Six Museums Awarded AIM Biffa Award ‘History Makers’ Funding

The Lily House and workers at Chatsworth
The Lily House and workers at Chatsworth

Six AIM member museums from across England have just been announced as successful grant recipients in Round Three of the AIM Biffa Award ‘History Makers – People who shaped our world’ programme. Funded by Biffa Award with support from the Landfill Communities Fund, the new exhibitions will open in 2020.

Applicants in Round Three could apply for up to £90,000 to cover the costs of creating new exhibitions and together they share a total funding pot of £442,000. The museums will use their grants to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures.

Tim Burge, an independent consultant who is managing the History Makers Programme on behalf of AIM said: “These projects were successful because they chose history makers with captivating stories, most of whom will not be household names, but have played a significant part in shaping the world we live in today. There is also a clear link between the chosen history maker and the site or collection of the museum, to which the new exhibitions will bring added value for visitors.”

At the recent AIM National Conference, AIM’s Chair, Richard Evans, announced that AIM has received further funding from Biffa Award for another round of History Makers. This round (Round Four) will open for Expressions of Interest on 18 July 2019. Please check AIM E news and social media for updates.

Emma Chaplin, Director of AIM, welcomed this news saying: “We really value the support of Biffa Award for the History Makers programme as our members have the opportunity to show off their creativity alongside the amazing stories and fabulous collections that they hold.”

AIM will also be launching a new ‘History Makers’ website in September 2019 that will showcase all History Makers projects and act as a learning resource for young people studying STEAM subjects. You can help shape the design and content for this new History Makers website by taking part in a feedback survey here.

AIM Biffa Award History Makers Projects – Round Three


National Coal Mining Museum for England

Project: The Illumination Gallery Sir Humphry Davy (1778 – 1829)

Project aim: To illuminate those history makers who shaped the development of underground lighting and to ignite STEAM learning using the Museum’s collections to tell this inspirational story

Grant awarded: £81,987.62


Chatsworth House Trust

Project: Experiments, Innovation and Design: How the Paxtons Grew the Chatsworth Garden. Joseph & Sarah Paxton

Project aim: Through the inspirational work of Joseph and Sarah Paxton, visitors will discover, explore and understand the scientific and engineering marvel that is the Chatsworth Garden.

Grant awarded: £68,530.00


The Cromwell Museum

Project: Cromwell Uncovered

Project aim: To reinterpret and refurbish the Cromwell Museum gallery, bringing to life the story of Oliver Cromwell to the widest possible audience, showcasing an internationally important collection in an engaging way.

Grant awarded: £85,530.00


People’s History Museum (National Museum of Labour History)

Project: Annie Besant & Jayaben Desai: History Makers on Strike

Project aim: To raise awareness of the stories of Annie Besant and the Match Girls Strike (1888) and Jayaben Desai and the Grunwick Strike (1976-1978) through displays and immersive digital experiences in the permanent galleries at People’s History Museum.

Grant awarded: £67,533.00


Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Project: Noor lnayat Khan: A Woman of Conspicuous Courage

Project aim: Drive engagement with the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial through the story of Noor lnayat Khan, a Second World War agent and the most highly decorated Muslim woman in British Military history.

Grant awarded: £59,996.00


Port Sunlight Village Trust

Project: Soap & Water: Revealing William Lever’s remarkable achievements and enduring legacy

Project aim:  Through innovative interpretation, creativity and co-production, we will engage and inspire children and young people by using the STEM subjects as a lens through which to explore William Lever’s impact and legacy

Grant awarded: £78,430.00

About Biffa Award

Since 1997, Biffa Award has awarded grants totalling more than £175million to thousands of worthwhile community and environmental projects across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The programme administers money donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.

About The Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is an innovative tax credit scheme enabling operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). EBs use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites. LOs are able to claim a credit (currently 4.2%) against their landfill tax liability for 90% of the contributions they make.  Since its inception in 1996, over £1.4 billion has been spent on more than 51,000 projects across the UK. For further information please visit or see HMRC’s general guide to landfill tax.

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