Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Research Infrastructure for Conservation and Heritage Science (RICHeS)

This programme promotes excellence in the UK heritage science sector.

It aims to develop the UKs reputation for heritage science and improve our understanding of heritage collections, buildings, landscapes and data.

This is a long-term commitment from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), launching in spring 2024 with initial projects lasting 24 months. Staffing is supported by AHRC for 10 years.
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The scope and what we're doing

We have designed the RICHeS programme to maximise the research, development and innovation potential of UK heritage science by increasing sector effectiveness, efficiency and excellence. It will:

  • start the development of an informed, collaborative and innovative UK heritage science community
  • ensure that the heritage science sector has the capability and the capacity to meet user demand and deliver world-class scientific excellence
  • ensure that heritage science equipment, expertise, resources and research data are findable and accessible to users, available to external stakeholders, and can be used by a range of partners

Heritage science is the use of science and scientific approaches to answer questions about heritage. Heritage science improves our understanding of heritage collections, buildings, landscapes and data for the benefit of the public.

RICHeS expects to award £22 million to a range of projects across all four nations of the UK. Funding will improve heritage science facilities and increase access to heritage science reference collections and data.

The programme will also fund a digital research service to make data and resources easier to find and use.

We will announce these awards in July 2024.

RICHeS will be delivered by a new team at our infrastructure headquarters, based at Daresbury. The team will support increased access to facilities and networking opportunities.

Why we're doing it

RICHeS will secure the UK’s reputation for excellence in heritage science, further capability in the sector and promote collaboration at a national and international level.

It will increase resilience and increase access, ensuring that heritage and conservation science benefits a wider range of users and audiences.

It will support innovation and cutting-edge science by enabling researchers to access pioneering facilities, equipment and scientific infrastructures.

Who to contact

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Last updated: 13 March 2024

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