The Designation Development Fund has been extended to library collections for the first time. Run by Arts Council England (ACE), the fund offers grants of £20,000-£90,000 for projects that support the long-term sustainability, and maximise the public value, of Designated collections held in museums and libraries in England.
The fund is intended to support research opportunities, ensure collections are accessible to all, and encourage best practice. Projects can include bringing in subject specialist expertise, digitising collections to enhance their research value and boost public engagement, and improving curatorship by making changes to collections management systems.
To be eligible, applicants must have received Designated status for their collection. Activities funded in the current round must not start before 1 January 2020 and end no later than 31 March 2022.
The arts council’s guidance states: “We wish to see projects that facilitate greater engagement and use of Designated collections and that aspire to research activity in the broadest sense, with research being a sustainable and continuous organisational activity.”
Applications to the current round must be submitted by midday on 20 June 2019.
The article has been edited to state that activities in the current round must end no later than 31 March 2022 - a previous version omitted the year.
The article has also been edited to remove a paragraph referring to planned changes to the arts council's funding criteria. The arts council has not yet made any decision about what its criteria will be for future funding, and will be launching a new phase of consultation on its draft strategy shortly.