Salford University (UK)

The Centre for Applied Archaeology (CfAA), is an academic enterprise centre within the School of Environment and Life Sciences (ELS) at the University of Salford. It currently operates four distinct areas of activity:

  • Commercial Archaeology
  • Planning Advice
  • Public/Community Archaeology
  • Research and Publication

The aims of CfAA can be split into three separate areas, firstly to conduct commercial archaeological projects, secondly to manage, conduct and promote community archaeology/public heritage engagement and thirdly to undertake training, teaching, research and publication. In developing this holistic approach Salford Archaeology aim to provide the means by which these three individual heritage sectors can effectively deliver, interact and collaborate together.

Within the commercial archaeological area CfAA conduct and manage archaeological projects for a wide variety of clients across England. Services which are regularly undertaken include archaeological watching briefs, evaluations, excavations, building assessments, building surveys, field walking, desk based assessments

and consultancy services. Community archaeology comprises of managing and conducting evaluations, excavations, building surveys and all other types of archaeological projects; with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, assisting local heritage and archaeological groups in funding applications, assisting with the Greater Manchester Archaeology Advisory Service (GMAAS) in supporting and running the Greater Manchester Federation of Archaeological Societies. Teaching and Research includes publications, both popular and academic, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, extramural teaching, and providing workshops for the voluntary and professional sectors.


Due to the unique nature, location, staffing and previous experience, CfAA has become nationally recognised for its strength in the management and delivery of the following types of archaeological projects:

  • Industrial archaeology
  • Community and Public Engagement
  • Industry/academic engagement

Industrial Archaeology Specialism

Centre staff have undertaken a significant amount of industrial archaeology across England throughout the last 30 years of professional commercial archaeology and possess an unrivalled experience of dealing with the types of archaeology expected to be encountered within the proposed archaeology programme. We regularly undertake below ground investigations on sites containing workers housing, industrial commercial buildings such as 18th and 19th Century mills, factories, foundries, bleach and dye works and light industry and have published widely on the subject. We possess nationally recognised experience of the archaeology of 18th and 19th Century transportation infrastructure, such as canal and railway warehouses, goods yards, bridges, wharfs and other associated buildings and have undertaken many below ground and standing surveys of this type of archaeology within the Manchester and Salford city centre region. Centre staff have published widely in these areas at a local, regional and national level.

Community and Public Engagement

CfAA possesses a nationally recognised capacity and track record for delivering community archaeology projects. Particular strengths include:

  • Nationally recognised delivery of Community Archaeology Projects.
  • Award winning engagement and education projects.
  • Voluntary and Community Group.
  • All staff members are trained in the delivery of community archaeology.
  • Established schools and educational packages and resources.
  • Track record of progressing and increasing volunteer skills.
  • Access to other researchers and disciplines across the University of Salford and the Higher education sector.

Industry and Academic Engagement

CfAA is in a unique position as a provider of commercial archaeological services, through its links with the wider university environment it can assist in the development of one of the industry’s main aims:

  • To improve the undertaking and management of archaeological projects within the construction industry.
  • The Centre has run many workshops and seminars to both heritage industry professionals and professionals who encounter heritage with the aim of promoting best practice and knowledge exchange between the many sectors.

As part of the University the Centre is in the unique position of being able to liaise and work with industry wide specialists in a wide variety of differing disciplines, ranging from and including, construction, procurement, architecture, ecology, hydrology, communications, media, health energy amongst many others.

Role in the Project

  • Design and development of a GIS based risk & environmental assessment solution to be integrated to the main platform of the project. The application will be scalable from local to regional scale.
  • Research and definition of the list of key factors for effective risk assessment of cultural heritage sites and areas
  • Work on GIS data collection & analysis and produce the necessary sets of geodata files for risk assessment
  • Research, analysis and evaluation of well-known algorithmic approaches on that field.
  • Integration of user-friendly data map display services and design an effective and efficient user interface for geodata study and use.

USAL will mainly contribute to WP3 Use cases, Requirements and architecture, WP4 Environmental, Sensing and Monitoring Toolset, WP9 Experiments, validation and assessment of results, T5.1 Risk assessment and management methodology, T6.5 Quick Damage Assessment services and T7.5 Web-based GIS tools & services.

USAL will support together with SPA the UK trial.