We’ve made some changes to our funding streams to make life a little bit easier for museums and galleries. Over the years we have received feedback that some museums find the number of different funding streams we offer a bit overwhelming so we made the decision to reduce the number of funds we offer to the sector from nine to four. This takes away the need for potential applicants to understand each of our previous funds with their separate deadlines and criteria.
The changes mean that from next year the majority of our funding will be distributed through the Museum Development Fund which will have two rounds per year and the Small Project Fund which will have three rounds per year. The Purchase Fund which is the rolling fund for Accredited museums with low annual expenditure and the Festival of Museums Fund which is currently open for applications, will both continue. In addition the temporary World War One Fund will reopen for applications in December 2016.
Funding previously channelled into separate capital, partnership and skills development streams will simply be available through the Small Project and Museum Development Funds, we’re still keen to fund those kinds of activity. Non-Accredited museums working towards Accreditation who would previously have applied to the Gateway Fund can apply for funding through the Small Project Fund.
The Recognition funding made available from the Government will still be ring-fenced for Recognised Collection holders but will just be distributed through the Museum Development Fund and the Small Project Fund. Applicants will still be able to apply for up to 100% of project costs and up to £60,000 as in the past.
The changes will not affect the amount we award, we’ve just tried to make the process simpler as it means that museums don’t need to decide which fund to apply to. We are happy with the changes too as it means that we can better direct funding to the sector. In the past a museum may have submitted an application to one fund which would have been a better fit for one of our other streams and the changes mean that that situation can be avoided.
Projects will need to align with our three priority areas of enterprise, skills development and advocacy. So we want to support projects that demonstrate an innovative solution to a problem or income generation, raise sector skills and / or raise the profile of museums. Essentially we are still funding the same things but applications will just need to be mindful of these priorities as they plan their projects.
In short, the new funding structure will remove confusion over which fund to apply to. Further information, including award amounts and application dates for the new funds is on our website.
The new application forms will be available in December 2016 and we will hold telephone surgeries in December and January. But in the meantime please do get in touch if you have any questions about any of the changes and what it means for you.