Brighter Day projects announced

AIM Arts Scholars Brighter Day grants have been developed to help museums recover from the ongoing effects of the Covid pandemic, with a focus on small museums and others that have found it difficult to access other support.  

AIM is grateful to the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust for funding the scheme, which consists of conservation grants of up to £8,000 and collections care audits open to non-Accredited museums and local authority and independent museums that are registered charities.  

AIM Head of Programmes, Margaret Harrison said, “It has been great to see the range of initiatives that we have been able to help, thanks to the funding support provided by the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust. I am equally delighted that AIM can now offer collections care support to all our museums. Even with a tight turnaround, there was strong interest with applications received from across the UK, narrowing down to the successful organisations highlighted below.” 

The Saltaire Collection at Shipley College 

Saltaire Collection: Refreshed and Reopening   

£4,688 

The project aims to replenish collections management and conservation materials; re-motivate staff and volunteers through training and bring them together to produce an exhibition. The funding will allow the trust to further their goal of providing access to the collections, both digitally and physically and complete the interpretation of a fourth historic building.  

Louth Museum 

Security and Sustainability (Doors) Project 

£2,944.24 

Two doors require replacing urgently so that the collections are to be held securely. One is an emergency exit door to their museum, library, exhibition area and the second is a fire exit door to the entry point of the premises.  

On being notified that the application had been successful, Ruth Gatenby, Archivist at Louth Museum, said, “We are delighted to be awarded the grant to replace our two defective doors.  Not only do we appreciate the funds, but the fact that we have a grant from a national body such as AIM gives us a collective morale a boost.”

The Novium Museum Chichester 

Condition Assessments and Conservation of Archaeological Metalwork  

£5,601 

The Novium Museum houses a large collection of archaeological material including an important collection of metalwork. The museum is seeking funding to pay for an ICON approved conservator to audit the metalwork collection over three days and identify objects requiring conservation and subsequently treat them.   

Bassetlaw Museum 

Textile Care and Conservation Restart  

£6,083,60  

The museum had suffered from a pest infestation and sought advice pre pandemic from an ICON conservator on how to deal with the problem. As a result, staff were trained and the stores renovated and a programme of auditing, treating, and re-packing affected textiles commenced. The covid pandemic prevented this work from continuing and now the museum is seeking funding to increase the hours of an existing member of staff who can recruit, train, and manage new volunteers to complete the audit, cataloguing and preventive conservation treatment required.   

RAF Air Defence Radar Museum 

Library and Display Storage  

£2,288.50  

The project involves digitising important archival records including the original plans and technical drawings for RAF Neatishead. The current archive racking is full, and funding is sought to extend storage racking and to purchase a second display cabinet to improve display of the archival material.   

Gordon Russell Design Museum 

Design Stories  

£7,820  

The museum explores the life and work of influential furniture designer Sir Gordon Russell and his company. Design Stories is a digitisation and engagement project that will provide access to the archives and provide a new funding stream for the museum. The project costs sought will cover salary and professional imaging of object costs.  

Royston & District Museum and Art Gallery 

£7,398 

Refreshing Royston Museum’s Archaeology Displays  

The museum is seeking funding to purchase a Glasshaus cabinet as part of their programme to refresh the archaeology display at the museum.   

Berkhamsted Local History & Museum Society 

Public Learning from Berkhamsted Treasures  

£3,000 

Founded in 1950, the society has a collection of 30,000 items. Funding is sought to facilitate a digitisation programme focused on their hidden artwork. Out of the 1500 potential works, it is envisaged that the funding would enable 30% to be priortised, scanned and digitised.  

Spode Museum Trust 

Creating a long-term strategy for the conservation, storage, cataloguing and display of the Spode copper plate archive  

£1,500

The Spode factory was founded in 1770 and has extensive collections. Included are approx. 18,000 engraved copper plates dating from c.1780 to 2009. The plates were all hand engraved and used to decorate ceramic pieces. The copper plates remain uncatalogued and require assessing and a long-term conservation plan to be prepared.   

Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens Trust 

Out of the Cupboard  

£4,841.72  

Train volunteers to assess collections, conserve two books (a 1789 illustrated edition of Culpeper’s English Physician and Complete Herbal, which belonged to the Bradford Family who originally owned Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens, and a 1772 edition of Miller’s Abridged Gardeners Dictionary), purchase collections care and display equipment. 

the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust