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.
Our next round of museums and galleries funding will be launched later in 2020. We are reviewing closely the implications of Covid-19 on the design and delivery of this fund. The fund will continue to support curatorial expertise and excellence. You can find out more about the grants we have made previously by clicking here.
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.
We have earmarked around £0.5m to be awarded through the Fund in 2020. We expect to make no more than five or six grants for periods of two to three years. While the average grant size is ca. £87k we will consider higher amounts for exceptional projects.
What we will fund
We are keen to fund work which has a legacy within and beyond the organisation. We prioritise applications that aspire to achieve outcomes for people working in curatorial roles, the collections they work with and the institutions in which they work. We are particularly interested in applications which:
- enable new ways of working both for established curators and those just starting out or
- ensure organisations are able to safeguard and advance curatorial skills through a time of development or change
Who can apply
The Fund is open to a wide variety of collection types. We have supported visual and decorative arts, archaeology, and social and natural history collections. Accreditation is not required, but applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- excellence in their field at a national level
- national significance, usually through a unique or high quality collection
- commitment to collaborative approaches, either as the focus of the request, or at a minimum with a strong track record of partnership working
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, independent museums and contemporary galleries without permanent collections are also eligible. While our priority is small to medium-sized museums and galleries outside of London, national and/or London-based institutions may also apply if their project brings significant benefits in the regions. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from those areas where we have made fewer grants.
The organisation applying must be able to demonstrate 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 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 Friday 29 November 2019 through our online portal. We expect to make decisions in spring 2020, so you should plan for the work funded by a grant to start from or after June 2020.
1. Ensure you have your relevant financial information to hand.
- 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. Ensure you have your relevant financial information to hand.
- You will need to upload a copy of your most up to date 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 cost centre, department or unit
- If the year-end date of your accounts is more than 10 months ago, we will ask you to upload your latest management accounts or other more up to date financial information
- If your accounts show a significant surplus or deficit, high or low reserves, we will ask you to provide a brief explanation
3. Create an online account and upload your first stage proposal and financial information.
Please go to our online portal here to create an online account. You can then upload your first stage proposal and financial information.
Once you have created your online account and uploaded your first stage application you will receive an instant confirmation. We will be in touch within one month regarding next steps and to request any additional information if necessary.
We will let applicants know the outcome of their first stage application by mid-February 2020.
If your application proceeds to second stage, we will ask for a more detailed proposal and additional information. Then we will arrange to meet you to find out more about your work and organisation, with visits taking place during March and April.