MDNW coronavirus update

Here’s our round up of news about COVID-19 relevant to the sector before we finish for the Easter break. These are up to date at the time of posting but as things are changing quickly please check the original source for any updates.

 To look back at any of our previous blog posts and their links, find them on our website using the search term ‘coronavirus’.

Latest information
Latest information and advice (8th April)


Upcoming events
Coronavirus and your charity: What Chairs need to know
TODAY Wednesday 8th April 2020 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm webinar
Organised by the Association of Chairs, headline topics include:

  • Governance in the new normal – online meetings, trustee decision making, and AGMs.
  • HR issues – what chairs need to know about the job retention scheme
  • Finance and solvency.

This event is open to all Chairs and Vice Chairs of charities including Association of Chairs members and non-members.

Fundraising forum at 4
Wednesday 15th April 2020, 4pm
AIM are hosting an online fundraising forum for AIM members


Arts Council England
Emergency funding package (1st April)
Since our last COVID-19 blog post ACE have updated the FAQs on their website.

The first round of the fund opens for applications tomorrow and will close on 16th April. The second round opens for applications on 16th April and closes 30th April. There will be no further funding from this fund after that.

If you don’t already have a Grantium profile, please register by Monday 13th  April for the first round, otherwise there is no guarantee that your profile will have been validated in time. Use this guidance to help you.

We have had some feedback from museums finding it difficult to set up an applicant profile in Grantium, where the operating name of the museum is different to that of the legal name of the organisation – typically this applies to longstanding charitable associations/heritage organisations that existed long before operating a museum. Some brief notes on this are Grantium applicant name advice.

You must be an Accredited museum with experience in the last three years of delivering work that was funded (directly or indirectly) by bodies such as Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, local authorities, universities, public sector bodies, trusts and foundations etc.

Your museum needs to have been part of the delivery of publicly funded work, even if they didn’t directly apply for the funding themselves.

Please note that if you haven’t directly received funding from any of the above bodies, but you have had a Sustainable Improvement Fund grant from Museum Development North West or any other grant funding from MDNW in the last three years, you are still eligible to apply. This counts as indirect funding from ACE.

Museums which are currently Working Towards Accreditation cannot apply.

Museums can apply for funding of up to £35,000 to be used within six months of receiving a grant.


National Lottery Heritage Fund – Heritage Emergency Fund
Short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites NLHF have previously invested in to ensure they are not lost to the public.

Decisions on awards under the Heritage Emergency Fund will be made as quickly as possible to support the sector. Awards will be made on the basis of a set of criteria to identify those with the greatest need. They will also need to meet the following three requirements:

  • organisations that have received funding in the past and are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant
  • organisations with limited or no access to other emergency initiatives from other funding bodies and Lottery Distributors
  • organisations where there is limited scope to repurpose existing funding for a project

Grants will be open for applications and further details provided on the selection criteria and how to apply shortly. Please keep checking NLHF’s website for details.


MDNW (8th April)
Emergency funding bid writing

To help museums respond quickly with applications to the emergency funding programmes from ACE and NLHF we are working with Laura Drane, who usually delivers our popular bid writing workshops, to support non-NPO Accredited museums in the North West wanting to apply to either fund.

25 slots will be available to book with Laura to either discuss the scheme/s and application processes in relation to your circumstances, or proofing what you’ve already drafted to offer feedback.

Slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis. For further information see here.

Funding sources information
The ‘Funding Sources’ section on our website has been updated with details of responses from the funders to the COVID-19 situation, and indicates where standard funding streams are still running as usual and open for applications, or new funding streams have been introduced to respond to COVID-19.


Charities Aid Foundation Coronavirus Emergency Fund (8th April)
Applications are now paused to this fund.

DCMS Museums & galleries sector Coronavirus bulletin 20200406 (003) (6th April 2020)

Charity Finance GroupCoronavirus and your charity (7th April)
Includes update to guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

In line with Manchester University’s closure days for Easter, the MDNW team will be away from work from Thursday 9th to Tuesday 14th April inclusive, so any further COVID-19 developments won’t be posted here until after that date.


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