Museums Association: measures in response to the Covid-19 crisis

After careful consideration, the Museums Association (MA) is introducing a number of measures in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We've taken this decision in the interests of the health and wellbeing of our staff, members, partners and contractors. 


We are postponing our physical conference, which was due to take place in Edinburgh on 5-7 November. This will now be run as a virtual event free to all MA members. The MA will provide a full refund to anyone who has booked a conference place. Alternative, your booking can be transferred to our 2021 conference in Liverpool, or donated to the MA Benevolent fund for members in financial distress.

We have also postponed all other one-day conferences this year. The MA will provide a full refund to anyone who has booked on to these events. Alternatively, if you wish to keep your booking, it will be honoured when the event is rescheduled or can be transferred to any of the MA’s other upcoming one-day events.

Please contact 020 7566 7840 with any events queries.

Office closure

The welfare of our staff is paramount. As such, staff will begin mainly working from home this week and the MA office will be fully closed from Monday 23 March until further notice. Our phone lines are still up and running and we request that all contact with the MA is made via phone or email. We will not be able to pick up or send out any post.


We will be able process any membership package purchased via our website and provide a digital confirmation of membership. However, we will be unable to send out a welcome pack or membership card at this time.

Please contact Sophie Lawson with any membership queries.

Tel: 020 7566 7880


In response to the current difficulties facing museums, we are diverting £350k from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund to a new type of small grant, Sustaining Engagement with Collections, which will offer grants of up to £30k for projects of up to a year. This will enable us to support 12-15 organisations to explore different ways of engaging with collections while physical access is not available or is severely limited.

The deadline for applications to this fund is 26 May 2020.

We will take a flexible and supportive approach to all other projects funded by the MA and we will honour our funding commitments.

Please contact Sally Colvin or Sarah Briggs with any queries about funded projects.

Email: /
Tel: 020 7566 7851 or 0114 245 0001

Professional Development

Our AMA and FMA programmes will continue to run and be delivered remotely, including professional reviews. We understand your plans and activities might need to change and we will ensure our programmes are flexible to manage this.

Please contact Tamsin Russell or Jacqui Buscher if you have any queries or concerns.

Tel: 020 7566 7860

Supporting the sector

At this difficult and uncertain time, the MA is committed to advocating for the interests of the museum sector with government agencies and funding bodies. We will produce advice, guidance and offer support to members and museums throughout this period.

The MA has also taken the decision not to apply for emergency grants provided to the culture sector by the government during the Covid-19 crisis. As a small, independent charity, we are funded primarily through membership and are thankful to all our members for their continued support at this time.

Please contact Alistair Brown with any queries about the MA’s policy and advocacy work.

Tel: 020 7566 7850