Institute of Archaeology


UCL and the National Trust announce long-term partnership in heritage and conservation

21 May 2021

UCL has signed a long-term strategic partnership with the National Trust to help conserve their historical sites and address important heritage challenges.

Roof restoration project at Oxburgh Hall - credit: National Trust images, Mike Selby

Focusing on the National Trust’s properties, land and collections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the partnership will see staff from the Trust and UCL sharing resources and expertise to explore critical issues including heritage science, sustainable conservation and cultural value. The first year of the partnership will involve a number of UCL academic secondments across the National Trust to explore areas of mutual interest and co-design a programme of research.

The collaboration will open the door to significant new opportunities for teaching and students at UCL, building world-class foundations for the heritage professionals of the future. Students on UCL’s new BA Heritage degree programme will benefit from the Trust’s involvement in the development of the degree and its advice on skills and career opportunities.

The UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies will launch a call for collaborative research projects in the summer. Knowledge exchange initiatives, an innovation network and policy placements will also take place, with studentships and PhDs planned to provide a more specialist foundation for heritage professionals.

As Rodney Harrison, Professor of Heritage Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, Arts and Humanities Research Council Heritage Priority Area Leadership Fellow and co-Director of the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, indicated:

The rich, interdisciplinary nature of our work at UCL means that we are in a unique position to build on our existing research partnerships to support the National Trust in many interesting, inter-connected ways.”

Professor Sasha Roseneil, Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, commented: 

This new strategic partnership will allow us to pool the significant expertise of two global heavyweights, to protect and conserve the Trust’s unique cultural assets for future generations. We will be bringing together the brightest minds to explore new ways of working, inform policy and demonstrate how university-industry collaborations can provide long-term benefits for local communities and our national heritage.”


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  • Roof restoration project at Oxburgh Hall - credit: National Trust images, Mike Selby