Funding updates from Arts Council England, National Heritage Lottery Fund and weekly highlights.

Our weekly news will be themed to support you on a specific area: read our full newsletter from April 1st on grants and guidance.

This week we have seen the release of Arts Council England’s update on their Emergency Funding Package and

National Heritage Lottery Fund have just launched their Heritage Emergency Fund

“If your organisation is an Accredited museum and you are applying to both Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund to support Covid-19 response work, you should only accept funding from one funder. You must indicate in your application to each funder if you have also applied to the other.” (Arts Council England, 31.03.20)

The most time sensitive thing to do this week (if you plan to apply for the Arts Council funding) is to check if your organisation is signed up to their online application portal Grantium and if not then create a Grantium applicant profile.

Our communications are adapting in this time to ensure that you receive the most up to date support from us. View our previous newsletters. 

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Arts Council England’s Emergency Funding update
(£50 million available, up to £35,000 per application)

On Monday your organisation will have received an email from Vic Harding, our Programme Manager, with guidance and a prompt if your organisation is NOT registered with Grantium (Arts Council’s application portal). We worked closely with Arts Council’s Accreditation team (thanks Laura, Olivia and Annette!) to get this information to you.

Register for Grantium as soon as possible to be able to apply for the first round of this emergency funding. Please remember the validation of your profile may take up to 10 days, to be processed by Arts Council England. The deadline for registering with Grantium is now Monday 13th April.

There are two rounds and you can only apply for one

  • Round 1 – opens 9th April, closes 16th April
  • Round 2 – opens 16th April, closes 30th April

Who can apply?

(eligibility criteria cropped to be relevant for museums). Organisations:

  • who are not an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation
  • whose main work (over 50 per cent) is focused on our supported artforms and disciplines – Museums: only Accredited museums (Full and Provisional ONLY)
  • Please note: Working Towards Accreditation (WTA) museums are not eligible
  • Please note: for art–based projects, museums do not have to be Accredited to apply
  • Organisations must have a track record (within the last three years) of publicly funded work in arts and culture.**

**Note: this includes funding from Arts Council England Museum Development Grants from us at South West Museum Development (e.g. Small Grant: Big Improvement, Small Scale Capital Grant (Ready to Borrow) and Business Diagnostic Development Fund).

The funding could be used to cover:

  • Activity intended to prevent your organisation ceasing operation due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency, for example:
    • urgent changes of business model
    • essential operational costs (such as rent and staff costs)
    • IT and other equipment-related costs to support home working


  • Development and delivery of activity specifically designed to be deliverable during the next six months, including:
    • development projects in readiness for organisations restarting normal operations, for example organisational development, and/or
    • public facing projects, for example digital/online projects

We are here to support you – our Thematic Officers (Audiences, Collections Care, Digital Engagement, Volunteering, Business and Governance) and Local Museum Development Officers are here to you talk through your ideas and help form your case for support. In the first instance contact us at [email protected] so that we can connect you to the best person in our team.