Applications to this fund are now closed.


To be eligible for funding, you must meet the following criteria:

1. You must be able to make a major contribution towards delivering our overall strategy for the sector as detailed in the five goals of Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone. It is expected that you will demonstrate a track record of delivery against the five goals and, crucially, indicate how investment will help you to support others to achieve them, and in particular achieve excellence in goal 3.

2. You may be a single museum or museums service, or a cluster of linked services in a partnership. Applications may also be submitted by organisations that are not themselves museums but can meet the criteria and demonstrate how they would be able to deliver museum development. You might be, or include, a local authority, university or independent museum. All members of a partnership must be committed to a meaningful and appropriate collaborative structure and show a firm commitment to joint working. Your application must show the benefits and rationale of working as a partnership. One organisation must take the lead, taking responsibility for managing the application and being responsible for any grant that is awarded and delivery of outcomes against the funding agreement.

3. All museum applicants must be Accredited, including all museum members of a partnership.

4. All applicants must be able to demonstrate an understanding of sector needs.

5. The applicant organisation must be able to demonstrate financial resilience and there must be a meaningful relationship between the amount of funding you are requesting and the organisation's turnover. For example, we would not normally expect a museum applicant's proposal for each year to be more than 30 per cent of their (or the partnership's) overall annual budget, although we accept that for other organisations this figure might vary.

6. The applicant must demonstrate a firm track record in strong, stable and effective governance, management, leadership and partnership development, including cross-cultural partnerships.

7. You must be based in England.

8. Applicants (and all individual members of a partnership) must be properly constituted as an organisation. The kinds of organisations which are eligible to apply include:

  • limited companies registered at Companies House (including individuals trading as a limited company)
  • community interest companies (CIC) registered with the CIC regulator
  • charities or trusts registered with the Charity Commission
  • limited liability partnerships registered at Companies House
  • partnerships established under a Deed of Partnership
  • industrial and provident societies or community benefit societies subject to regulation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
  • royal charter companies
  • statutory bodies including local authorities

Your application must include a copy of your governing documents showing how you are constituted.

9. You must apply for two years eight months of funding (which is subject to annual review)

For further information on eligibility, please refer to our guidance document, which is available to download in PDF or Word formats.