Please read our updates and practical guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for South West museums.

Together with funding provided by Art Fund, we have launched our new Recovery Grants programme.

Applications for our Recovery Grant scheme are now closed. Download the application form and guidance below.

In recognition of the considerable challenges facing the sector we are positioning our resources to support museums and heritage organisations to embark on the process of recovery.

We know that that for a number of reasons, many of the museums we work with have been unable to access existing emergency funds.  The furloughing of staff, ineligibility for funding and volunteer capacity have contributed to the difficulties in accessing these first response financial measures.

For some museums, planning to re-open marks the start of recovery; however for others the recovery process will involve new ways of engaging whilst remaining closed until next season.

This funding is about more than re-opening. Recovery Grants will provide simple, fast support for museums to assist them to:

  • Adapt existing, or develop new, ways to connect with their community
  • Purchase materials and equipment to improve or restart activity
  • Support activity to assess the viability of and readiness for reopening
  • Support the health and wellbeing of the paid, and volunteer, workforce through to recovery
  • To enhance existing, or start new, digital activities*

*Applicants are required to ensure approaches address equality and accessibility, especially when considering the development of digital solutions.

Grants available:

The total budget of up to £80,000 will be split equally between two panels with the first deadline being 5th August and the second 16th September.  We encourage applicants to carefully consider the value of their grant request in order to support as many museums as possible.

  • Individual applications of up to £10,000 per museum organisation
  • Cash match funding is not required

Is my museum eligible to apply?

Your museum must:

  • Be in the (ONS) South West of England
  • Be Accredited, Provisionally Accredited or official Working Towards Accreditation. Check the Accreditation status of your organisation by checking the Arts Council England lists of Working Towards and Accredited museums.
  • OR a heritage organisation previously in direct receipt of South West Museum Development funded consortia projects. See the list of Non-Accredited eligible organisations here.
  • Not be a National museum
  • Not be a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) or consortia partner in receipt of NPO funding
  • Not accepted Emergency Funding from other Funders (Historic England, Heritage Lottery, Arts Council)

NB: Award holders from Small Grant Big Improvement and the Development Fund are eligible

How can I find out more?

Please see the Recovery Grants Application Guidance (PDF)

What are the key dates?

  • Wednesday 1st July – Grant programme opens – full guidance and application form available.
  • Wednesday 5th August, 12 Noon – First panel deadline – now closed.
  • Friday 14th August – Successful candidates notified
  • Wednesday 16th September, 12 Noon – Second panel deadline – now closed.
  • Friday 25th September – Successful Candidates notified
  • Monday 1st February – Deadline for submission of all project reports, claims and proof of expenditure

How do I submit an application?

Our application deadlines have now passed.

Please refer to the Recovery Grants Application Guidance (PDF) regarding your application. 

For further information please get in touch and select ‘Grants’ in the drop down options.

If you would like to request alternative versions of these documents or require assistance with accessing this information in other formats then please get in touch with [email protected].