AIM Pilgrim Trust Conservation grants open for applications

Grants for small and medium-sized museums

05 Feb 2021

Applications are open for the latest round of AIM Pilgrim Trust Conservation grants, which support small to medium sized museums to care for their collections more effectively and efficiently and to meet the standards required for Accreditation.

The scheme encourages applications from museums to bring in conservation expertise to ensure that collections care and conservation meet professional standards and will have most impact for museums and their visitors.

Meaningful outcomes

Launched in 2013, the funding scheme has made a real impact for museums across the UK.

The Lyme Regis Museum received £2,000 for the conservation of The Bindon Landslip Heptatych Panel of August 1840. Conservation was essentially that conventional for oil paintings: cleaning, stablishing, some retouching, re-varnishing and frame repair. Reflecting on the results, Richard Bull, Curator, commented:

“Conservation has reawakened enjoyment of an historic artwork of local and national interest for public display and geological science – and revealed period social detail.”

The Wiltshire Museum’s ‘letter book’ contains information about many of the objects in the Museum’s Prehistoric Wiltshire Galleries and are much used by researchers. For years the book has had restricted access due to conservation concerns, but a grant of £4,750 has changed that. The letters have been cleaned, repaired and digitised and are now stored in three bespoke clam shell ring binders.

“We’re delighted to see this important collection of letters transformed into a resource that can now be made easily available to the many researchers who access our nationally important archaeology collections every year.” Lisa Brown, Curator.

© Little Hall Lavenham

The curator at Little Hall Lavenham returning the books to the shelves. 

At Little Hall in Suffolk, over 1,000 books from the Hall’s Library were taken off site for specialist mould removal and cleaning, funded by a £4,750 conservation grant. The objective was to stop further damage to their book collection and ensure the Library was safe again for visitors and volunteers. Not only did the AIM Pilgrim Trust grant help the museum to achieve this vital piece of work but it also prompted them to think more widely about their book collection. Graham Panton, Chair of Little Hall Lavenham told us;

“In advance of the conservation works the volunteers produced a collections database to enable more comprehensive management and understanding of the book collection. We are now developing plans to train our volunteers to carry out annual inspection and cleaning of the books. And as the books are returned to the shelves our volunteers are undertaking a basic condition survey which will be recorded in our database.”

In 2019, the Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture received a grant of £1,100 to cover a collections care audit. The audit process achieved more than the Museum had expected and they found the experience and knowledge of the accredited conservator invaluable. Moreover, the areas for further improvement identified by the report enabled the Museum to make another successful application to the AIM Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Scheme in the subsequent funding round.

What’s available

  • Collections Care Audits – run in partnership with Icon, grants of £1,100 for a fully accredited conservator to undertake a three-day audit and help museums identify key collection care issues and priorities.
  • Collections Care Scheme – grants of up to £10,000 are available to enable museums to develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections through improvements to collection care.
  • Remedial Conservation Scheme – grants of up to £10,000 to conserve items that are part of a museum’s permanent collection.

How to apply

You’ll find all the details about the AIM Pilgrim Trust conservation grants here. The closing date for this round of funding is 31 March 2021.

Related topics