The National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) has received encouraging support in the form of a grant from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The grant, worth £40,000 over a two year period, will enable the NHIG to invest in the infrastructure of the group, establish an office and employ their first member of staff. Founded in 2009 as the first representative body for heritage ironwork, NHIG is at an early stage in its development and to date has been run by a very committed council on an entirely voluntary basis. The work in running NHIG now exceeds what can be expected from volunteers and the new office will underpin their important work so it can continue. The office will become the focal point of the group, handling day to day activities and building on the group’s progress to date, while also working on website development, fundraising and distribution of information. Council member and co-founder of the NHIG, Chris Topp, said “The establishment of such an office is a big and positive step in the development of the NHIG towards achieving its long term aims of safeguarding and preserving ironwork.”
The overall objective of the next two years is to establish the foundation blocks on which to build a sustainable future for the group and its work to strengthen the blacksmith and ironwork sector.