MA awards almost £30,000 worth of acquisition grants in 2018

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 19.12.2018
Find out how the MA's trusts and funds can support museums and their staff
The Museums Association Beecroft Bequest awarded £28,655 in grants in this year to support the acquisition of pre-19th century works of art by museums across the UK.

The five institutions awarded grants in 2018 included Ely Museum in Cambridgeshire, which received £10,000 to purchase a bronze age gold torc discovered by a metal detectorist in a field in east Cambridgeshire. The torc is one of the longest and heaviest of its kind to be found in Britain and Ireland.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh was awarded £2,700 to acquire a portrait of Major General Lord Cathcart, while Milford House in Armagh, Northern Ireland, received £8,075 for an 18th-century Dutch walnut cabinet. The cabinet matches one that was originally part of the house contents but was lost after being sold at auction following the Wall Street Crash.

Fife Cultural Trust in Scotland received £2,750 to acquire a post-medieval finger ring, and the British Dental Association Museum in London was awarded £5,130 for a stained glass window panel.

The Beecroft Bequest awards grants of up to £10,000 to the MA's institutional members to support the purchase of pictures and works of art, including furniture and textiles, not later than the 18th century in date. Applications are considered by the fund's trustees on a rolling basis. 

The chair of the Beecroft Bequest, Simon Brown, said: "The Beecroft Bequest is an incredibly helpful fund for Museums Association institutional members. As acquisition budgets continue to dwindle or disappear for museums around the UK, the Beecroft Bequest committee is keen to support museums of all sizes to expand their collections.

"The application process is very straightforward and succinct, and we are glad to answer any questions about how we can work with you."

Meanwhile, it has been announced that grants from the MA's Benevolent Fund (including the Trevor Walden Trust) will be distributed in three annual funding rounds from April 2019.

Applications to the fund are currently considered on an ad hoc basis, but deadlines will be introduced after 31 March 2019. These are likely to be the end of May, the end of September and the end of January 2020. Deadline dates will be announced in due course.

The fund - a merger of two previously separate funds distributed by the MA - offers grants for the relief of poverty, to alleviate financial distress of MA members or their dependents, or for the advancement of education and training of students participating in the MA's professional development programmes and events, including the Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA).

Situations of financial distress can include family-related matters such as childcare while a member re-skills, respite care for a member or dependent, or difficulties caused by sudden bereavement.   

The chair of the Benevolent Fund, Ian Brown, said: "In addition to providing support to alleviate financial hardship and distress, the MA's Benevolent Fund provides important CPD support for members in the form of Trevor Walden Bursaries.

“I would encourage any member reviewing their professional development to consider the Benevolent Fund as a possible means of enabling a particular development activity. The Fund may be able to remove a financial obstacle to career development.”


Museums Association Beecroft Bequest