The NSR Rolling Stock Restoration Trust has benefited from the Prism Fund

Funding news

Simon Stephens, Issue 114/10, p9, 01.10.2014
Industrial strength
One of the best sources of support for industrial heritage sites is the Prism Fund, which is run by Arts Council England.

Grants of up to £20,000 are available towards the cost of the acquisition and conservation of items or collections that are important in the history and development of science, technology and industry. Applying is straightforward, and museums should not be put off by the “significance” criterion.

Recent awards such as the conservation of the Lewis Collection of historical plateways (Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) and the restoration of North Staffordshire Railway Coach No 61 (NSR Rolling Stock Restoration Trust) illustrate the range of projects that Prism can cover.

Industrial heritage sites should also consider alternative approaches such as crowdfunding (good potential for urban industrial sites with strong community links). Commercial sponsorship and private donation can also work well, especially if a link can be made with a modern industrial concern in the locality.

For example, the recent restoration of the Moulton Windmill in Lincolnshire (Moulton Windmill Trust) was supported by the Moulton Bulb Company, which guaranteed a loan provided through the Architectural Heritage Fund.

Ian Bapty is the industrial heritage support officer at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust