22 Mar 2024

Unearthing the Future: CBA's 'Reconnecting Archaeology' Project Receives National Lottery Grant

We at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £249,729 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for our groundbreaking project, 'Reconnecting Archaeology.' This initiative, made possible by the generous support of National Lottery players, aims to bolster grassroots archaeology across the United Kingdom by fostering inclusivity, strengthening leadership, and engaging with new audiences. 

Supported by the Heritage Fund, the 'Reconnecting Archaeology' project is going to look to reimagine how the CBA helps local groups and societies interact with their archaeological heritage. It embodies a visionary approach aimed at revitalising not only the CBA but the wider grassroots archaeology network, while championing inclusive practices and encouraging engagement with diverse audiences. 

Gail Boyle, Chair of our Board of Trustees, expressed her gratitude, saying,  

“Over the 80 years of its existence the CBA has successfully championed archaeology in all its forms. This additional funding will enable CBA to further capitalise on the importance of its sector networking role to ensure the whole archaeological community is better informed, learns from each other and can continue to deliver inclusive and inspiring future opportunities for anyone who wants to participate.” 

Neil Redfern, Executive Director of the CBA, added,  

"We are immensely grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for their support, which will enable us to reimagine and revitalise our role and support of grassroot archaeology in the UK. 'Reconnecting Archaeology' represents a pivotal moment in our journey toward greater inclusivity, sustainability, and impact." 


Three archaeologists kneeling down to unearth stone walls at an archaeological dig site.


What is ‘Reconnecting Archaeology’? 

At the heart of this project are two key objectives: reimagining the CBA's role as a network organisation and reshaping how we connect with archaeology and grassroots archaeologists. We aim to present new forms of socially aware archaeology to a wide audience, helping to inspire fresh perspectives on archaeology and heritage. 

The project is structured around four key pillars of activity: 

  • Audience Research: Through commissioning research from audience engagement specialists, we aim to update our understanding of existing and potential audiences. This will ensure better service delivery and identify opportunities to reach untapped demographics. 

  • Catalysts for Change: We will spotlight four exemplary initiatives in archaeology that champion equity and community participation. By showcasing successful models like Uncovering Roman Carlisle and the Scottish Crannog Centre, we aim to help inspire innovation and break down barriers faced by marginalised groups. 

  • Innovative Pilot Projects: We will implement pilot projects to test new, incentivising models of events and activities, such as introducing an 'Access to Archaeology' pass. This will be similar to our YAC pass, with the added benefit of opening access to heritage sites to a wide range of ages. By embracing cross-sector collaboration and exploring digital communication platforms, we aim to facilitate knowledge sharing and dialogue among members. 

  • Organisational Resilience: We are committed to enhancing our environmental sustainability and fostering diversity and inclusivity within our organisation. By setting ambitious targets to become Net Zero by 2030, we aim to lead by example and provide training opportunities for members to follow suit. 

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2024, receiving this grant marks a significant milestone in our journey toward a more inclusive and impactful future. 

We are excited to embark on this transformative journey and look forward to the positive impact 'Reconnecting Archaeology' will have on our community and heritage landscape. Together, with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players, we can build a more inclusive and sustainable future for archaeology in the UK. 

To keep up with our Reconnecting Archaeology project and other events throughout the year, sign up to our newsletter, or consider becoming a member of the CBA to help shape how we imagine archaeology in the future. Members also get to enjoy added benefits such as free copies of the British Archaeology magazine, access to our monthly ‘This is Archaeology’ lectures, and more.  


Council For British Archaeology logo in teal





Heritage Fund logo in teal


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