If you are thinking about applying for funding, you can speak to your Museum Development Officer (MDO) about developing your application. Your MDO should be able to supply up to date funding information and provide advice on which schemes might be suitable. You can also expect to receive support when writing and developing your application, including receiving feedback on drafts. 


Some sources which are particular relevant to museums at the moment: 

Essex County Council announce new Arts & Culture Fund 

The new £1 million Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund will support the county’s arts and culture sector over a five-year period. The fund will offer artists and cultural organisations grants from £2,500 to £30,000 to deliver projects to help rejuvenate the sector, as well as our towns and city high streets.

Open to individual artists and co-operatives as well as community groups, charities and trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises and private and public organisations, this fund will support projects within the music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, combined arts, including festivals and carnivals, museums and creative sectors.

The ECC Arts and Cultural Fund will be open for applications from Tuesday 4 January 2022, but ECC are encouraging those who may be interested to express their interest here.

Find out more and apply

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people.

This year they will offer grants of up to £90k over around two years for museums to test new, ambitious, creative collections engagement that has a social impact. These grants are for museums to innovate, kick-start or develop their collections engagement practice where there is a strong link between a relevant collection and audience.

Expression of interest deadlines are 21 March 2022 for grant awards in July and 14 September 2022 for awards in December, following a two-stage process

Find out more and apply.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

£5 million programme to support community and voluntary organisations in England to develop creative and cultural activities as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Applicants can apply for grants from £750 to £10,000.

Deadline: 28th February 2022

Find out more and apply.

National Lottery Heritage Fund launches Dynamic Collections campaign

Museums (accredited and non-accredited), archives, historic libraries and community organisations which hold collections across the UK can now apply for new Lottery funding to help build resilience in the heritage sector.

Grants of up to £250,000 are available for projects which make collections relevant to a wider range of people, actively involve the public in collections management and take a creative, sustainable approach to collections.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until 31 March 2022.

Find out more and apply.

ACE Project Grants – Unlocking Collections

Unlocking Collections is aimed at enabling museums to develop their collections-based work and increase public engagement with, and use of, their collections.

Deadline: November 2022

Find out more and apply.

New 2022 deadlines for National Lottery Grants for Heritage applications of up to £5m

Projects should aim to improve the condition of heritage; allow for heritage to be identified and better explained; and ensure that people have learned about local heritage, leading to changes in ideas and actions. There is a focus on landscape and nature, and community heritage.

There are no deadlines for applications for under £250,000. Decisions are usually conveyed within eight weeks of receipt of application and support documents. The next deadline for applications exceeding £250,000 is noon on 24 February 2022.

Funding | The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Applications invited for Arts, Culture and Heritage projects across the UK

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has launched its 2022 funding round. Grants of up to £25,000 per year for three years are available to support arts, culture, and heritage projects across the UK. Funding will enable people to develop skills and careers, increase access to and promote diversity in the arts and heritage by reaching communities and individuals who would otherwise not participate.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 28 February 2022 (midnight).

Other sources

  • Art Fund Small Project Grants  support museums to realise adventurous projects of up to £10,000. Art Fund also run a Respond and Reimagine grant scheme which museums in Essex have had luck applying to.
  • The Foyle Foundation supports charities with an arts or learning remit. Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available and applications can be submitted at any time. More on the Foyle Foundation website.  
  • The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund is adapting its offer for museums needing support with Covid related implications to continue enabling access to collections. More information on the Museums Association website
  • Garfield Weston Foundation have an ongoing grant scheme to support UK charities. You can take their quick online eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible. Their guidance for their schemes can be found here along with their FAQs. They can cover core running costs. 

Other local funding opportunities might be available from the following: 

Beth Wilkey has a spreadsheet with a more comprehensive list of grants and funders – contact her for a copy:

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