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Engagement Grants are open to archivists and heritage professionals working with archival collections in England or Wales. In this grant, we cannot fund organisations based in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or whose collections are held outside of the United Kingdom. 

The programme is open to all public sector bodies, not-for-profit organisations including registered charities, and for-profit organisations including business archives. Funding is not available to private individuals. 

We use the definition of an archive collection as given within the Archive Service Accreditation Scheme: 

“Materials created or received by a person, family or organisation, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in them or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order and collective control; permanent records.”

Society of American Archivists 

Where appropriate, archives are encouraged to propose partnership projects and consortium applications are particularly welcome in this programme. 

Repeat applications are not possible for this programme. However, the panel will endeavour to provide feedback that enables positive solutions and clear next steps upon request. There are no restrictions on institutions submitting an application for a different project. 


Engagement Grants will run periodically, typically as connected to cultural moments of national significance. The next round of Engagement Grants will be announced later in 2024.

Finance and budgeting

Eligible costs for the programme include (but are not limited to) exhibitions, events, online or digital engagement, materials, staff time, travel and subsistence, and materials or software as needed to deliver the project. 

The programme cannot fund: 

  • Overheads, full cost recovery or management fees 
  • Collections acquisition 
  • Costs incurred prior to the date of any award offer from us 
  • The core work of an archive service

The grant may not be used for the following purposes: payments that support activity intended to influence Parliament, Government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action. 

Assessment process

Engagement Grants have a single-stage application process, completed online.

Application Form

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria: 

  • Impact: on archive and users 
  • Delivery and management 
  • Knowledge sharing 

In question 8, the project description, please do explain how the grant reflects the theme

See our Assessment Criteria for Further Guidance: 

Engagement Grants – Assessment Criteria

Each application will be scored numerically against the criteria above, according to the following scale: 

Score  Rating 
1  Poor 
2  Low 
3  Good 
4  Excellent 
5  Outstanding 


Applications are assessed by a panel of archive and engagement experts, from The National Archives. The panel members are: 

Jonathan Ladd, Head of Programmes and Advocacy – The National Archives 

Lily Colgan – Academic Engagement Officer – The National Archives 

Lucy Blackburn – Visitor Experience Assistant – The National Archives 

Beth Brunton – Head of Development – The National Archives

Charlotte Smith – Modern Legal Records Specialist

Andrew Payne – Head of Education and Outreach, The National Archives


We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. 

We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date, to ensure that we can provide you with the most suitable support possible. You can contact us by emailing