Category: Funding Opportunties

AIM Funding News

Now Open: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017

The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme, supported through the generosity of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is now open for applications. The scheme is intended to help medium and smaller sized AIM members to improve their medium and long term sustainability. To be eligible, museums must have an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year.

This scheme, which began in 2006, has so far supported 216 projects with over £831,700 of grants. The wide range of applicants demonstrates the importance of sustainability issues to AIM members. There will be only two more rounds before this scheme ends, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your sustainability with a grant from us.

The round for 2017 is now open with a closing date of 3 July at 5pm. Find out more: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017

New AIM Biffa Award Funded Exhibitions Will Tell The Stories Of Historic Figures From Engineering And Science

AIM Biffa Award have just announced the first round of projects to be supported by the ‘History Makers – People who shaped our world’ programme. Sharing a fund of £170,000, each project will tell the story of their chosen historical figure and how their work and achievements have shaped the world we live in today.

Funded by Biffa Award with support from the Landfill Communities Fund, the programme is funding AIM member museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures. The successful projects in Round 1, with exhibitions opening in 2018, will focus on the work of historic figures from engineering and science. They are:

‘Digging Deeper’ at the London Transport Museum; ‘The Father of Modern Forensics’ at The National Justice Museum in Nottingham and ‘Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold’ at The Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre in Bristol. Find out more: AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme

Fund to Acquire Archaeological Finds

Applications up to £1,000 accepted

The Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe has generously awarded the British Museum a grant to support museums in acquiring local, non-Treasure finds recorded through the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).

Although it is common for museums to acquire local Treasure finds, limited funding for non-Treasure items means important objects are often overlooked for acquisition. This fund is designed to expand local archaeological collections for public benefit, and encourage dialogue between local Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and museum curators about recent PAS finds.

Applicants may apply for up to £1,000. A maximum total of £7,000 will be awarded in grants per year. Grants will be paid to the acquiring museum; the acquiring museum will then be responsible for compensating the finder and/or landowner.

Applicants may submit multiple applications at one time, but each find will require a separate application form. If you wish to acquire an assemblage or collection, please discuss your application in advance with Dr Michael Lewis, Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, on 020 7323 8611 or by email at

To find out more  download the PDF guidance document and application form.


AIM Hallmarks Awards – deadline for applications 15th May 2017

Now open for applications, the latest round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards will make grants totalling around £70,000 in England.

Funded by Arts Council England, the AIM Hallmarks Awards offer grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles of the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards can be used by successful applicants in two distinct ways:

  • To fund an organisational review. This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply for this funding for support in planning future development
  • To contribute to a project that supports applicant organisations to behave or develop differently. Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the AIM Hallmarks can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with AIM’s Assistant Director, Helen Wilkinson, before applying. You can contact Helen by email, or by phone, 07719 667102.

All information about the AIM Hallmarks Awards can be found at Below is a case study from Brantwood Trust in Cumbria, which received funding in the last round of awards.

Brantwood Trust, awarded £7,842

The AIM Hallmarks grant has given Brantwood the opportunity to actively maximise access to the museum’s collection, under the Collections Hallmark. Brantwood was successful in receiving a grant to research and present Ruskin’s powerful messages through our unique collection.

The purpose of our Radical Ruskin project is to link Ruskin’s radical ideas with items in the collection, and present our research through short videos uploaded to our website. The funding covers extra staff time, research materials, the purchasing of Modes Complete and video equipment; all of which will enable us to give the collection an online presence which without extra resources would not have been possible.

The project will enable Brantwood to establish an improved approach to recording information about our collection and communicating this to the visitor; and support future developments in the museum’s approach to interpretation, exhibitions and attracting new audiences. Helen Wilkinson, the AIM Assistant Director, was very helpful when we spoke regarding our project. I would encourage anyone considering a project to contact Helen and submit an application.

Jenny Slater, Brantwood Trust

_I6A9984© Simon Critchley 2017

Reminder – Ready to Borrow surgery slots still available

In 2016 we announced details of Arts Council England’s grant programme for museums to borrow loans for display and to meet the requirements of the Government Indemnity Scheme. This year’s funding allocation was announced early to give sufficient lead in time for museums to approach nationals and Major Partner Museums to request loans.

£132,000 has been allocated for museums in the North West in 2017-18 and the funding will be distributed through MDNW. A single museum can apply for a minimum of £10,000 to a maximum of £50,000. A consortium of museums can apply for a maximum of £80,000.

The funding must be used for exhibitions and displays which include loans from one or more of the following, in order of priority:

  • national museums and Major Partner Museums
  • other Accredited museums in the UK
  • publicly-funded museums overseas

The loan(s) must be confirmed between the borrowing and lending organisations prior to application to this fund.

To apply for “Ready to Borrow” funding you MUST attend one of the surgeries held by the MDNW team for advice and guidance before submitting an application. We will not accept applications from museums that have not attended. The surgeries are:

3rd July 2017
Salford Museum & Art Gallery

12th July 2017
Lancaster City Museum

19th July 2017
Norton Priory

Each surgery will run from 10am to 12.30pm. To book your place at a surgery, please complete this form. We will confirm your surgery slots nearer the time once we know how many people are attending each day. The deadline for booking a surgery slot is 12th June.

For further details on eligibility and timescales, refer to the ACE Ready to Borrow guidance 2017-18 and the ACE Ready to Borrow Application Form. Please read through these before contacting one of the team for advice.


AMA Conference Bursaries

AMA conference 2017 artwork copy.png

Four AMA conference 2017 bursaries available for people working in Museums, Galleries or Heritage

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) are offering four bursaries for people working in Museums, Galleries or Heritage to attend this year’s AMA conference — The Value of Everything in Belfast.

Each of these four bursaries will cover up to 50% of your delegate cost. Apply for a chance to enjoy a stimulating few days, hear from worldwide thought leaders and meet 600+ like-minded arts, culture and heritage professionals.

To apply, simply:

  • Download and complete the short application form
  • Send it back to by Tuesday 9 May

Find out more about the AMA conference bursaries

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AMA conference 2015 © AMA



New funding scheme for sharing works of art across the UK

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund is the first ever grant programme specifically designed to directly fund and empower regional and smaller local authority museums to borrow major works or collections of art from the UK’s national museums and galleries. The scheme will help widen access to works from the national collections for audiences across the country, strengthen the skills of up to 100 regional museum professionals, and distribute resources across the UK.

The scheme will open on 6 July 2017 for individual applications of between £5,000 – £25,000 and the successful museums for year one of the three-year funding programme will be announced in December. Loans of works of art will go on display from 2018 onwards.

They encourage interested UK museums to participate in one of the Preparing to Borrow workshops taking place around the country from April to September, run by Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG).

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: ‘We know that our national museums want to widen public access to the collections they hold and that organisations around the UK want more opportunities to borrow and display these collections. Our new scheme will not only provide the funds to make this possible but also broker new relationships between museums, help give curators the skills they need and empower museums to determine their own priorities in direct response to local audiences. We encourage all interested museums to apply.’

Grants to museums will cover costs including transportation of works of art and objects, insurance, conservation, installation, advocacy, marketing and audience development. The £750,000 initiative will award a minimum of £600,000 in grants, provide up to £100,000 for training and networking opportunities for museum professionals, and cover up to £50,000 in detailed evaluation and reporting of key learnings for the scheme and sector.

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund is intended to complement Arts Council England’s ‘Ready to Borrow’ scheme and TEG’s ‘Preparing to Borrow’ programme as part of a joined-up funding approach to all stages of securing loans of works. The charities are working closely with TEG and other partners to highlight the range of opportunities available.

Catalyst Small Grants Programme

We’ve just published new guidance for our Catalyst small grants programme. The funding page is here where the applicant guidance can be downloaded. 

The £3 million programme aims to build fundraising capacity and encourage more private giving to arts and culture. Organisations will be able to apply for a one off small grant from between £10,000 and £30,000. 

Museums and libraries can now apply for funding. This reflects the changes we have made to our wider investment approach: for the first time, arts organisations, museums, and libraries are able to apply for National Portfolio investment, Grants for Arts and Culture and our strategic funds. Integrating funding will stimulate greater collaboration between arts organisations, museums and libraries, and build on the existing links between them. This is a positive development for practitioners, audiences and communities, and we are already seeing the benefits of this at a local level, where museums, libraries and arts organisations collaborate on creative and cultural projects. We believe that this approach will help us achieve our strategic goals by identifying and funding work of the highest quality, representing the best public value, whether created in a museum, an arts organisation or a library.

Arts Council England : Artists International Development Fund

The next application deadline for the Arts Council England’s Artists International Development Fund is on the 14th June 2017.

Funding is available for artists (this includes, for example; producers, curators, publishers, editors, translators and choreographers) to develop links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in other countries. Freelance and self-employed artists can apply for grants of £1,000 to £5,000 to spend time building these links to broaden their horizons and open their work to other perspectives.

The programme is open to emerging and mid-career artists working in combined arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, visual arts and crafts and design. Applicants must have received recognition for their work in England and not have extensive international experience.

Read more on the ACE website.

Funding News

Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Community Support Large Grants

The Community Support scheme offers large and small grants to charities registered in England and Wales that are working in the areas of financial hardship, health and disability, education and employability, and social exclusion and disadvantage. Large Grants of more than £5,000 are awarded to charities with an annual turnover of more than £500,000 for a specific purpose only. Small grants of up to £5,000 are also available and can be used for core expenditure such as general running or overhead costs of the charity. Small Grants applications can be submitted at any time but should reach the Foundation by the third Friday of each month for consideration.

Charles Haywood Foundation: Main Grants Programme, Heritage & Conservation

The Charles Hayward Foundation is a grant-making charitable trust making awards to charities that are registered in the U.K. Under their main grants programme, funding for heritage and conservation is available for the following projects: Purchase of land or reclamation of recently purchased land to be used for nature reserves where these will be maintained in perpetuity; Conservation and preservation of pictures, manuscripts, books and objects for public display, use and interest; Development of libraries, museums and galleries; Adaptation of former Industrial Heritage sites to creative and educational spaces. The next closing date is 28 April. Please visit the Foundation’s website for eligibility and application information: Charles Haywood Foundation: Main Grants Programme, Heritage & Conservation

Funding News

WW1 Army Heritage Award Launching To Help Digitise Collections And Open Up Access

A new funding award launching in April 2017 will provide grants of up to £10,000 for UK-based military heritage institutions to digitise their World War One collections and make them accessible online.  The fund will be open to applications from regimental and corps museums, archives, and other organisations preserving army heritage collections focussed around WW1.

The aim of the fund is to contribute to marking the centenary of the First World War and to support army heritage institutions at a time when funding for digitisation is scarce. Two primary funding grants will be offered. The Digitisation Award, offering £2500 to support the digitisation of WW1 materials; and the Access Award, which will provide up to £10,000 to support the creation of a digital archive website and discovery portal to open up access to digitised military heritage.

In addition, each institution that applies to receive the Army Heritage Award will be eligible to claim £500 of match funding towards digitising its WW1 collections. The fund launches 3rd April and will be open for applications until 28th April 2017.  More information about the funding on offer can be found at:

The Textile Society Museum, Archive And Conservation Award 2017

The Textile Society offers an annual bursary award of up to £5,000 for a textile related project within the museum, archive or conservation sector in the UK. The Award is designed to support textile related projects within a museum, archive, or conservation studio for exhibition, publication or conservation that will help achieve greater awareness and access for the public. Deadline for applications 1 June 2017. To apply or for more information visit: The Textile Society Museum, Archive and Conservation Award 2017

Greggs Foundation’s Local Community Projects Fund

The Local Community Projects Fund helps not-for-profit organisations based in local communities to deliver projects or provide equipment to people in need at the heart of local communities in England, Scotland and Wales. Preference is likely to be given to local organisations based near a Greggs shop. Grants of up to £2,000 are available for projects or for providing equipment for ‘a community of interest’. This refers to people who are: Disabled or suffering chronic illness, living in poverty, Voluntary carers, homeless, isolated older people or living with other demonstrable significant needs. The deadline for round two applications is 24 June 2017.