Treasure Plus was launched in 2013 by the Art Fund with support from The Headley Trust. The programme aimed to deepen public engagement with items of treasure and related archaeological material by providing small grants of £2,000 to £10,000 for display and interpretation projects.
Since the Treasure Act was launched in 1997, the Art Fund has received a growing number of applications for funding towards acquisitions of items of treasure. However, we recognised that the work did not stop once the funds had been raised to acquire the pieces. Often specialist skills and further resources were needed to display and interpret the works so that they could be best used and enjoyed by the public.
We believed that small grants could be used to great effect in a variety of creative ways, from the purchase of new equipment, to a pilot project that might test a new interpretation model using digital technology. Treasure Plus awarded over £200,000 to support 36 projects.
To celebrate and learn from the funded projects, we held a Treasure Plus Conference on 13 October 2015 in Birmingham to enable curators working with archaeological collections to share best practice, find out about available funding and support, and network with colleagues.
We will be drawing learning from across the programme and the conference into a digital toolkit, which will be free to download from our website later this year.