Leather Conservation Grant Programme

These grants are intended to help museums in the UK with the conservation of objects in their collections. Accessioned objects with any leather components are eligible. Whilst we expect museums to have a conservation plan, the object does not have to be the most at risk in the collection. However, the reason for your choice must be made clear in your application; for example, the object might be planned for use in a temporary exhibition.

Conservation work should be carried out by the Leather Conservation Centre or a conservator chosen from the ICON register.

Museums that are based in the UK that are either a registered Charity or have an associated charity that can receive the grant on the museum’s behalf are eligible to apply.

Applicants may apply to the scheme more than once for different projects, though priority will be given to applicants that have not previously received funding.

Eligible costs
• Project costs may include the conservator’s labour and materials, transport (including specialised packing) and reassembly.
• We cannot fund conservation treatment arising from accidental or wilful damage to museum objects.
• Objects will need to be accessioned within the collections and owned by the organisation.
• If you are VAT Registered, recoverable VAT should be deducted from costs quoted.

Successful Applications
• The maximum grant awarded will be £10,000. It is expected that the average grant awarded will be around £5,000.
• Applicants do not need to offer partnership funding although it will be welcome if they do.
• Bids may be made to part-fund larger schemes.

How to apply
All applications must be submitted via the online form available here
To assist you in preparing your responses you can download a word version here (but only applications submitted online will be considered).

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 27th May 2022
These will then be assessed and considered by the Grants team and the Leather Trade Committee.
A decision will be provided by Friday 24th June at the latest.

You may find it helpful to talk to your local Museums Development Officer (MDO) before making an application. You can find your local officer via this website. They have considerable experience with grant applications and may be able to help with finding a suitable conservator or suggest how you might strengthen your application.

Conditions of grant
These will be provided as part of any successful grant offer, however as standard please be aware they will include:
• The object must be put on public display for an appropriate period, having due regard to its sensitivity and care.
• The award should be acknowledged on the appropriate label with the words “Conserved with the aid of a grant from the Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund”
• On completion of the work, museums will be asked to supply a copy of the conservation report and relevant photography.
• If requested, applicants should provide information or case studies for Leathersellers publications.

The Leather Conservation Centre
The Leathersellers’ Company has for many years supported the Leather Conservation Centre (reg charity number 276485) which was founded in 1978 to conserve historic leathers and is based in Northampton. It is a major international centre for leather conservation, education and research with an environmentally controlled laboratory, object store, and a separate chemical storage and extraction facility.

The Centre offers a comprehensive service in the conservation of leather objects of historic, cultural and artistic importance for national and local museums, historic houses and private clients. It aims to conserve, care and provide practical advice for a wide variety of historic and invaluable objects with its team of professionally trained and experienced conservators. It also supplies a small range of materials for leather conservation and leather conservation publications.

The Leathersellers’ support a number of conservation projects requested by organisations so that their artefacts can be conserved at the Centre. The Centre is able to accommodate the majority of leather objects within its studio, and if the object cannot be moved for reasons of fragility, insurance or transportation, or because the leather is part of the fabric of the building, it carries out conservation in situ.

If you are interested in having an item conserved by the centre please contact them directly at info@leatherconservation.org