Restoration Grants

Thanks to a series of generous donations the AIA can make available Restoration Grants of up to £20,000 for a range of historic and industrial archaeology purposes.The first awards were made in 2009, and we have since been able to allocate nearly three quarters of a million pounds. Details of some of those projects can be found below. Regular updates on progress with these projects appears in I A News, our quarterly bulletin.

From 2020 onwards the available Grants pot is divided into two categories:

  • Major projects where the maximum grant that can be awarded is £20,000. The grant from the AIA must be a significant part of the total project cost, not just a small contribution to a very large project, so that the AIA grant has real impact. The AIA would not normally fund projects where our grant represents less than 20% of the total project costs;
  • Small projects which are allocated at least 20% of the available funds. The grant limit is £7,500, for which the total cost of the project, excluding the value of volunteer labour, must not exceed £10,000.

Download Criteria and How to Apply for a Restoration Grant

2019 grants

A record number of applications came in this year, some well in advance but most of them tight up against the deadline of 31st March. The applications covered: five locomotives; five buildings; five vessels; four water mills; four types of factory machinery; four vehicles; two stationary engines; mining headgear; a 1948 railway inspector’s saloon carriage; a 1954 Bristol freighter aeroplane; transport of an early 19th century timber waggonway and repair of a cast-iron signpost.

The projects had a total value of £2,145,960, for which grants of £530,300 were requested. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of our anonymous donors, out of this batch of 34 we were able to fund eight to a total of £130,683.

The eight awards are:

  • The preservation and transport of an early19th century timber waggonway for display at the Newcastle Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear, with a grant of £11,000 towards a £29,500 project.
  • The restoration of 1854 rope-making machinery at Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, with a grant of £17,200 towards a £21,700 project.
  • The conservation of two Jacquard silk weaving looms to allow them to be demonstrated at Paradise Mill, the Macclesfield Silk Museum, a grant of £16,000 towards a £21,200 project.
  • The restoration of the headframe structure at Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon, with a grant of £20,000 towards a £71,300 project.
  • The restoration of the 1897 Taff Vale Railway locomotive No 28 for the Gwili Vintage Carriage Group, Carmarthen, a grant of £18,250 towards a £160,000 project.
  • The restoration of belt drives, lubrication and air jet cleaning of 30 fur felt hatting machines at the Hat Works Museum, Stockport, a grant of £16,463 towards a £35,863 project.
  • For transport, tools and equipment for the restoration of a 1954 Bristol freighter Type 170 at the Bristol Aero Collections Trust, a grant of £11,770 towards a £11,850 project.
  • The restoration of the 1953 wooden lighter ‘Susan’ from the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for the Susan Trust, Chelmsford, a grant of £20,000 towards a £65,506 project.

Further details and images to follow when available.

2018 grants

Read the Feature Article on the 2018 Grant Awards

2017 grants

Read the Feature Article on the 2017 Grant Awards

2016 grants

( Information to follow )

2015 grants
Grants awarded in 2015 were:

North East Maritime Trust, for fitting out the restored life boat H.F.Swan.

South Tynedale Railway, for a narrow gauge track tamper.

The Thorpe Lt Railway in Co Durham, for restoration of a 15 in gauge locomotive.

The Prickwillow Museum, for renovation of a Petter two cylinder engine.

The Coker Rope & Sail Trust, Somerset, for restoration of machinery in the Coker rope works.

The Stover Canal Trust, Devon, work on a canal graving dock.

The London Wildlife Trust, work on Woodberry Wetlands gas house.

Click on any image below to see a larger version

2014 grants
We were able to make five grants in 2014:
LionSaltWaggon The Lion Salt Works relied on the rail network in parallel with the adjacent canal.
The salt wagon (left) is typical of that used in the industry and is to be restored to be displayed at the revitalised salt works: £20,000 was awarded.Verdant Work’s Boulton & Watt rotative engine of 1801-2 in Dundee is one of the world’s most important remaining engines. £20,000 has been allocated for its restoration and display.The Boiler Header Pond at Crofton Pumping Station is thought to be contemporary with the 1812 Boulton & Watt engine. Restoration of the Header Pond will enable it to be used for refilling the boiler. £7,000.
WappenshallWharfBuilding Two very fine Grade II listed 19th century canal warehouses at Wappenshall Wharf (left) in Shropshire designed by Thomas Telford. £20,000 has been allotted for their restoration.
ColonsayLightChamber The Colonsay light chamber (left) was built by David A Stevenson in 1903 at Scalasaig, the main harbour and ferry terminal for the island. £4,300 has been granted for its renovation and display.
2013 grants
As is usually the case with grants, the fund was heavily over-subscribed in 2013 with nine new applications being received for funding totalling £137,350. Four awards were made:
DanzeyGreenWindmill Further restoration of the Danzey Green Windmill (left) at the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, £6,790. Work has been completed.

Restoration of the derelict Bowbridge Lock on the Thames & Severn Canal by the Cotswold Canal Trust, £20,000. After some initial engineering problems work is now proceeding well.

Restoration of a 1950 Thompson composite corridor railway carriage No 18477 by the London & North Eastern Railway Coach Association, £15,000. Work is due to start soon

Rebuilding of the 1927 Ryde Pier Tram No 2 on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway by the Isle of Wight Railway Company. £15,000. Work on this project has been delayed due to problems with the condition of the operational IOW coaches.

2012 grants
Two restoration Grants were made for 2012.
GraneMillChimney Grane Mill in Haslingden, Lancashire for the restoration of the top of the chimney (left) which was on the point of collapse. Grane Mill is important as one of the very few former Lancashire weaving mils that survives with its engine and boilers intact. Work is being conducted by the Heritage Trust for the North West on the long term resoration of the site. The consolidation of the chimney was one of the essential pieces of work that needed to be carried out before any progress could be made on the restoration of the rest of the site. This work was completed in the autumn of 2012.The Tramway Museum Society at Crich in Derbyshire. This grant has been made, not for trams, but for the consolidation and interpretation of rare surviving remains of a lead smelter on the Society’s Crich Tramway Village site. After a series of delays this project is due for completion in early 2015.
2011 grants
Five Grants were made in 2011 to the following conservation projects:
WeighbridgeTalyllynSteam Launch Osprey The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust was awarded £2,000 towards the cost of rebuilding of a wagon weigh bridge (left). This project has been completed and the finished weighbridge and the associated building can be seen at Wharf Station on the Talyllyn Railway.Mellor Archaeological Trust have had an award of £15,000 for the excavation and interpretation of the Wellington Wheel Pit at Mellor Mill. The work has been completed and the site is now open to the public.

The Robey Trust have been awarded £10,000 towards the cost of moving and restoring a rare Robey undertype steam engine. The removal from the original site has been completed and work is progressing on the restoration.

Lakeland Arts Trust has been awarded a grant of £15,000 towards the restoration of Steam Launch Osprey (left) at the Windermere Steam Boat Museum. Work is now well advanced on this project.

Ellen Road Steam Museum has been awarded £12,000 for the overhaul of the preserved Petrie Beam engine. Work on this project commenced in early 2012 and is now complete.

2010 grants
Awards were made to the following and both projects are now completed:
FrogmoreMill Repairs to the narrowboat ‘Tarporley’ at Camden Canals in London, £3,500.Restoration of a 19th century papermaking machine (left) for display in working order at Frogmore Mill, The Apsley Paper Trail, £9,870.
2009 grants
The first Grants to fund the restoration of significant historic industrial buildings and artefacts were awarded in 2009:
VIC32 boiler Scottish Maritime Museum awarded a grant of £2,750 towards the restoration of the original vertical cross-tube boiler from the Clyde puffer VIC 32 (left). This project is now complete and the boiler is on display.South Yorkshire Trades Historical Trust were awarded a grant of £5,000 towards the restoration of the stone slate roof of the Hoylandswaine Nail Forge. The roof repairs have now been finished.

Beamish North of England Open Air Museum awarded a grant of £14,000 towards the restoration of two Londonderry Chaldron Waggons. The project is completed and the waggons are on display in the colliery area at Beamish.

Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port was awarded a grant of £15,000 towards the restoration of Box Boat No 337 and boxes. After some problems sourcing timber and getting craneage the project is now complete and the boat back in the water.