New emergency government funding available through ACE and NLHF

For Accredited museums (including Provisional and Working Towards) and NPOs

ACE Culture Recovery Fund guidance has been published with grants of up to £3m available with a minimum application of £50,000 for organisations at imminent risk of failure this financial year. See the ACE published guidance to see if this particular scheme applies to you.

Round 1: opens 10 August, closes midday 21 August – you are strongly encouraged to apply for the first round as ACE anticipate giving away 75% of their budget on this first round.

Round 2: opens 21 August, closes midday 4 September

If you think you will apply, please register on Grantium now if you haven’t already.

Eligibility – cultural organisations that are properly constituted and registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission and can produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements. This includes NPOs, and museums in the accreditation scheme (full, provisional and officially working towards Accreditation). It also includes local authorities, universities and other public bodies who run or maintain cultural services. See the guidance for more information. Library services are not eligible to apply.

You will be required to demonstrate cultural significance or cultural opportunity and a commitment to diversifying workforce and audiences.

For amounts less than £50,000 you can apply for Arts Council Project Grants instead which have recently reopened. The guidance has been adjusted to be more responsive to organisations and individuals during Covid-19.

Please let me know if you are going to put in an application, and I encourage you to share the draft application and project ideas with me and/or SHARE Museums East ( in good time prior to the deadline so that we can offer feedback to strengthen applications – this is part of our remit, to support museums to write effective bids.

For non-accredited museums and heritage sites:

National Lottery Heritage Fund: Culture Recovery Fund – deadline midday 17 August

Applications open on Thursday 30 July for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, which will help heritage organisations recover from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is providing £92m with grants from £10,000 up to £3m available for heritage organisations in England.

Full guidance and eligibility can be found on the NLHF website. Accredited museums and those working towards accreditation should instead apply to the Culture Recovery Fund through Arts Council England.

Please note – the fund is designed to support heritage organisations that are at risk of no longer trading viably this financial year. If you meet the following Essential Criteria, please get in touch and we can discuss your application:

Essential Criteria

You should only apply for this funding if you are able to meet all of the essential criteria:

  • you must have been financially viable before COVID-19 (March 2020)
  • you are at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year
  • you can demonstrate that you have exhausted all other financing options. For example, applying for other emergency funds, reducing costs, diversifying income streams or taking advantage of government easements
  • you have a clear plan towards future financial viability

Please let me know asap if you are going to put in an application, and I encourage you to share an early draft application and project ideas with me so that I can provide feedback on the draft and seek further advice on your behalf if we need to.