Sources of Funding
The Inland Revenue has issued a statement of practice making it clear that companies can include the care and conservation of their business archives, and the cost of providing access to them, in their costs before the calculation of corporation tax. This has now been reflected in Her Majestys Revenue and Customs Guidance note BIM42501 – Specific deductions: administration: business archives. For more information see the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/BIM42501.htm
Independent grants and charitable trust funding
Most grants to catalogue, preserve and exploit archive collections are targeted at public sector collections but there is growing collaboration between private and public sector archives which is unlocking some of these grants for private business archives. Business archives donated to public sector record offices are of course eligible for grants.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Since 1994, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF, previously the Heritage Lottery Fund) has awarded millions to projects in archives. Recent examples of business archives projects include Cotton Threads and Gloucester Rugby Football Club Community Heritage Project. NLHF grants are awarded to predominantly public sector institutions (including community archives), but are available to private sector archives working in collaboration with public sector partners to create a resource with demonstrable public benefit. For information about NLHF funding, visit: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/what-we-fund
Archives Revealed is a partnership programme between The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust. It is the largest funding stream available in the UK dedicated to cataloguing and unlocking archives, including those of businesses. Applicants must however be not-for-profit organisations. Businesses can look to a friends group or a charitable arm/trust that could make an application on their behalf. The programme includes two distinct but complementary strands: cataloguing grants and scoping grants. For more information visit: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/finding-funding/archives-revealed/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAC Cataloguing Grants for Business Archives
Since 2010 the Business Archives Council has provided annual funding for the cataloguing of business archives held in the public or private sector, with a further grant later established and aimed at a specific business sector. For more information visit: http://www.businessarchivescouncil.org.uk/activitiesobjectives/catgrant/
Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants
The Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants is an open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports individual artists, community and cultural organisations. For more information visit: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/projectgrants
Arts and Humanities Research Council
To access this funding stream you should work with academics usually economic or business historians – whose research interests tie in with your business sector. For example, part of an academics AHRC bid could include the partial cataloguing of your collection (which makes the sources available for research) but this cannot be the primary purpose of the bid, only an additional output from a research-based project. There is no formal process for finding an appropriate academic, but universities have management and history schools that employ business historians and Glasgow University and London School of Economics, in particular, have specialist business history units. Alternatively contact the Business Archives Council or the Association of Business Historians for advice.
For more information about grant-awarding organisations and processes see
The National Archives website at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/finding-funding/