New funding opportunities for 2021 - Museums Association

New funding opportunities for 2021

Round-up of latest grants and programmes
Covid-19 Emergency Funding
Jodrell Bank received a £125,600 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund
Jodrell Bank received a £125,600 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund Anthony Holloway

Culture Recovery Fund

Applications for Grants for Heritage – the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s £36m stream of the UK government’s Culture Recovery Fund – opened last week to organisations in England, in partnership with Historic England.

The second round of this fund will offer grants of between £10,000 and £3m to support organisations to make the transition towards full reopening. The deadline to apply is 2.00pm on 26 January. The first round, which was launched in July, distributed £78.9m to 514 organisations in desperate need of support following the first lockdown period.

More information is available on the Heritage Fund’s website.

Arts Council England's second round of the Culture Recovery Fund is also open to applications. There is £250m available and organisations can apply for grants between £25,000 and £3m.

The deadline is 26 January and details of how to apply are available on the art council's website.


Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund

In December, the Scottish government announced that museums in the country would receive an additional £3.1m through the existing £4m Museums Recovery and Resilience Fund to help meet demand from the sector.

The funding, which is administered by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), is part of a £185m package of support announced by the Scottish government earlier in 2020.

In a letter to the Museums Association addressing concerns about the impact Covid is having on the heritage sector, Fiona Hyslop, the cabinet secretary for culture, says the additional funding would “help secure the future of Scottish independent museums put at risk by the pandemic and protect the vital role that museums play in communities”.

“I note your comments regarding the need to fill the funding gap faced by those museums that are not eligible for the Recovery and Resilience Fund,” Hyslop adds in the letter. “This includes, as mentioned in your letter, the important matter of providing continued support and funding to university museums.

“I have made the decision recently to allocate £100,000 to MGS to provide additional project funding specifically for university museums this financial year.”


The government is also in discussions with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities about how civic museums in local authorities are funded.

Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce

A £104.3m package of support for Scotland’s tourism and hospitality businesses was announced at the end of 2020, including £5m for visitor attractions and £2.5m for outdoor tourism.

Details and opening dates for funding will be announced in due course.

Bill Pettit Memorial Award

The Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) has opened applications to this year's Bill Pettit Memorial Award, which supports “innovative natural science collections projects with a tangible legacy”. The £3,000 grants programme is available for projects that focus on collection conservation, access and use.


David Gelsthorpe, the curator of earth science collections at Manchester Museum and a NatSCA committee member, says: “The Bill Pettit Memorial Award has funded 12 projects and awarded more than £14,000 since it was set up in 2011. These projects are often difficult to fund elsewhere, but make a real difference to natural history collections treasured by museum communities.”

Previous awardees include a project by the Grant Museum in London to conserve the UK’s only Quagga skeleton and the Herbert Museum in Coventry’s work to encourage community engagement with local wildlife.

The fund was set up in recognition of the work of Charles Arthur William ‘Bill’ Pettit, who died in 2009 and spent many years of his career at Manchester Museum working on natural science collections.

Details of how to apply are available on NatSCA’s website. The deadline to apply is 26 February.

Engage micro grants programme

Engage, the advocacy and training network for gallery educations, has launched a small grants programme for its individual and organisational members.

Ten £500 grants and ten £1,000 grants will be made available for projects that take place between 27 January and 22 March. Engage is offering the grants to support members to try new ways of working, adapt their working practices or develop existing plans.

The deadline to apply is 10.00am on 18 January, and more details are available on the Engage website.

Comments (1)

  1. Jonathan Cooper says:

    I cannot see the text = I am registered .. what am I doing wrong?

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