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The National Archives makes targeted, impactful investments, to support Archives Unlocked, the government’s vision for archives.

We have identified three focus areas for funding, in consultation with archives across the UK:

  1. Risk and resilience: we want to develop archives that are more sustainable, secure and resilient, and to safeguard their long-term future as custodians of the physical and digital record. We will invest in the development of archives’ capabilities, strategies and skills; and where necessary, will step in to save collections that are at risk.
  2. Access to the record: we want archival collections, both physical and digital, to be accessible and meaningful within the places and communities that create and preserve them. We will invest in the scoping and cataloguing of significant collections, to reveal the record to researchers and to the wider public.
  3. Skills, innovation and engagement: we want to prepare the archives sector for the future, in an uncertain world. We will invest in the skills of the archives sector workforce; in research, to lead innovation in technology and archival practice; and in engagement, to connect archives with changing societies in places across England and Wales.

Our challenges are:

  1. Digital: continuing to build the skills, infrastructure and technology needed to accession, preserve and reveal the digital record.
  2. The environment: improving our ability to adapt to climate change, and reducing the environmental impact of the archives sector.
  3. Diversity, equity and inclusion: increasing representation in our workforce, in audiences and users, and in the collections which we collect, preserve and share.

We will fund:

  1. Records at Risk Grants: to ensure the preservation of significant collections in situations of immediate peril.
  2. Resilience Grants: to empower the archive sector to find and develop sustainable solutions that enable change and develop organisational resilience.
  3. Scoping Grants: to assess unknown collections that may be of public value.
  4. Cataloguing Grants: to ensure that significant archive collections – representing the lives and perspectives of all people across the UK – are made accessible to the public for research and enjoyment.
  5. Research and Innovation Grants: to create opportunities for research, innovation and transformative projects in the archive sector.
  6. Engagement Grants: to connect archives with their communities and the wider public, raising their profile particularly in moments of national significance.
  7. Skills Bursaries: to build the skills which the archives sector needs for the future, including in digital, environmental sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Download a one-page summary of our programmes.