Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund; Maritime Museums; HLF news; The voluntary sector in Wales; Blackbeard’s sword


Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund 

Most members will probably be aware by now that DEFRA has confirmed that the ALSF research programme will stop at 31 March 2011. This is regarded as a serious blow for the archaeological community, as much of the marine archaeological research that has been undertaken in the last few years has been funded through the scheme.

The archaeological community has been very vocal in recent years in lobbying about issues such as the UNESCO Convention. With hindsight, was enough attention paid to lobbying for the ALSF? The Blog would be interested to hear the views of MAG members.

Maritime Museums

Maritime museums in the UK continue to be impacted by the government’s spending review. Hull Maritime Museum looks likely to be the latest to feel the heat with Hull City Council refusing to quash reports that staffing and opening hours will be cut.

The Scottish Executive is set to take over direct funding of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

HLF news

Slightly brighter news has been announced by the HLF. In addition to receiving an additional £45m of funding this year as a result of the proportion of lottery income allocated to the arts, heritage and sport rising from 16.7% to 18%, a £5m increase in the funding available for the Your Heritage scheme has been announced. This small grants programme can award anything between £3,000 and £50,000, provided that the project aims relate to specified learning, conservation and participation objectives. Your Heritage is a rolling programme with no deadlines for applications and decisions are usually made within 10 weeks.

As usual the museum sector seems to be well ahead of the game but it is probably not too late to apply if you have a project that meets the scheme’s requirements.

The voluntary sector in Wales

The Nautical Archaeology Society is reported to be developing a project for CADW to provide training opportunities for avocational divers based on wrecks of vessels that were carrying Welsh coal and slate when lost. The project, if it goes ahead, will be based on the thematic desk-based assessments and geophysical survey work carried out on the Welsh coal and slate trades by the Protection of Wrecks Act contractor in 2009-10.

Blackbeard’s sword

National Geographic magazine is publicising claims that a gilded sword hilt recovered from the shipwreck identified as the Queen Anne’s Revenge in North Carolina may be part of Blackbeard’s own sword.

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