Advice about Funding

South East Museum Development Grants

  • Recovery Grantsup to £7500 to help accredited museums and those formally working towards accreditation in the South East to fund recovery and/or reopening activities.  Deadline 15 September (12 noon).
  • Skills Builder – up to £500 to support CPD activity. Currently closed.
  • Collections Care – up to £2000 to support preventive conservation and collections care activity.  Currently closed.
  • Museum MOT Grants – £1000 to support development activity for museums that are taking part in our Organisational Health Check.  Talk to Museum Development Officers for details.

Arts Council England (ACE) Project Grants

Up to £100,000

Until April 2021, the fund will focus on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners. Supplementary guidance has been published that outlines the changes. The fund will also focus more on activity that gives organisations the time to think, plan and test new ideas.

For the first time with this fund, ACE will be able to invest in activity where the route to public engagement may take longer and may take place beyond the boundaries of the activity you apply for. The usual requirement to provide 10% match funding has been removed.

  • £59.8 million available until April 2021.
  • 10% match funding requirement is waived until April 2021
  • Can be used for ‘reopening’ projects
  • Proposals up to £15,000 (6-week turn around on assessment)
  • Proposals over £15,000 (12-week turn around on assessment)

DeadlineThis is a rolling grants programme which can be applied for at any time.

National Lottery Heritage Fund – Grants

The largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK.

No grants currently available.

Art Fund Grants

  • Respond and Reimagine Grants£10,000 to £50,000 to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the future. Deadline 12 October.
  • Acquisitions Programme– purchase of works of art and other objects of aesthetic interest, dating from antiquity to the present day
  • Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grants Programme– funding for travel and other practical costs to help curators, scholars and researchers undertake collection and exhibition research projects, including temporary administrative cover
  • Network Grants– up to £5,000 to provide funding to support Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) and other curatorial networks in sharing expertise across the museum sector, for the benefit of collections and audiences
  • Small Project Grants– grants of up to £10,000 to help museums and galleries act on good ideas and/or test new ways of working that will benefit their audiences. Projects should align with one or more of the four strands of Art Fund’s programme building collections, shaping futures, reaching audiences, and making connections

Historic England – Grants

  • Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk – grants towards the repair and conservation of listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens, intended to reduce the risk faced by sites on the Heritage at Risk Register
  • Heritage Protection Commissions– funding for strategic research and to build skills and capacity in the historic environment. Funds through both Open Proposals Programme and Calls for Proposals
  • Regional Capacity Building Programme– for activities and projects which are regional in coverage and which promote the understanding, management and conservation of the historic environment


Association of Independent Museums (AIM) Grants

Latest information about Association of Independent Museums (AIM)

Membership network for independent museums, galleries and heritage organisations across the UK. Administers grants for museums to help AIM members with a variety of needs including training, conservation, development and exhibitions

  • Training Grants– support member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their staff and trustees
  • Collections Care & Conservation Grants – funded by the Pilgrim Trust, next deadline 30thSeptember 2020

South Downs National Park Grants and Funds

Funding support for community projects within the South Downs National Park.

More details here

Clore Duffield Foundation

Provides support for cultural learning, creating learning spaces within arts and heritage organisations

  • Main Grants Programme– open to registered charities and local authority run museums and galleries, mainly for capital projects
  • Main Grants Programme: Learning Spaces– funds museum, gallery and heritage learning spaces

Office is temporarily closed.

Country Houses Foundation

Grants for the repair and conservation of rural historic buildings and structures, including where appropriate their gardens, grounds and outbuildings. Usually listed or scheduled buildings. Usually make grants to projects which are ready to begin but will also consider seed funding to kick start a project.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Will launch a revised strategy in September 2020.

  • Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund(administered by the Museums Association) – supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people. See org/collections/esmee-fairbairn-collections-fund for further details. Due to coronavirus some changes have been made for this year:
  • Collections Innovation and Engagement grants are usually awarded twice a year in spring and autumn. This year only one set of projects will be awarded from a total pot of £500,000. Shortlisted grants from the March 2020 round have been invited to the second stage of the autumn grant round and new expressions of interest will also be accepted with a deadline of 14thSeptember 2020
  • Collections strategy and development grants In collaboration with Museums Association (MA). Grants of up to £250,000 for projects running for five years or under will be awarded to initiatives that use collections work to support the established strategy of an organisation for longer term benefit.  MA have postponed this round to 2021 to enable organisations to fully understand the impact of coronavirus on their business plans and long-term strategies. Before submitting an expression of interest, you will need to speak to a member of the MA team to discuss your project. Please delay contacting them about this fund until September 2020. Suitable projects will then be invited to submit expressions of interest in Spring 2021 (8-12 projects in total). It is recommended that you speak to a member of the team before March 2021.

Funding Central

Provides access to thousands of grants, contracts and loan finance opportunities from local, national and international funding sources.

Garfield Weston Foundation

Revenue, project and capital grants in the following categories.  The Foundation remains open to new applications and are offering flexibility around timescales and reporting to current grantees. Are taking a phased approach to grants, including considering medium term core costs needs for resilience as well as planning for longer-term strategic projects.

  • Museums and Heritage– support organisations that conserve and interpret our nation’s heritage for future generations, ensuring it is accessible and available to all
  • Arts – support organisations that delight and inspire audiences across the UK. Major Grants – £100,000 and above; Regular Grants – under £100,000


UK’s leading grants and policy database

The Grocers’ Charity

Grants of up to £5,000 for UK charities for conservation of historic buildings, conservation of historic objects or paintings, arts projects engaging with marginalised audiences for the appreciation of arts, performances or exhibitions

Headley Trust

One of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Trustees are prepared to consider unsolicited proposals so long as they closely match one of the following areas of interest:

Arts & Heritage UK

  • Regional museums and galleries, with special consideration for curatorial support and acquisitions
  • The display, study and acquisition of British ceramics
  • Conservation of industrial, maritime and built heritage
  • Archaeology
  • Arts education/outreach and access to the arts for disabled and disadvantaged people
  • Headley Museums Archaeological Acquisition Fund


Health & Social Welfare

  • Projects to improve older people’s quality of life in residential care homes, including supporting people with dementia
  • Support for carers of older people (local & national)
  • Projects that support disadvantaged families and young people

Idlewild Trust

The next open round for arts and conservation grants will be in 2021. Supports registered charities in projects that support the arts and conservation:

  • Art– improve opportunities for young professionals working creatively in the arts, particularly at an early stage in their careers
  • Conservation– projects that aim to conserve historic or artistically important objects and works of art

Institute of Fundraising

Professional membership body for UK fundraising. Website contains resources and guidance for heritage organisations and charities, including COVID-19 specific information.


National network of community-led organisations; work aims to inspire local communities to change and improve by helping people to set up locally owned and led organisations, support organisations to exchange ideas and best practice on community asset ownership, community enterprise and social action, run major national programmes to support and empower local communities

Now includes lists of funding available for charities during the COVID-19 pandemic, information and advice, and support for Locality members.

Museums Association

  • Museums Association Benevolent Fund(merged with the Trevor Walden Trust in 2015) provides funding for
    • the relief of poverty
    • alleviating financial distress suffered by past or present members of the Museums Association and their immediate dependents
    • the advancement of education and training of students participating in programmes and training events organised by the Museums Association, including working towards the AMA
  • See also Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

National Heritage Memorial Fund

The National Heritage Memorial Fund has been awarding grants to safeguard the UK’s most important heritage since 1980.

They are currently developing a response to support nationally-important heritage at risk due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As a result, they are only accepting applications for urgent cases that meet the criteria.

The National Lottery Community Fund

Funding for organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, specifically for user-led equality groups supporting:

  • black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee (BAMER) communities
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer + (LGBTQ+) communities
  • disabled people.

Grants currently closed.

National Manuscripts Conservation Trust

Helps preserve important manuscript and archive collections by awarding grants for their conservation. Applications accepted from non-national archives and record offices, as well as specialist libraries, universities and museums

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Has paused applications to all its funds to focus on supporting the organisations it currently funds. Expects to open to new applications again from the Autumn 2020, running a mix of recovery grants and programme grants.

Pilgrim Trust

Committed to preserving the UK’s unique heritage for the benefit of future generations. The main emphasis is on projects that conserve historical buildings, monuments and collections; also encourages projects that promote awareness either by making collections more available or by supporting academic research and ones that improve access.

  • Preservation and Scholarship– projects that conserve historical buildings, monuments and collections; also encourage projects that promote awareness either by making collections more available or by supporting academic research and ones that improve access.

Sainsbury Family Charity Trusts

The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts is the operating office of 18 grant-making trusts established by members of the Sainsbury family. Each trust works autonomously as an independent legal entity with a separate board
of trustees. Many of the trusts work closely with their chosen beneficiaries over a long period to achieve particular objectives and the majority of unsolicited proposals received by the Trusts are likely to be unsuccessful. See the website for further details and a list of all the trusts.

V&A Purchase Grant Fund

Material of any date relating to arts and culture is eligible for support: archaeological and ethnographical material; objects illustrating social and popular culture, decorative and fine art; rare books; documents and letters with good historical content, estate maps, writers’ manuscripts and archival photographs. Objects to be bought at auction are also eligible.

 Wolfson Foundation

Aims to improve the civic health of society mainly through education and research, specifically supporting excellence in the fields of education, science and medicine, health and disability, and arts and humanities.

Grant programmes are currently paused for new applicants.




Accessibility Options

The following options may make it easier for you to use this website

Change the contrast of colours and text

Change the size of the size of the text

Toggle the display of images