Innovation & Enterprise


UCL and National Trust join forces to protect the Trust’s heritage sites for future generations

21 May 2021

UCL has signed a long-term strategic partnership with the National Trust, to help look after their inspiring heritage sites and collections.

A country house covered in scaffolding

The collaboration brings together UCL’s world-leading, multidisciplinary research with the National Trust’s significant on the ground expertise, and its important heritage sites and collections.

Focusing on ‘Looking After What We’ve Got’, the two organisations will now be working much more closely together on research, addressing critical challenges in heritage science, conservation and cultural value.

Professor Sasha Roseneil, UCL’s Pro-Provost (Equity and Inclusion) and Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, commented: “With more than 100 years of partnership to build on, UCL and the National Trust are now taking our link an important step further. This new 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.”

Knowledge exchange 

The first year of the partnership will see a number of initiatives funded by UCL Innovation & Enterprise taking place across the Trust, including academic secondments.

The UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies will launch a call for collaborative research projects.

Knowledge exchange initiatives, an innovation network and policy placements will take place, with studentships and PhDs also being planned, building world-class foundations for heritage professionals. 

The National Trust’s Dr Ingrid Samuel, Placemaking and Heritage Director, said: “We’re excited to be working with UCL to co-create new technologies and techniques for heritage conservation, encourage participation in conservation, and explore better ways of working. At the same time, many of the innovations that come out of this will be centred around global challenges, such as climate change and sustainable architecture, that will be of significance and benefit to the sector as a whole.” 

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement), said: “UCL is delighted to establish this new strategic partnership with the National Trust. It’s exciting to collaborate for the long-term, using cutting-edge academic research to preserve the legacy of historic environments and places, so that the very best of the UK’s rich cultural heritage can be enjoyed for generations to come. Addressing the impact of climate change and safeguarding the cultural value of our nation is at the heart of the relationship and demonstrates UCL’s commitment to working in partnership to the benefit of society.”

The long-term strategic partnership with UCL and the National Trust has been facilitated by the Business and Innovation Partnerships team within UCL Innovation & Enterprise. The partnership activity will be managed through UCL Innovation & Enterprise, leveraging its mechanisms and reaching out across the university. 

Read the full story on the UCL News website.


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Photo of roof restoration project at Oxburgh Hall © National Trust Images, taken by Mike Selby