Museums Galleries Scotland has received funding requests totalling £3m for a capital grant fund of £750,000.
The funding, which was announced by Scottish culture minister Fiona Hyslop, had attracted 43 expressions of interest shortly before the early March deadline. The money will be used to fund projects such as construction, expansion or renovation.
Joanne Orr, Museums Galleries Scotland’s chief executive, said: “This level of demand is to be expected from an industry in which funding is an ongoing challenge and area for discussion.
“We look forward to making funding awards in March, but anticipate demand for this type of funding to continue and, indeed, increase.”
Awards will be made for Recognised Collections of National Significance that have influenced Scotland as a nation or show how Scotland has influenced the rest of the world. There are 36 such collections in Scotland.
Museums Galleries Scotland estimates that Scotland’s institutions receive 25.3m visitors a year, generating £800m. Bids have been submitted by Culture and Sport Glasgow, which is funded primarily by the local authority, despite running Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Scotland’s most-visited attraction.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Museums Think Tank is awaiting recommendations from Museums Galleries Scotland’s annual general meeting last month. Set up last year to decide on the direction of the sector, it comprises 12 representatives from museums, galleries and local authorities.
Four areas of concern have been identified: the balance between local, national and independent provision; the need to articulate the sector’s contribution; making the best use of limited resources; and providing a sustainable future for Scotland’s industrial collections.