Find about our latest advocacy efforts related to the Coronavirus pandemic

Icon is working hard to lobby for support for conservators with Government and decision makers. 

Impact to date

We continue to collaborate closely with The Heritage Alliance, AIM, the Collections Trust and other sector bodies to coordinate our efforts and to offer guidance to cultural heritage organisations at this challenging time. 

We’ve been pleased to see that our lobbying efforts are cutting through.

  • We have provided briefings to Government via the Heritage Alliance; these submissions have helped to shape policy and sector support measures. Having access to this direct channel of communication places us in a good position to continue to raise concerns and propose solutions. We are confident that we can use this channel to secure future support for the cultural heritage community and the collections in our care.
  • Icon's evidence to the DCMS Select Committee on the impact of Coronavirus on the cultural sector repeated many of the asks we have lobbied for throughout the pandemic, including comprehensive support for freelancers and the self-employed. The Committee’s report acknowledged our points, calling on Government to avoid restricting support to “well established, high profile, institutions,” stressing that “it is essential that cultural freelancers and small companies in the creative industries supply chain are also eligible for direct support.” 
  • Our calls for targeted support for conservation were reflected in the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage. The Fund specifically highlights conservators and conservation work as being eligible for the grants. The guidance states that "for profit businesses that are a vital part of the heritage ecosystem and who generate the largest portion of their income from heritage work" are included, such as "conservators, contractors, specialists and suppliers."

Evidence and research

In April 2020, Icon undertook a survey asking conservators to share how they had been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic to help inform our lobbying work. We ran a second survey in November 2020 to assess the situation again. Our Coronavirus reports outline the significant consequences of the outbreak on the profession - from changes to working practices, decreases in business revenue and personal income and impacts on mental health. We are using the information to tailor our support and to inform our policy and advocacy activities. 

We continue to seek evidence, case studies and feedback from our members to ensure that we understand the key issues and challenges for the profession. If you have personal experiences or case studies of how the pandemic is affecting you, please share them with us so we can increase our evidence base: [email protected]

Statements and Letters

Find our latest statements, briefings and letters related to the Coronavirus pandemic below.

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Conservation Restores