Regional Museums and Galleries Fund: May 2016
Museums and galleries are a means by which people engage with arts and heritage. Many regional institutions hold important collections which have the power to inspire creativity, motivate artistic expression and stimulate local regeneration. In the current climate they face increasing challenges from funding cuts and curatorial under-provision, reducing their scope to research and display collections and create new exhibitions.
The Fund aims to help strengthen regional museums and galleries in the UK. We want to help organisations enhance and sustain curatorial development to attract a broader public.
Our budget in 2016/17 is £500,000. We expect to make about five or six grants for periods of two to three years.
What we will fund
We are keen to fund work which has a legacy within and beyond the organisation. We are particularly interested in applications which:
- enable new ways of working both for established curators and those just starting out
- ensure organisations are able to safeguard and advance curatorial skills through a time of development or change
Who can apply
We focus on visual and decorative arts and social and natural history collections. The applicant should demonstrate:
- excellence in their field at a national level
- national significance, usually through a unique or high quality collection
In line with our general policy, we favour organisations with an income between £100,000 and £10m, but may fund a larger institution if it is uniquely placed to meet our aim. Local authority museums are also eligible. While our priority is regional museums and galleries, national institutions may also apply if their project brings significant benefits to the regions.
The organisation applying must be able to demonstrate the following:
- an emphasis on the value of curatorial skills
- proven experience of and enthusiasm for working in partnership
- a commitment to excellence and innovation
- strong leadership and commitment from senior management, board or governing body
- effective financial management
- the difference a grant would make, to the organisation, the general public or other audiences
What we do not fund:
- individual conservation projects (but we may consider conservation work as part of a wider request)
- education and outreach work
Applying to the Fund
As for all other applications, we have a two-stage process. First-stage applications must be received by 5pm on Monday 10 October 2016. We expect to make decisions in spring 2017, so you should plan for the work funded by a grant to start from or after April 2017.