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SRP team with some volunteers


There are many funding opportunities for community archaeological and heritage projects such as yours. Listed below are details of the main sources of funding available. There are also numerous other grant giving trusts, some national, others with a very local focus to which local groups and volunteers can apply. Further information can be found in the reference section of most public libraries and help and advice on funding can be sought from your local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS).

If you know of any other funding sources that might be appropriate for Scotland's Rural Past please contact the SRP team and we can add it to our list.

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is one of the key funding bodies for community projects, and there are a number of different types of grants available for which you may be eligible. These include:

HLF Young Roots

Providing grants of between £3,000 and £25,000, the Young Roots Programme aims to involve 13-25 year-olds in finding out about their heritage, developing skills, building confidence and promoting community involvement. Young Roots projects stem directly from young peoples' interests and ideas, harnessing their creativity and energy and helping them work with others in their local community.

Your Heritage

Your Heritage provides grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 to support community-focused heritage projects. To qualify for a grant your project should either conserve and enhance our diverse heritage or encourage communities to identify, look after and celebrate their heritage. The project must also increase opportunities for learning about heritage; and open up heritage resources and sites to the widest possible audiences. These can include caring for the natural landscape, conserving historic buildings, places and objects, involving people in exploring local cultures, traditions, languages and ways of life.


LEADER is part of the new Scotland Rural Development Programme, aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas. LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support for rural development through implementing a local rural development strategy. The aim of LEADER is to increase the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, innovate and co-operate in order to tackle local development objectives.

For more information on the Leader fund go to: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/SRDP/LEADER.

The following are links to each of the LEADER Local Action Groups

Argyll & The Islands http://www.argyllandtheislandsleader.org.uk/

Ayrshire http://www.ayrshire-leader.com

Cairngorms http://www.cairngorms-leader.org/

East Renfrewhire http://www.eastrenfrewshireleader.co.uk

Fife http://www.leaderinfife.org/

Forth Valley & Lomond http://www.fvl.org.uk/

Highland http://www.highlandleader.com/

Kelvin Valley http://www.kelvinvalleyleader.org.uk

Orkney Islands http://www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/LEADER

Outer Hebrides http://www.outerhebridesleader.co.uk

Scottish Borders http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/newleader

Shetland http://www.shetlandleader.org/

South Lanarkshire http://www.southlanarkshireleader.com

Tyne Esk http://www.tyneesk.co.uk/

Rural Aberdeenshire http://www.aberdeenshireleader.org/

Rural Tayside http://www.ruraltaysideleader.com/

West Lothian http://www.leaderwl.co.uk/

Council for British Archaeology

Challenge Funding (awards up to £750)
The Council for British Archaeology invites groups, societies and individuals to put forward proposals to support new or existing innovative research projects, which will enhance the understanding of local heritage, and thus aid its future care.

For advice on how to apply write to CBA, St Mary's House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ or visit www.britarch.ac.uk/cba/awards/challengefunding.html for more information.

Hunter Archaeological Trust

This trust gives small grants of approximately £500 towards research into medieval Scottish archaeology and history. There is no formal application form but you should write a letter to the Trust, outlining your research project, the expected costs and the sum you wish to claim.

Contact Hunter Archaeological Trust, c/o Russell & Aitken Solicitors, King's Court, High Street, Falkirk, FK1 1PQ, telephone 01324 622888.

Medieval Settlement Research Group

The Medieval Settlement Research Group has limited funds for the support of research by members of the MSRG within its field of interest. Small grants are available annually up to a maximum of £500 for projects relating to medieval settlement. Preference will normally be given to field survey, documentary research and preparation of graphics. A summary report of the work will be required within a year and, subject to editorial consideration, may be published in the Annual Report of the Group.

Applications should be sent to Dr R Glasscock, MSRG, Dept of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN.

Royal Archaeological Institute

The Institute awards research grants to individual or groups. Grants are usually between £100 and £5,000. Applications will be considered for archaeological fieldwork, survey, aspects of excavation and post-excavation research; architectural recording and analysis; and artefact and art-historical research. Documentary research per se will NOT be eligible, but can be considered as an element of the other categories. Preference will be given to projects within the British Isles which have significant part-time/amateur involvement. Further details are available from the RAI Assistant Secretary, c/o Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Research Grants
Grants are available towards the costs of all aspects of archaeological and historical research relating to Scotland. Applications must be made on the forms obtainable from the Society; the completed application and supporting reference must reach the Director of the Society by 5 January of the calendar year for which the grant is required. The maximum grant awarded in previous years has been £2000.

Further details from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, c/o National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF.

Regional Fund & the Buchan Lectures

The Society is able to offer grants to local archaeological, antiquarian, or similar societies to help fund a lecture, symposium, or conference. Awards are recommended by the Programme Committee with the approval of Council. A lecture supported by this fund is known as a Buchan Lecture. The purpose is to fund lectures in those parts of Scotland which are not at present served by the Society s meetings. The maximum sum awarded for a Buchan Lecture will not exceed £300. There are no application forms, but applicants should send details of the proposed meeting, speaker and estimated costs, to the Director to arrive by 5 January of the calendar year preceding that for which the funds are required. Further details from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, c/o National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF.

Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund was established to help mitigate the effects of landfill on local communities. It encourages partnerships between landfill operators, their local communities and the voluntary and public sectors.

The government collects a levy called the Landfill Tax on every tonne of waste dumped in licensed landfill sites in the UK. The Landfill Communities Fund (formerly the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme) allows landfill operators to use 6.5% of the tax collected to support the maintenance and development of community assets. In any given project, 90% of the funding can come from the Landfill Communities Fund but the last 10% must come from another source.

All projects that are funded through the Landfill Tax have to be approved by Entrust and managed by a registered environmental body established in accordance with the guidance contained in the Finance Act 1996. Entrust is the regulatory body established by the commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs to ensure that projects meet the strict criteria established in the landfill tax legislation.

Further details can be found on the landfill communities fund website http://www.entrust.org.uk/.

Cairngorms National Park Authority Funding

There are a number of funding opportunities available designed specifically to help initiatives or projects which support the Park aims.

For further details contact Patricia Methven, Cairngorms National Park Authority, 14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray PH26 3LE.
Telephone: 01479 870515 Email: patriciamethven@cairngorms.co.uk

Coalfields Regeneration Trust

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was established in 1999 with a mission to lead the way in coalfields regeneration and to restore healthy, prosperous and sustainable communities. Applications are invited from new or existing organisations in Scotland working in one of it's priority areas within the Ayrshire, Lothian, Clydesdale/Strathkelvin and Fife/Central Coalfield that show clear and immediate benefits for an eligible coalfield community. Funding can be awarded to projects within these regions which raise people's ambitions and encourage them to get involved in formal and informal education, provide personal development, youth-work activity, volunteering and 'mentoring' schemes; and deliver activities that involve people of all ages, working together, on accredited and non-accredited courses.

Bridging the Gap funding is available to groups and organisations working for the benefit of coalfield communities offering grants from £500 to £10,000.

Find out if you are eligible to apply on 01259 272127 or visit the website www.coalfields-regen.org.uk.

The Gannochy Trust

The Gannochy Trust provides donations only to organisations in Scotland with an obligation to show preference for charities in Perth and it environs, but the Trust welcomes applications from elsewhere in Scotland. Providing funding to registered charities, the prime objects of the trust are the needs or youth and recreation, but the Trustees are not restricted to these kind of projects.

The Gannochy Trust, Kincarrathie House Drive, Pitcullen Crescent, Perth PH2 7HX, telephone 01738 620653.

Highland 2007 Legacy Funding

Through its Highland Culture Programme, The Highland Council is supporting events, festivals and other cultural events organised by community organisations, promoters, artists, performers, youth groups and schools. The Highland Culture Programme was created as a long term legacy of Highland 2007, and will offer support to events and projects helping to showcase the vibrant culture of the Highlands to residents and visitors alike. Highland 2007 brought together a programme of more than 600 exciting events celebrating Highland culture in villages, towns and cities throughout the Highlands and Islands and beyond.

Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Natural Heritage Grant Scheme

The Natural Heritage Grant Scheme is a grant scheme for land managers, organisations and community or voluntary groups to help with natural heritage projects. The main aims are to conserve and enhance the Park's rich natural heritage and to promote understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities.

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust

The Trust awards grants toward a wide range of projects and work relating to the conservation, promotion and understanding of the built heritage including archaeological digs and surveys; conservation of structures within designed historic gardens and landscapes, historic research, interpretation of sites and other publications relating to historic buildings and places.

For details and a copy of the Historic Building Grant Guidelines and Application Form, please contact Andrew Driver Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust, The Lodge, 4 York Place, Perth, PH2 8EP, telephone 01738 477082

The Russell Trust

The Trust was set up to benefit charities within the U.K., especially in Scotland, and prefers to give money to new projects including archaeology, education, conservation and preservation. Grants of up to £10,000 can be distributed. However, amounts are usually between £250 and £2,000 .

The Russell Trust, Markinch, Glenrothes, Fife. KY7 6PB, telephone 01592 753311, email russelltrust@trg.co.uk.

Shetland Amenity Trust

Shetland Amenity Trust operates a grant aid scheme that provides financial assistance for the preservation of architectural heritage, environmental improvement initiatives and archaeological projects within the Shetland Isles. Amounts distributed have been between £250 and £16,000.
Email shetamenity.trust@zetnet.co.uk.

The Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust is a charitable body charged with the dual role of maintaining the estates given to it by Ernest Cook, and all that they stand for, and giving money to support educational and research projects. Many of the schemes it supports relate to the countryside and environmental and architectural conservation, and are all educational in emphasis.

Grants range from £100 to £3,000 in the small grants category, of which modest amounts for educational resources for small groups form a large part.

The Ernest Cook Trust, The Estate Office, Fairford Park, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4JH, telephone 01285 713273.

Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust

The Heritage Programme aims to preserve and provide public access to our national heritage particularly outside Greater London. Priority given to proposals that do one or more of the following:

  • preserve and provide public access to collections of historical significance
  • preserve and provide public access to buildings of historical or architectural significance
  • When a proposal matches the funding priorities above, some of the following features are considered:
    • development of professional skills in the heritage sector, including craft skills
    • partnerships between heritage organisations
    • significance to the local community
    • unusual or difficult to fund proposals
    • vernacular buildings of local value.

There is no maximum grant size and the amount you request should be the amount you need. Our average grant is about £44,000 .

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, 11 Park Place, London, SW1A 1LP,
telephone 020 7297 4700, email info@esmeefairbairn.org.uk.

Marc Fitch Fund

The Marc Fitch Fund offers awards to individuals and organisations for research and publication in the fields of archaeology, historical geography, history of art and architecture and other antiquarian, archaeological or historical studies. The emphasis is on the regional and local history of the British Isles. Awards made in 2005/6 totalled £161,972 .

Director, Marc Fitch Fund, P.O. Box 207, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 3ZQ,
telephone 01608 811944, email mail2006@marcfitchfund.org.uk.

J Paul Getty Jr Charitable trust

The J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust started distributing funds in 1986. Since then nearly £30 million has been given to over 3,000 worthwhile causes all over the UK. Historic landscapes and wilderness are among the beneficial areas which are considered for grants, as well as conservation in the broadest sense (including training), with emphasis on ensuring that fine buildings, landscapes and collections remain or become available to the general public or scholars.

Grants are usually in the £5 - 15,000 range, for both capital and revenue. Those for salaries or running costs can be repeated on an annual basis for a maximum of 3 years. Applications are processed all the time, and three months is the least it usually takes to award a grant. Some small grants of up to £2,000 are also made in between the quarterly trustee meetings.

Director, J. Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, 1 Park Square West, London, NW1 4LJ, telephone 020 7486 185.

Manifold Trust

The Trust supports the preservation of culturally important activities and buildings. Areas covered include: churches; arts and education; the environment and social causes. Most grants are between £500 and £5,000 but larger grants are also given. All applicants must be of registered charitable status. General enquiries and applications for grants should be made in writing only.

For more information contact: The Secretary to Corporate Trustee, The Manifold Trust, Shottesbrooke House, Maidenhead, SL6 3SW.

Scottish Community Foundation

The Scottish Community Foundation offers grants of up to £5000 to a broad cross section of constituted groups involved in social welfare and community development activities.

O2 Its Your Community

O2 Its Your Community is a funding stream for community projects offering grants of up to £1000. Applications are assessed monthly and there is no annual deadline.

Websites with sources and advice for grant funding

Heritage Link funding directory for voluntary groups.

Funding factfile detailing grants for environmental projects

Local Councils for Voluntary Service have copies of the Funderfinder database and can arrange access.

Culture.info website offering funding advice, guidance and support, as well as listings of key UK, European and international funding foundations

Sources of funding in Angus.

Sources of funding in Perth and Kinross.

Sources of funding in Buchan.

Website offering funding advice to community groups in Skye and Lochalsh.

Sources of funding in Argyll and Bute

Sources of funding in Lochaber

Sources of funding throughout rural Scotland

Funding information from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Museums Galleries Scotland issues a regular Learning and Access mailing list giving the latest details of grants for heritage projects along with many training opportunities.

To subscribe to the list email karolinasd@museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk

Highlands and Islands Enterprise website offering assistance and guidance to communities who want to develop cultural and heritage projects.

Scottish Enterprise website for advice and guidance.

Publications listing grant giving and funding bodies

Directory of grant making trusts. Published by the Directory of Social Change (current year) ISBN 1903991587.

Handbook of Grants: Guide to Sources of Public Funding for Museums, Galleries, Heritage and Visual Arts Organizations. Published by the. Museum Development Co. (April 1993) ISBN 1873114079.

© Historic Environment Scotland - Scottish Charity No. SC045925.