Grants and financial support for Conference 2023 - Museums Association

Conference 2023: The Power of Museums

We know that attending conferences can be costly and some of our attendees may be looking for financial support to help fund their MA Conference experience this year.

We’ve compiled here some key professional development and training funding sources for museum workers and organisations across the UK to help with your search for funding.

If you know of any funding sources we’ve not included, please email with details so we can feature them on this page.

Across the UK

MA inclusive places – Our Benevolent Fund provides funded places to individual members who face barriers due to ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background, and gender identity or sexual orientation (LGBTQ). Successful applicants to attend conference in Newcastle-Gateshead will be able to claim up to £250 from the Benevolent Fund to support travel, subsistence and accommodation costs. Apply for an inclusive place at conference by 12 noon on 7 September 2023, and details of how to claim will be provided shortly thereafter.

MA Benevolent Fund – We also use the Benevolent Fund to support our members’ professional development. Applications are considered on a monthly basis and funds are allocated for the advancement of education, training and development of our members.

Association of Independent Museums – AIM’s training grants are available to support its member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce. AIM members can apply for up to £300 per organisation, per year to support training and development, including travel, fees and accommodation for conferences.

Art Fund – Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants support UK curators, museum professionals and researchers to undertake travel and other activities that will extend and develop their curatorial expertise, collections-based knowledge and art historical interests. This includes travel and accommodation for conferences. Small grants (under £2,000) are offered on a rolling basis, and large grant applications (over £2,000) will next be assessed following a 29 September 2023 deadline.


Museum Development North West – MDNW is offering CPD bursaries for individuals, organisations and networks in the north west of England to aid the sector’s recovery following the pandemic. Individuals can apply for up to £500, while organisations and museum networks can apply for up to £2,000 to cover a range of CPD activities, including conference attendance.

Museum Development Yorkshire – MDY’s small grants scheme for 2023-24 offers funding of up to £3,000 for museums in Yorkshire and the Humber, covering project costs including attending training or conferences for staff or volunteers.

Midlands Federation of Museums and Art Galleries – MidFed offers specific conference bursaries for personal members of the Federation, who can apply for a bursary for their first attendance at any residential museum conference. The bursary can be for any amount up to the total advertised cost of the conference, including conference and residential fees (travel to the venue is not included).

Museum Development East Midlands – Accredited museums can apply for small grants of £250 to £2,000 per annum for small-scale projects where funding has been difficult to source, including training costs.

Museum Development South East – MDSE’s Skills Builder Grants offer up to £750 to help individuals (or £1,500 for teams) engage with training and other CPD activities. Individuals can be members of staff, volunteers, trustees or freelancers who work directly with an eligible museum – if you are an individual, your museum must apply on your behalf. Grants can be used to support a range of activity, including attending conferences.


Museums Galleries Scotland – The MGS small grants fund allows accredited Scottish museums to apply for up to £15,000 towards support for a range of activities, including preparation and scoping work to plan and inform future strategic development. Organisations that have been issued with a temporary accreditation number having gone through the formal “Working Towards Accreditation” eligibility process are eligible to apply for up to £3,000.


Welsh Federation of Museums and Art Galleries – The Federation can offer grants supporting attendance at conferences, with similar eligibility to their small grants programme. The grants are funded by Welsh government through the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division.

Arts Council of Wales – Wales’ arts council has a range of funding opportunities available for both individuals and organisations across the arts, heritage and museums.