Grants

South East Museum Development runs several small grant schemes to help museums with priority areas of development.  Our themes reflect key priorities identified by museums in our region.

Our grant schemes will launch at different times throughout the year.  Sign up to receive our free e-newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest grants news.

Do you need help putting together a grant application for a major funder?  We offer free grant-writing surgeries. Contact your local Museum Development Officer for details.

Other grant providers

Check out grant opportunities from other funders here.

Other collections care funders are listed here.


Arts Council England (ACE) and South East Museum Development (SEMD) should be acknowledged in any publicity or promotional material produced in association with a SEMD funded project or activity.

You can download our logo and view our usage guidelines here.


Recovery Grants 2.0

Thanks to generous support from The Art Fund, we are offering grants to help museums re-build their offer to audiences and strengthen organisationally in response to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Museums can apply for up to £3000 to fund a range of activity that supports effective reopening, re-engages audiences, creates or adapts programmes and services, or addresses the longer-term sustainability of the museum.

Application deadline is 27 August (5pm).

More information here.


Collections Care Grants

Collections are the backbone of every museum.  This year, multiple lockdowns and reduced staff/volunteer capacity have left many collections neglected and in need of urgent attention.

We will offer grants of up to £600 to address preventive conservation concerns.

We will be assessing applications over four rounds. Decisions will be announced within three weeks of each closing date.

1st Round:           4 May 2021 (opened)              15 June 2021 (closed)

2nd Round:          15 July 2021 (opens)            1 Sept 2021 (closes)

3rd Round:           1 Oct 2021 (opens)               15 Nov 2021 (closes)

4th Round:           15 Dec 2021 (opens)            1 Feb 2022 (closes)

More information here.


Fundraising Skills Builder Grants

Our Skills Builder grants support continuing professional development within the museum workforce.

This year, our grants will focus exclusively on the development of fundraising and grant writing skills to help museums build capacity in this area.

We will offer grants of up to £750 so individuals (or teams) can engage with training and other CPD activities that improve fundraising skills.

This grant is available to staff and volunteers working in museums that are Accredited or formally working towards Accreditation in the South East of England.

2nd Round Opens: 15 July 2021

Deadline: 30 September 2021

Successful candidates will be notified by 15 October 2021.

More information here.


Innovate to Generate Grants

To stabilise their financial position during these turbulent times, museums are exploring ways to diversify income streams. We recognise that trying something new often comes with risks, which can stop good ideas from being developed.

Our new Innovate to Generate scheme offers grants to encourage museums to explore and pilot new, innovative income generation ideas as part of their quest to build a stronger financial future.

In June 2021, we recruited 10 museums to take part in a series of income generation workshops to build confidence and share best practice.  These museums will each receive a grant of up to £1200 to develop a new income generation idea.

Recruitment for this scheme is now closed.

More information here.


Accreditation Development Grants

To achieve and retain Accreditation status, museums must take steps to address any ‘areas for development (or improvement)’ that are identified in their award letter from Arts Council England.

Our new Accreditation Development Grants offer up to £1000 to help museums resolve outstanding ‘areas for development or improvement’ to strengthen their Accreditation submissions.

This is not an ‘open call’ grant.  Museums will be invited to apply following a consultation with our Accreditation Advisor.

More information coming this autumn.


Creative Collections Grants

Museums must strive to be inclusive and relevant to today’s audiences.  They can do this by exploring hidden stories within their collections, and by working with under-represented communities.

Creative Collections is a new scheme that offers up to £2000 for activity that encourages museums to develop their collections through co-creation and collaborative practice.

We will accept proposals that explore ways to re-assess collections; work with guest curators to unearth hidden stories; and co-curate events or exhibitions with under-represented community partners.

Applicants will be required to attend (or watch a recording) of a virtual training event which unpicks the scheme in more detail, providing inspirational examples of what can be achieved.

Opens 1 Sept 2021.

More information here.


Free Grant Writing Surgeries

Request one of our free grant-writing surgeries with Sonia Rasbery to hone your grant applications for external funders.

Contact your Museum Development Officer to book a surgery.

Image courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

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