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28 May 2012

Opening up Archives, The National Archives' project to tackle skills shortages in the wider archives sector, has been allocated additional funding of over £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Speaking about the additional funding, Nick Kingsley, Head of Archives Sector Development, The National Archives, said: 'This is fantastic news for the archives sector. HLF's continued support and financial backing for this essential project helps us open up a career in archives to a wider, more diverse group of individuals.'

The extension grant awarded as part of HLF's Skills for the Future programme will guarantee that a third year of the project runs in 2013.

Alternative route into archives

Opening up Archives puts into practice the Workforce Diversification strand of The National Archives' Archives for the 21st Century policy. It focuses on work placements across England, providing an alternative route of entry into archives and heritage work for people with non-traditional archival backgrounds.

Jill Shonk, Opening up Archives trainer from Gloucestershire Archives, said of the project: 'Opening up Archives has made it possible for Gloucestershire Archives to gather and share documented history from people who live and work in Barton and Tredworth, an ethnically diverse part of Gloucester. Our collections are now more representative of the communities living in this area, providing a truer picture for people researching local history, both now and in the future.'  

Read blogs by some of the trainees undertaking a placement as part of the Opening up Archives programme.