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Icon Conservation Awards

The Icon Conservation Awards celebrate the highest standards of conservation skills, innovation, research and collections care within the UK arts and heritage sector

The awards programme celebrates the work of over 4,000 professional conservators from across the heritage sector from a community of students, volunteers and special interest groups, all passionate about the restoration and conservation of movable heritage.

The Icon Conservation Award 2015 was held on 22nd October 2015 at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in central London. For the first time, Icon highlighted projects driven by the combined efforts of volunteers working with professional conservators.

Six major awards were given out with prize funds ranging from £2,500 to £10,000. Scroll down to learn more or use the links below to jump to the relevant award. 


The Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation (£10,000)

Winner: Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Programme 

Shortlisted: Wrest Park Collections Store, Conservation of The Great Parchment Book, The Swiss Garden Restoration Project

The Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation recognises excellence and efforts in conserving an individual or collection of cultural heritage objects in the UK and is presented to the best completed project or project phase that may cover documentation, preventative care, packaging, display, cleaning, repair and restoration.


The Pilgrim Trust Student of the Year Award

Winner: Gemma McBader, Cardiff University

Shortlisted: Abigail Moore, Durham University; Francoise Collanges, West Dean College; Charlotte Gamper, University of Glasgow

The Pilgrim Trust Student of the Year Award recognises the accomplishments of a student conservator in conservation, demonstrated in the completion of their project during training. The award is presented both to the student and their training institution.​


The Icon Award for Conservation in the Community (£5,000)

Winner: Resurrecting the Coffin Works: Sharing Skills, Building a Legacy

Shortlisted: Conservation Club, Sissinghurst Castle Library Book Conservation Project, Skeleton Crew

The Icon Award for Conservation in the Community marks the valuable efforts and excellence achieved by volunteers on conservation projects. It will be awarded to a project involving a professional conservator that has increased the learning of new skills by volunteers and benefited communities in accessing cultural heritage.


The IMechE Award for the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact (£2,500)

Winner: Grand Fountain Restoration, Paisley

Shortlisted: Crosslé Mark III Motor Racing Car

The IMechE Award for the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact celebrates excellence in engineering conservation and is presented to a professional or organisation for their efforts in the conservation of operational or static examples of engineering.


The IMechE Award for Volunteering in the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact (£2,500)

Winner: Steam Pinnace 199

Shortlisted: EDSAC Replica Project

The IMechE Award for Volunteering in the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact recognises excellence in engineering conservation of an artefact or collection for a project that has significant volunteer engagement.


The Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research & Innovation in Conservation (£2,500)

Winner: Rothko Conservation Project, Tate

Shortlisted: The Magna Carta Project at The British Library; IWM and the War Against Dust at Imperial War Museums

The Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research & Innovation in Conservation identifies achievements of those involved in conservation research and development and is presented to the best completed programme committed to furthering the understanding, techniques and practice of conservation.


Photos: Paul Hampartsoumian; Films: Lipfriend Rodd