AIM Hallmarks Awards: Final Round Now Open For Applications

The third and final round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017. Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. For example, in Round 1 of the AIM Hallmarks Awards, The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials, which you can read about HERE. Organisational review projects funded include one for Amgeudffa Pontypool Museum.

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The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials (Photo credit: The Lightbox)

Work funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award must be demonstrably central to an applicant museum’s organisational development and closely linked to the museum’s strategic plan. Where possible, we are keen for projects to innovate, trialling approaches or ways of working which are either wholly new to the museum sector, or new to museums of a particular kind or size. In Round 2, for example, the Royal West of England Academy received funding to trial offering executive training away days to corporate clients as a means of income generation.

Helen Wilkinson, AIM Assistant Director, said: “We’re really open to a wide range of proposals – either for doing some serious thinking about the future of your museum, or testing out an idea you already have. We’re looking for fresh thinking and energy above all else – could you use a Hallmark Award to lay the foundations for a new way of working?”

Who Has Already Benefitted From An AIM Hallmarks Award?

In the second round of awards, five were made to museums and heritage sites in England, and three to museums in Wales.

Successful applicants in England were:

Radstock Museum in Somerset, awarded £12,000 for a project to remodel the main permanent displays in the gallery to reflect its name change to Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. In doing so, the museum hopes to attract a wider and more diverse audience and enhance their learning offer to engage schools.

Seven Stories and the Mary Rose Trust both awarded funding for in house programmes of leadership development for staff (£8720 for Mary Rose Trust and £11,660 for Seven Stories).

Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review.

Brantwood Trust, awarded £7,842.00 for a project to share Ruskin’s ideas with a wider audience through collections digitisation and videos for its website.

Royal West of England Academy, awarded £9,060.00 for a project to develop packages of executive development training, using the museum’s collections, as a means of income generation.


Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review

And in Wales:

Cardiff Story Museum awarded £8000 for a marketing review, to enable it to improve its financial resilience.

Rhayader Museum and Gallery, awarded £10,590 for a project to document local town and country shows, using volunteers in innovative ways.

Pontypool Museum, awarded £5000 towards the costs of an organisational review.

How To Apply

AIM Hallmarks Awards in England

AIM Hallmarks Awards in Wales

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017.

If you are considering making an application to the final round of the Hallmarks Awards, guidance notes to support your application are available here AIM Hallmarks Awards

Or you can email Helen Wilkinson on






AIM Biffa Award: History Makers £1 million Funding Programme Is Open

The AIM Biffa Award funded  ‘History Makers – People who helped to shape our world’ £1 million funding programme is now open for applications and the closing date for the first annual round will be 31 October 2016. History Makers will fund museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures who have made a significant impact on the industrial, scientific, commercial or social history of the UK, shaping the world we live in today.

The programme is a partnership between Biffa Award and AIM and it will run over three years, awarding grants to AIM member museums of up to £75,000. £300,000 will be distributed in the first round. It builds on the very successful collaboration between AIM and Biffa Award from 2012-2014, which saw £1.5m invested in National Heritage Landmark Projects, saving some of the UK’s most important industrial heritage. The programme is open to AIM members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whose sites are in geographic proximity to Biffa Award operations, as required by the Landfill Communities Fund.

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Photo: Courtesy of Brunel’s ss Great Britain ©John Rowley

‘History Makers’ will enable the creation of new museum displays which will connect the public with the personal stories and achievements of both famous, and less-well known, historic figures. Through their lives, a new generation will be inspired by the qualities behind their successes, such as ingenuity, bravery, persistence, endeavour, imagination and insight. Many objects and collections will be displayed publicly for the first time to illuminate these stories.

“The AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme will support AIM member museums by funding exhibitions and displays that will celebrate the achievements of the men and women that have helped to shape our history. This is an exciting opportunity for museums to tell the story of these extraordinary people and the Biffa Award funding will also enable museums to create online resources that can be shared globally,” said Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director of AIM.

“We’re thrilled to support such an exciting project with a grant from the Landfill Communities Fund. History Makers, will enable people to explore the personal stories behind some of the great figures of our past, and help to bring these fascinating chapters of our social history to life!” said Gillian French; Biffa Award, Head of Grants


How to apply

Please visit the AIM website for all information about the AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme by clicking here: AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme

If you have any questions or need help, please email Justeen Stone at:

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AIM grants – help us to understand your funding needs

If you are an AIM member, you are probably aware of the different grant schemes that AIM provides. Feedback from members via email, face to face and on the phone indicates that AIM’s grant schemes are extremely popular and each year, hundreds of AIM members benefit from financial support for conservation, training, travel and sustainability.

AIM is currently researching new grant streams, looking at ways to improve our grant application processes and ensuring that any future schemes are relevant for our members needs. This is an exciting time for AIM and our members and we would value your input into how we can make our grant schemes even better in the future.

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Each year, hundreds of AIM members benefit from financial support for conservation, training, travel and sustainability

In order to secure new funding for future grant schemes, we are asking AIM members from across the UK to complete our grant schemes survey. The more people who respond, the more clearly we can demonstrate to grant givers that museums need their funding, so please consider taking part in this survey to help AIM and the independent museum sector.

The survey takes less than ten minutes to complete and your responses will help us to understand our member’s needs, how we can offer better financial support and how our grants help you. The deadline for completed surveys is midday on 26 November and you can take part by clicking here:

Thank you for your support!