If you are thinking about applying for funding, you can speak to your MDO about developing your application. Your MDO should be able to supply up to date funding information and provide advice on which schemes might be suitable. You can also expect to receive support when writing and developing your application, including receiving feedback on drafts.



Some sources which are particular relevant to museums at the moment:

  • Art Fund Small Project Grants are open for applications to support museums to realise adventurous projects of up to £10,000.
  • The Foyle Foundation has reopened for applications to support charities with an arts or learning remit. Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available and applications can be submitted at any time. More on the Foyle Foundation website
  • The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund is adapting its offer for museums needing support with Covid related implications to continue enabling access to collections. More information on the Museums Association website.
  • Museums Essex has just launched their Small Grants Round 8 scheme – if you are a member of Museums Essex, find out more and apply here. Six grants of up to £500 are available to support museums with Covid-19 recovery.
  • Garfield Weston Foundation have an ongoing grant scheme to support UK charities. You can take their quick online eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible. Their guidance for their schemes can be found here along with their FAQs. They can cover core running costs.

Other local funding opportunities might be available from the following:

The below table includes some other possible sources of funding that could be available to you. It is intended as a guide only – for up to date information on the schemes, amounts available, eligibility and deadlines, please look at individual websites.

AIM: Biffa Award: History MakersExhibitions Exhibitions that bring stories of famous historical people to life
AIM: Collections Care and Conservation GrantsCollections care Collections Care Audits, Remedial Conservation Scheme Membership of AIM, under 50,000 visitors a year and turnover of less than £300,000Collections Care Audits (£1100) Collections Care Scheme, Remedial Conservation Scheme (both up t £10,000) 
AIM: Hallmarks of Prospering MuseumsDevelopment and financial sustainability(1) enable museums to implement key ideas of the AIM Hallmarks (2) support museums to improve their financial sustainability Membership of AIM, Accredited museum. For strand 2 must be ‘small’ museum i.e. under 20,000 visitors a year (1) £4-12,000 (2) £3-16,000 
AIM: Training Grants Training Developing the skills and expertise of workforce (paid or voluntary) – e.g. fees, training, accommodation, travel for conferencesMembership of AIM and priority given to organisations receiving fewer than 20,000 visitors annually Up to £300 for individuals
Art Fund: AcquisitionAcquisition Support museums to acquire objectsProvisionally accredited and above, open at least half the week six months a yearmain grants: grant requests of above £7,500 small grants: grant requests of £7,500 or less
Art Fund: Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grantsProfessional development Support UK museum professionals to undertake travel or other activities that will extend and develop their curatorial expertiseMuseum professional employed by or working in partnership with museums that hold at least provisional accreditation£200-£2,000
Art Fund: Professional Network grantSSN and network supportThese grants help professional networks to develop and share knowledge, skills and resourcesThe programme is open to SSNs and other curatorial and professional networks, both formal and informal – either independently or in partnershipAny amount up to £5,000
Art Fund: Small projectsProjectsHelp museums, realise adventurous projects, up to £10,000, across a range of activities to benefit their audiencesAnyone with spaces the public can visit and collections for people to enjoy – must be working to best practice sector standardsUp to £10,000
Arts Council / V&A Purchase Grant FundAcquisition Contribute towards the acquisition of objects relating to the arts, literature and historyCan’t be nationally funded by government and must be Accredited£500 – 500,000
Arts Council National Lottery Project GrantsProjectsOpen access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects[Awaiting new guidance]£1000 – £100,000
Arts Council: Arts Impact FundFinancial sustainability, resilience Repayable loan finance for social investment in arts organisationsRegulated charitable arts organisations based in England, working in a specified area of social need.£150,000 – 600,000
Arts Council: Developing your Creative Practice Research and development opportunitiesSupport independent creative practitioners to ensure excellence in the arts and culture sectorMust be an individual artist or creative practitioner, not an organisation£2000 – 10,000
Arts Council: Subject Specialist Network FundSSNs projectsSupport (SSNs) to develop knowledge and expertise and enable more museums to contribute to public engagementSSN
Essex Community FoundationProjectsFunding for Essex projects and activities benefiting the communityIndividuals and for profit business cannot apply
Essex Heritage Trust Buildings, heritage, conservation, works of art, restoration, museums, landscapesBoost campaigns or provide part funds to leverage other financial supportProjects must be within Essex and for the benefit of the public£100-10,000
Museums Assocation: Beecroft BequestAcquisition Acquisition of pre-19thc works Must be MA insitutional member Up to £10,000
Museums Association: Benevolent FundFinancial hardship and training for individualsAlleviate financial distress and provide education and training including free places at MA eventsMust be an MA member facing financial hardship
Museums Association: Esmee Fairbairn Collections FundCollections, exhibitions, projects, community engagement Supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people, that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness and power of collections to peopleProjects must be focused on making their collections more empowering, relevant and dynamic to people Up to £90,000 for one strand, up to £250,000 for another
Museums EssexProjectsSupport museums, galleries and historical organisations whose collections are open to the publicMembership of Museums Essex
National Lottery Heritage Fund Projects, exhibitions, storytelling, acquisitions, oral history, new interpretation, new buildings, conservation, staffWe fund a broad range of projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK.Project can’t start before applying and must have a beginning, middle and end phase Up to and over £5m depending on size and duration of project
Royal Opera House Bridge – funded by ACELearning/young people/ Audiences Connect children and young people with great art and culture through research, advocacy
SHARE Museums EastAudiences, collections, resilienceMuseum in the East of England in the Accreditation scheme  
Swire Charitable Trust Projects, core costs Supports the work of charitable organisations
Wolfson Foundation Exhibitions, display, education and learning spacesSupport museums and galleries to improve the display and interpretation of nationally significant collections for the publicAccredited, registered charity or local authority, permanent collection of national significance (pref Designated)