Regional Museums and Galleries Fund

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 major 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 2015/16 is £482,000. We expect to make about four grants for periods of two to three years.

Who can apply?
We focus on visual and decorative arts and social and natural history collections.

Applicants should demonstrate:

  • excellence in their field at a national level

  • national significance, usually through a unique or high quality collection

  • a commitment to broadening audiences.

In line with our general policy, we favour applicants with an income between £100,000 and £10m, but may fund a larger institution if it is uniquely placed to meet our aim. While our priority is regional museums and galleries, national institutions are eligible to apply if their project brings significant benefits to the regions.

What we fund
We are particularly interested in funding museums and galleries that plan to:

  • support new ways of working both for established curators and those just starting out

  • work in partnership with others to develop and share good practice

  • ensure that the experience from the work funded is integrated into any future plans.

What we look for
We are looking for organisations that can show the following:

  • an emphasis on the value of curatorial skills

  • a commitment to excellence and innovation

  • strong leadership and commitment from senior management, board or governing body

  • effective financial management

  • the difference a grant will make, to the museum or gallery itself, to the general public and 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 projects.

Applying to the Fund
As for all other applications, we have a two-stage process. First-stage applications must be received by Friday 9 October 2015. We expect to make decisions in spring 2016, so you should plan for the work funded by a grant to start from or after April 2016.

The programme was originally set up to run for three years.  During this third round we will begin to take stock of our experience, and use the learning from the evaluation to inform our thinking about our long term approach to funding regional museums and galleries. 

  • Initial Stage Application Process

    Your first-stage application should include:

    1. A description of what you are seeking funding for, on no more than two sides of A4. Please include:

    • a brief description of your organisation and relevant track record
    • the nature of your collection, and why it has national significance
    • what you would like us to fund
    • how your proposal matches what we fund and are looking for (see above).

    2. Financial information:

    If you are a charity, a copy of your most recent annual accounts. If you are part of a larger organisation (such as a university or local authority) please provide an income and expenditure statement for the running costs of your department or unit.

    If your accounts show a significant surplus or deficit, high or low reserves, please explain this briefly. If the year-end date of your accounts is more than 10 months old, please include your latest management accounts.

  • Second Stage Application Process

    If we invite you to apply for the second stage, we will ask for a more detailed application, and arrange to meet you to find out more about you and your work.

Closing Date

The closing date is Friday 9 October 2015.

Regional Museums and Galleries Fund Guidelines

Click here to download a PDF version of the guidelines