Funding for small and medium-sized museums is often difficult to access, although the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) runs two grant schemes that target venues with fewer than 60,000 visitors a year or an annual turnover of less than £300,000.
The conservation and sustainability funding streams provide grants of about £5,000, and only AIM members can apply.
AIM recently heard that the Pilgrim Trust will fund the conservation grant scheme for another three years. But the trust, which receives income from an endowment fund, has been affected by turmoil in the financial markets and it has halved its support for the conservation scheme to £50,000 a year.
Nevertheless, the scheme will remain a useful way for museums to fund the conservation of important objects. All objects are eligible and recent grants include £4,200 for the Holburne Museum in Bath to conserve a Brueghel painting and £4,000 for the St Agnes Museum in Cornwall to work on a leatherback turtle. Application deadlines are 30 March and 30 September.
AIM wants the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to extend support for its sustainability grant scheme, which ends this year.
Grants support projects that increase a museum’s long-term sustainability and can include anything from the appointment of retail and catering consultants to business plans and governance reviews. Deadlines for applications are 30 June and 20 December.
For further information, contact AIM administrator Roger Hornshaw on 02392 587751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org