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Including conservation in funding bids

This free workshop was held at the British Library Centre for Conservation on 1 December 2010.

The workshop explains how to include conservation and preservation activities in funding bids. It covers the type of information to include, how to generate that information, and how to prepare briefs for external conservators and specify surveys. Guidance is provided on what funders are looking for in applications and discussion sessions draw on group experience to encourage fresh approaches to fundraising.


  • Louise Ray, Funding and Development Advice Manager (The National Archives)
  • Helen Lindsay, Accredited conservator and consultant with experience of helping organisations to prepare funding bids
  • Sue Crossley, Grants Adviser, Research Resources in Medical History, Wellcome Trust
  • Caroline Peach, Head of Preservation Advisory Centre


Why did you attend this training day?

  • Asked to take over and increase profile, applications and awareness of funding opportunities in my dept/division.
  • To find out more about including conservation in funding bids, picking up helpful hints and tips.
  • To get better at preparing bids for conservation funding.
  • Identifying new sources of funding for conservation.
  • Investigating funding. Where to begin.

What did you learn?

  • Where to start, basics - with plenty of info to fine tune a funding opportunity - made me look at the collection in a different way with a view to funding opportunities.
  • Good to get an insight into the thinking of funders when they are reviewing applications.
  • Aspects of good and bad proposals; best approaches/research into funders.
  • How the targets for funding have changed. To try to look at the application not just as a conservator. To link actions through to projected outcomes.
  • Valuable critique of abstracts; importance of impact etc in proposal; new sources to approach.

What will you do differently as a result of attending this training day?

  • Explore a wider range of potential funders.
  • Review abstract. Look through write basic and simple abstract. Review potential funders - how to fit abstract to funders.
  • Feel more confident about tackling those daunting application forms. Get in external consultancy (academic as well as conservator).
  • Be clearer in telling curators that a successful application will not make their grants less likely - quite the reverse.
  • Think more closely about framing and writing a funding proposal
  • Concentrate on 'value' and outcomes.


Participants are requested to submit a 250-300 word abstract of the project or activity for which they are fund-raising in advance of the training day. The abstract forms the basis for practical sessions throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to discuss and share their work throughout the day.

09.45 Registration
10.00 Welcome and introductions
10.15 Funding for conservation - opportunities and challenges,
Louise Ray
10.45 Practical session (review of abstract)
11.15 Break
11.30 How to get conservation content into your funding application, including case studies,
Helen Lindsay
12.15 Practical session (evaluation of example funding proposals provided by trainers)
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Resources: overview of funding opportunities
Caroline Peach
14.00 Resources: HLF funding opportunities
Louise Ray
14.30 Break
14.45 Funding surgery: opportunity for discussions with trainers
15.45 Discussion
16.00 End