Applications for our Small Grants are now open.

South West Museum Development’s vision is to support diverse, inclusive and inspiring museums relevant to the lives of the diverse communities they serve. All of our activity directly supports this vision including this grant scheme. We know that for many museums a small grant can be a powerful catalyst for change and improvement and this fund is designed with exactly this in mind.

Scheme aims

  • Organisational resilience: museums are thriving and adaptable community assets for now and the future
  • Collections development: inspiring collections are cared for, developed and shared with and for communities
  • Increasing inclusion and tackling inequality: museums play their part in contributing to a better and fairer society for all
  • Environmental responsibility: museums acknowledge and address the climate emergency, recognising they are part of a global community

Grants available

  • Individual applications of up to £10,000 per museum organisation, network or museum partnership project (minimum grant £500)
  • Cash match funding is not required but is encouraged

Grant Eligibility

This grant funding is open to museums and heritage organisations which are:

  • Within the (ONS) South West of England
  • Accredited, Full or Provisional status or Working Towards Accreditation (see here)
  • A museum network*

*Your network must:

  • Be in the South West of England.
  • Directly serve the needs of museum and heritage organisations e.g. a county museum group.
  • Have officers elected by the membership.
  • Hold its own bank account to administer the grant.

The eligibility of this grant funding has been extended to include:

  • Museums and heritage organisations participating in collaborative South West Museum Development projects receiving direct investment from funders. Please see eligibility list here.

Unfortunately we cannot accept applications from the following museums:

  • Museums with a live grant award from South West Museum Development
  • National Museums (Fleet Air Arm Museum or Tate St Ives)
  • National Portfolio Museums or partner museums within a National Portfolio Museum Consortium
  • Non-Accredited museum/ heritage sites

Partnerships of three or more museums may apply, provided all applicant museums meet the above criteria. To be eligible for partnership grants, the museums must not be part of the same overall organisation (e.g. local authority or trust) or based on the same site (e.g. two or more Accredited collections/museums within the same building). A museum network can also apply for a partnership grant.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions or want to talk through your ideas for an application, please either speak to your MDO or contact us through our contact form and select ‘Grants’ from the drop down menu.

Timelines and deadlines

  • Application deadline: 12 Noon Monday 13 June 2022
  • Notification of application outcome: Friday 8 July 2022
  • Deadline for award acceptance for successful applicants: Friday 22 July 2022
  • Successful applicants may start their projects: Monday 25 July 2022
  • Projects must be complete: Friday 3 February 2023
  • Project claims must be received: 12 Noon Monday 6 February 2023

How do I apply?

Applications are made online using the following form on our website.

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Please contact us if you have access requirements and require an alternative format for applying.