As someone who has been directly involved with several community archaeology
projects I can confirm the situation one the ground is as was mentioned
earlier last week - archaeology needs to find some way of getting to the
community, rather than waiting for the community to come to it. This is not
meant as a critical statement. Most community archaeology projects I have
been involved with have been lucky to have five or six member with much if
real commitment, normally these have very little "professional experience"
but know the local neighbourhood and have a brief understanding of history.
Many project workers seem put off because the list of potential funding
bodies available to a particular project is daunting, never mind the
application process, or the commitments that are involved. Most projects
seem to avoid or are unable to spare the time looking for sources of funding
due to this perception (I fully agree often it is perception rather than
Ideally, there would be a "funding search engine" - key in the type of
project, location etc. and up would pop all relevant funding bodies,
together with application form and guidance notes.
In our local area we are trying to find a resolution to this situation by
pulling together people who have had experience of setting up projects,
including the grant application process and looking at how these can be
provided as a resource available to newly starting up community projects.
However, the issue is identifying these projects in the early stages.
Clearly, information dissemination is a two way thing.