Grants and Funding

A list of the latest grants and funding opportunities open to applications from organisations or individuals working within the museum and heritage sector.
Know of a funding opportunity or grant we haven’t listed here, let us know by emailing –

FUNDING: The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

0 posted January 23rd, 2017 | Leave a reply

Deadline for Applications:  15 March 2017, 5.00pm

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association, is an ongoing initiative funding projects which develop collections to achieve social impact.

Established in 2011, 72 projects have so far received grants totalling £4.9m in its first eleven funding rounds. Between 2017 and 2019 it is offering a total of £3.5m in grants, as well as providing events and resources for the whole sector. Museums, galleries and heritage organisations from across the UK can apply for a grant of between £20,000 and £120,000 for a project lasting up to three years.
The Museums Association are looking for applications from organisations whose proposed projects will:

• Work with an existing collection or collections to improve understanding of them and increase their use while involving, inspiring and having an impact on people, communities and audiences.

• Engage local communities and/or those who aren’t typical museum attendees, and think about social impact.

• Be developmental for the organisation or sector.

• Consider the project’s legacy, even if this is hard to define at the start of the project.

For further details including application forms and guidance, Click Here.

If you wish to discuss a potential project further, please contact Sally Colvin––for an informal conversation and advice on developing an application. 

FUNDING: Ready to Borrow Grants Scheme 2017-18

0 posted July 12th, 2016 | Leave a reply

Arts Council England has secured funding for a grant programme for museums to borrow loans for display by upgrading buildings and display spaces to meet the requirements of the Government Indemnity Scheme.

The purpose of the programme is to allow museums to borrow significant objects from museums, particularly national museums and Major Partner Museums. By borrowing high profile loans it is hoped that museums will increase their visitor figures and profile, to help increase their resilience in challenging times.

£132,000 has been allocated for museums in the North West in 2017-18 and the funding will be distributed through MDNW. A single museum can apply for a minimum of £10,000 to a maximum of £50,000. A consortium of museums can apply for a maximum of £80,000.

The funding must be used for exhibitions and displays which include loans from one or more of the following, in order of priority:

  • national museums and Major Partner Museums
  • other Accredited museums in the UK
  • publicly-funded museums overseas

The loan(s) must be confirmed between the borrowing and lending organisations prior to application to this fund.

The programme is being announced now to give sufficient lead in time for museums to approach nationals and Major Partner Museums to request loans. Additional support on working with nationals to secure loans will be given in the form of the British Museum’s “Loan Ready” programme, with training days running in the North West from September 2016 to February 2017. Attendance on this programme is strongly recommended if you are considering applying to the “Ready to Borrow” scheme. Further details of the British Museum’s programme will be announced on our blog soon.

To apply for “Ready to Borrow” funding you MUST attend one of the surgeries held in by the MDNW team for advice and guidance before submitting an application. We will not accept applications from museums which have not attended. The surgeries will be held in July 2017; dates and venues will be announced on our blog nearer the time.

For further details on eligibility and timescales, refer to the ACE Ready to Borrow guidance 2017-18 and the ACE Ready to Borrow Application Form. Please read through these before contacting one of the team for advice.

FUNDING: Connections Through Culture International Development Grants

0 posted June 10th, 2016 | Leave a reply

Applications Accepted Four Times a Year

Running for nearly a decade, Connections through Culture is a long-term programme which develops exciting cultural collaborations between artists and arts organisations, supporting long-lasting relationships between China and the UK.  The programme offers support, information, advice, networking opportunities and development grants to artists and arts organisations in China and the UK.  Artists and arts organisations in both countries can benefit from the inspiration gained from exchanging ideas and sharing their cultural history.

A limited number of small grants to enable artists or members of arts organisations to visit their counterparts in China or the UK for up to ten days, to develop projects, exchange skills or see others’ work. Grants are offered four times each year, the forthcoming deadlines are detailed below:

Applications open: Monday 4 July 2016
Application deadline: Friday 5 August 2016
Results out: Monday 5 September 2016

For further information and details on how to apply through the British Council’s online application system, Click Here.

FUNDING: The Clothworkers Company CPD Bursaries for Conservators

0 posted May 4th, 2016 | Leave a reply

Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis

The Clothworkers’ Company offer up to £1,000 towards registration, travel, and accommodation costs to help qualified conservators attend conferences, short courses, and seminars.  The bursaries are designed to cover 50% of the total cost of attending, to a maximum of £1,000.

On application, The Clothworkers’ Company expect you to have already raised  the remaining funds via your employer, personal funds, or by other means. However, if you are unable to do this, they may consider awarding more than 50% depending on your individual circumstances.

For further information, Click Here

COMMENT: Fundraising Negotiating – Dark Art or Being Empowered to Get it Right?

0 posted November 23rd, 2015 | Leave a reply

With the on-going threats to funding within the museum, heritage and cultural sector the need to diversify funding sources has become a key concern for many fundraisers working within the sector, but if organisations want to secure long-term, sustainable funding from corporations their fundraisers need to be empowered to negotiate and build partnerships.

In response to this issue, Culturehive recently published a conversation between Sarah Winchester and Beth Upton who now runs the ever-expanding Money Tree Fundraising Consultancy; a group of talented fundraisers whose expertise lies in high value (major) giving – large donations from companies, trusts and individuals – and supporting charities to set-up, grow and maintain their income.  Below is an excerpt from their conversation in which Beth divulged her top tips for being a good negotiator and what she feels are the common down-falls in negotiating with potential corporate funders:

Like me Beth enjoys the thrill of a good negotiation but immediately understood why fundraisers might need support getting it right: “Often people take the first offer, not the best one”. In her experience, she went on to explain: “charities can be so grateful for any offer of financial support they do not negotiate at all”. In other cases the focus on financial targets for fundraisers can undermine the process: “some are fearful of losing vital income so may undervalue their organisation in a bid to hit the numbers”.
Too much emphasis solely on the financial target, for whatever reason, will leave negotiations dead in the water. A negotiation is the beginning of a partnership and as with any relationship it is important to be flexible. Although Beth and I acknowledged that flexibility was difficult for a lot of charities – limited resources often mean limited options – we also felt that there was another barrier facing many organisations when fundraising from businesses, that they are in control of: “charities don’t value companies, especially since the recession”. This idea that non-for-profit organisations have the moral high ground and therefore should keep a polite distance from corporations was something we both recognised.
In its worst form it can be a potent mixture of dislike and fear: “you can be business-like without being profit driven” Beth stressed. If charities want to secure long-term, sustainable funding avenues from corporations their fundraisers need to be empowered to negotiate and build partnerships with them, “we know how they (the companies) can meet our needs, but we rarely find out how we can meet their needs”. It has to be a two way street.

To download their full discussion from Culturehive’s website, Click Here.