The Bromoil Circle of Great Britain is celebrating after winning a £26,500 payout from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the centenary year of the Bromoil print process.

When making its bid for the award the group said: ?Not only would the survival of the process be assured but its heritage? promoted and preserved for future generations.?

Bromoil is a version of oil printing processes dating back to 1904.

Lack of storage means hundreds of images from the collection have to be stored at the West Midlands home of the group?s general secretary Dave Francis.

The group won the cash for its project ?The Art of Bromoil ? its History, Preservation and Advancement?.

Some of the cash will be spent on conservation and digitisation of images, as well as improving storage facilities.

The group also plans to ?seek partnership? with a national institution so the public can access the collection in a museum or gallery, for example.

A Bromoil website, workshops and travelling exhibition of historic prints from its collection are also promised.

The group said it wants to increase public awareness of the ?significant? role the bromoil printing process has played in the ?development of photography as an art form?.

The Bromoil Circle of Great Britain can be contacted on 01902 773281.

? Bromoil was one of the processes favoured by ?pictorialists?, introduced when enlarging became common. After exposing and processing an enlargement on special bromide paper, the silver image is bleached. The process leaves the gelatin in a similar condition to an oil print. Photographers using such processes were often accused of seeking a ?fine art? effect which had ‘nothing to do with photography,? wrote the late Michael Langford, author of The Complete Encyclopedia of Photography.

Picture: Mighty Atom by Keith Spencer