Small Open Grants 2024

Our grant scheme to support museums across the South West

South West Museum Development Programme

Art fund logo in redApplications open

Museum Development South West’s vision is to support diverse, inclusive and inspiring museums relevant to the lives of the 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.

We’re looking to invest in museums where our funding will make a difference and are particularly keen to support those who have designed their projects after taking part in previous development work with us (for example taking part in an Organisation Health Check or one of our projects such as Volunteering Fit for the Future), so please ensure you tell us about this in your application. We also want to encourage museums who have not secured Museum Development funding in recent years to take the opportunity to apply and help them on the path to more funded investment in the future.

It is not a requirement for draft applications to be shared with your local Museum Development Officer prior to submission but we do recommend that you talk through your idea with them at the development stage. Applications with a strong collections or volunteering focus are encouraged to speak with the relevant specialist Museum Development South West Officer ahead of submitting their application.

Please see the guidance documents below for further information or join our webinar on Tuesday 16 April 10.30am to 11.30am

Scheme aims 

  • Organisational resilience: museums are thriving and adaptable community assets for now and the future (linked to Arts Council Investment Principles ‘Ambition and quality’ and ‘Dynamism’)
  • Collections development: inspiring collections are cared for, developed and shared with and for communities (linked to Arts Council Investment Principles ‘Ambition and quality’ and ‘Inclusivity and Relevance’)
  • Increasing inclusion and tackling inequality: museums play their part in contributing to a better and fairer society for all (linked to Arts Council Investment Principle ‘Inclusivity and relevance’)
  • Environmental responsibility: museums acknowledge and address the climate emergency, recognising they are part of a global community (linked to Arts Council Investment Principle ‘Environmental responsibility’)

Grants available 

  • Individual applications of up to £10,000 per museum organisation (minimum grant £1000) 
  • Cash match funding is not required but is encouraged 

Timelines and deadlines 

  • Applications open: Thursday 4 April 2024
  • Application deadline: 12 Noon Monday 13 May 2024
  • Notification of application outcome: Friday 24 May 2024
  • Deadline for award acceptance for successful applicants: Friday 31 May 2024
  • Successful applicants may start their projects: Monday 3 June 2024
  • Projects must be complete: Friday 31 January 2025
  • Project claims must be received by: 12 Noon Friday 7 February 2025

Submit your Application Here