Museums Development South West Grants: Our Decision Making Process

Find out about our grants decision making process

South West Museum Development Programme

There are several stages to our grants decision making process. 

Stage 1 – Assessment 

Following an initial process to ensure eligibility, applications will be assessed by South West Museum Development (MDSW) officers, our Specialist Officers and, if required, trained freelance assessors using a scoring matrix developed for each individual grant scheme. 


Stage 2 – External moderation 

All applications for grant schemes awarding a grant value of over £1000 of funding will be submitted to a consultant external moderator who will review a sample of applications.  These applications are reassessed using the agreed scoring matrix to ensure consistency and recommend adjustments as necessary. 


Stage 3 – Strategic Advisory Board confirmation 

The process  set out in stage one and two will generate a final set of funding recommendations which are presented to representatives of the MDSW Strategic Advisory Board. Final award decisions will be made by a minimum of two members of the MDSW Strategic Advisory Board.  

Presented by MDSW Officers, the award recommendations will be discussed and analysed by the board members, considering the criteria and objectives of the funding scheme and the overall strategic objectives of South West Museum Development and those funders whose investment is being distributed through the grant programmes (Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund).  The board may request samples of applications if required. 

The board will ratify decisions and they will then be considered final. 


Complaints and feedback 

If you have any complaints or feedback relating to any of our processes, we encourage you to get in contact with us in the first instance through our email address [email protected]

If you would like to take your complaint further, please use the Bristol City Council complaints process: 

Write to:

Customer Relations (100 TS)
PO Box 3399
BS1 9NE 

Email: [email protected]