grand Committee on Tuesday 12 June, starting at 3.30pm. A report of the debate will appear in Hansard; you can follow the debate via a live webcast on

AHRC: A strategy for supporting and sustaining high quality research in the UK's Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives
Arts and Humanities Research Council (March 2006)
The recently created AHRC has a broader remit than the former AHRB, now embracing research in museums, galleries, libraries and archives beyond the HE sector. Icon's response to the AHRC research strategy consultation welcomes the themes of collaboration and partnership; draws attention to the role of conservation science in humanities-based research; identifies subject areas that would benefit from support; comments on skills shortages and how these might be addressed; and highlights the importance of the publication of research and peer review.
Read Icon's full written response
here pdf AHRCResearchStrategyMar06 65.76 Kb



Our Heritage, Our Future
Heritage Lottery Fund (July 2007)
The Heritage Lottery Fund has published its strategic framework for April 2008-2013. While competition for funds may increase, HLF will remain the biggest funder of heritage in the UK with £1.9billion to distribute over the next 12 years.
HLF has reviewed its funding and confirms that all main funding programmes will continue, and that application and assessment processes will be made simpler and quicker. Other new developments include offering a mentoring service by specialist advisors to reduce risks in project development, improve the overall quality of projects and provide inexperienced applicants with extra help, and asking applicants to ‘green’ their projects , minimising environmental impacts and encouraging innovative thinking and developing practice on sustainable use of resources.For further information visit

Our future – join in
The National Trust (July 2007)The National Trust’s strategy for 2010 and beyond ‘Our future – join in’ describes the Trust’s aim of creating a different relationship with its members and supporters – one of active dialogue rather than ‘putting on a show’ for the public. Focusing on four themes of cultural heritage, our natural world, climate change and local food, the Trust explains how it seeks to involve its supporters more closely in the work it carried out.To read the strategy visit

Our Heritage, Our Future, Your Say 
Heritage Lottery Fund (February 2006) 
The HLF's pre-consultation on its third strategic plan gave the opportunity for comment on future plans and prioritisation of funding. It asked for feedback on the HLF's achievements and also asked what should be changed.
Icon's answers to the four questions asked by the HLF (though not the consultation document itself) can be found here pdf HLFOurHeritageFeb06 41.56 Kb
The HLF has published Our Heritage, Our Future a new publication which outlines the organisation's strategic framework from April 2008 to 2013. Fresh developments include a simpler application process, more help (mentoring provided by specialist advisors), and Going Green (encouraging applicants to think about minimising environmental impacts in their projects).

The share of National Lottery support to the arts and film, heritage and sport Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (February 2006)
A government launched consultation giving the opportunity for limited responses to specific questions on the share of National Lottery funds.
View a copy of the responses submitted to DCMS pdf DCMSLotteryFeb06 32.17 Kb
The results are now available online at



Understanding the Future: Priorities for England's Museums
DCMS (October 2006)
Icon has submitted a response to the '10 year vision' published by DCMS in follow up to their 2005 consultation 'Understanding the Future: Museums and 21st Century Life'. Icon's response welcomes the opportunity to create a 10 year national museum strategy but finds the DCMS lacking in vision and a weak basis on which the MLA (Museums Libraries and Archives Council) is expected to create an action plan for the sector. Icon maintains that 'a 10 year strategy should be firmly based on the collections which are museums' unique offering to the public, and should demonstrate how collections are to be supported and enriched'. Icon poses questions for DCMS to address and calls for the department to incorporate much more of the good work that was evident in the previous document as part of the final strategy.
Read Icon's response to Understanding the Future pdf DCMS_Understanding_the_futureJan07 94.63 Kb
Icon has contributed during 2007 to DCMS led working groups on Workforce and Collections. It is hoped that the outcome of the DCMS work will be announced at the Museums Association conference in the autumn.

pdf Understanding the Future: Museums and 21st Century Life 73.08 Kb DCMS (June 2005)



Valuing our heritage - future investment in the historic environment
Heritage Link (January 2007)
Heritage Link has joined with English Heritage, The National Trust, Historic Houses Association and the Heritage Lottery Fund to appeal to Government with a powerful report ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year.

'Valuing our Heritage – The case for future investment in the historic environment' seeks to remind Ministers of the economic, social and educational benefits of maintaining the built heritage and sets out ways in which Government can make a difference. Four essential recommendations are made: Implementation of the Heritage Protection Review; Support for Places of Worship; Investment in the Assets; and greater effort in Reaching People. The report is available on the Heritage Link website.  

Discovering the Past, Shaping the Future: Research Strategy 2005-2010
English Heritage (January 2006)
English Heritage sets out its first five year plan of action for the use of research to support its business, government priorities and the historic environment sector. Icon has responded, praising the document as a whole, but expressing concern at an implied shift in priorities towards socio-economic resarch at the expense of conservation research.
Icon's full written response can be read here pdf EHResearchStrategyJan06 45.76 Kb
A summary of responses is available on the
English Heritage website.

Protecting and preserving our heritage
House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee (January 2006)
The inquiry sought views on the priorities for the forthcoming Heritage White Paper, the effectiveness of different organisations in representing heritage interests inside and outside government, the balance between heritage and development needs in planning policy, access to heritage and the position of heritage as a cultural asset in the community, funding and the impact of 2012, the roles and responsiblities of various organisations in maintaining the nation's heritage, and the supply of professionals with conservation skills.
View Icon's full written response here
pdf CMSCommitteeJan06 101.09 Kb
The published report is available on the UK Parliament website.


Conservation Principles Policies and Guidance
English Heritage (May 2007)
The sustainable management of the historic environment depends on three things: sound principles; clear policies and guidance based on those principles; and the quality of the decisions that stem from them. Icon has submitted a response to English Heritage's second stage consultation on 'Principles Policies and Guidance'. The main purpose in producing the document is to strengthen the credibility and consistency of decisions taken and advice given by English Heritage staff, though it is hoped that it will be taken up by the sector as whole.
Icon's response to the second stage consultation pdf EHPrinciplesGuidance_May07 44.04 Kb

pdf Consultation on the composition of the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships 50.29 Kb DCMS (December 2005)

pdf Consultation on The 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999 45.00 Kb DCMS (December 2005)


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