Funding – EU know it makes cents!

MGS sent its Alison contingent (Alison Turnbull, Head of Research & Development and Alison Mathieson, Head of Finance & Compliance) to a Creative Scotland EU Funding Information Day held at the Lighthouse in Glasgow on 10 May. On their return, they shared with us what they learnt…

What did MGS want to get out of this event?

Simply, to find out more – both for MGS and museums!  We were aware there are many streams of EU funding but we were not sure entirely what they covered or, in fact, whether they’re appropriate for or open to museums.

From an MGS perspective, as a national development body we like to keep ahead of best practice and work in partnership – both of which can be helped, and indeed made possible by EU funding streams. And the same is true for museums. Much of museums’ work is collaborative and, as Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries for Creative Scotland said on the day, EU funding is as much about the partnership as it is about the money.

Who was there?

A range of funding bodies, cultural bodies such as ourselves and British Council, Scottish Government and lots of people working in the cultural sector. We were disappointed that more museums and galleries weren’t represented, given the informative and relevant content on the day, but it was good to see a couple of local faces – Sue John from Glasgow Women’s Library and Neil Ballantyne from Glasgow Museums during the day.

What funds were discussed?

So, how was the day structured?

We heard five minute presentations on different EU funding streams from key contacts in the UK – a great way to put aims to names!  One main learning point we took away was the amount of support material out there available online.  These range from details about projects to places you can advertise your organisation’s offer as a potential partner.

This was followed by 15 minute presentations by people who had been engaged with the different project streams.  We really enjoyed hearing about the projects and their impacts – and even welled up a little during Peter Husser’s talk about his Erasmus + project with a group of Irish and Greek young people who developed dance and theatre pieces on gender and LGBTQI identity in Europe.

What was your most practical takeway from the day?

We learnt more about the Europe for Citizens fund which Geoffrey Brown from EUCLID referred to as ‘an easy fund to apply for’ We felt this was the most appropriate pot for our sector, and was introduced as a ‘no budget required, no details of match funding necessary’ fund. Europe for Citizens focuses on key issues facing the EU, focusing on remembrance and civil society. More information about this and the deadlines for applying can be found on the EUCLID website. These flexible themes fit more comfortably with museums work – such as the WWI anniversaries.

We also heard a little more about the Creative Europe Culture sub-programme funding, which is structured around small projects (more than three partners from different countries) and large projects (more than six partners) lasting up to four years, with an annual deadline (usually in early October). Find out more on the Creative Scotland website.

What about Brexit?

The UK will continue to participate in these EU funding programmes as normal until it leaves the EU (until the leave negotiations reach a conclusion or two years from the invoking of Article 50 – whichever is earlier). We currently envision that UK applicants will be eligible at least until the end of 2018. HM Treasury has given reassurance for some of the EU funding programmes beyond our exit from the EU, but for more specifics, check the programme from the information day which carries more detail.

Sounds great! How can I find out more?

You can see the links to the various funding streams in this blog. MGS produced a short guide to EU funding and are looking to revise this later this year, to provide museums with more detail and contacts for each funding stream.

In the meantime Creative Scotland has also produced a blog about the day they organised. Get a little more information about the specifics of the day, presentations and content.

If you would like to follow up on the funding streams, you can get in touch with the corresponding contact point directly (see the links above), or Kate Deans at Creative Europe Desk UK-Scotland is happy to help give you a steer.

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