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Our role in the sector

Our role in the sector

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is the National Development Body for the Scottish museums sector. We support 430 museums and galleries, through strategic investment, advice, advocacy, skills development and other means. 

We are the lead body for the delivery of Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries.

As an independent charity we receive core funding from Scottish Government, which also provides funding to be distributed via grants directly to the museums and galleries sector.  We are governed by a Board of Trustees.

How we work

Collaboration, integrity, courageousness and a passion for museums and galleries shape our approach. Working together in this vein we can invest in and develop Scotland’s museums and galleries, for current and future generations to enjoy.

Museums and galleries operate in a fast-changing context. As the national development body it is important for MGS to be agile, aware of future challenges and responsive to changing needs. We strive to be a high performing organisation, effective and efficient, and investing in our people. 

We strive to be an anti-racist organisation and are committed to working as an anti-racist development body for the Scottish museums and galleries sector. Our commitment to anti-racism sits within our wider responsibility to work inclusively, and to support museums and galleries across Scotland to involve a wider range of people in the services they offer. We recognise within this work the prevalence of racist systems requires us to specifically work in an anti-racist and way to combat discrimination and prejudice.

You can read more about our anti-racism commitment at MGS and how we are supporting the sector to also work in an anti-racist way.

Our current priorities

Museums Galleries Scotland leads the development, management and implementation of the national strategy. In doing so, we enable Scotland’s museums and galleries to deliver in line with the strategy’s aims.

In March 2020 we launched the third Delivery Plan for the National Strategy 2020-22, establishing objectives for the sector and four priority themes for MGS:

Sector Resilience - We will support the sector to develop sustainable models and adapt to new ways of working

Responding to the Climate Emergency - Acting on the climate emergency, MGS will promote environmental sustainability and enable the sector to make a full contribution to reaching net-zero by 2045.

Workforce Development - we will increase the skills of the sector’s workforce and address barriers to accessible training through a programme of inclusive, tailored and accredited activities

Improving Digital Capacity - We will create workforce development and funding opportunities and work with partners to increase digital literacy and infrastructure in the Scottish museums and galleries

Our core activity

Our Business Plan 2020/23 sets out how MGS will lead the implementation of the current National Strategy Delivery Plan.  The Business Plan establishes priorities for MGS which respond to the sector’s identified priorities, but also allows us to be agile and responsive to the changing context. 

We are committed to supporting the museums and galleries sector through our core activity.

Funding - undertake focused investment in the sector in response to sector needs to make an impact and deliver change

Impact and advocacy - develop a robust evidence base on the sector and it’s social and economic impact. We advocate on behalf of the sector to raise its profile and visibility among stakeholders and funders.

Partnerships – collaboration is at the heart of how we work and MGS actively seeks partnership approaches to delivering public value, sharing skills, experience and resources sector.

Advising and Knowledge sharing – we facilitate skills development and capacity building, signpost to information, advice and resources and share best practice. We maintain and develop standards, including via the Accreditation Scheme and Recognition Scheme

Read more about our work and how we aspire for excellence in our 2020/2023 Business Plan 

Our Action and Impact 

We have created an infographic highlighting some of our key actions throughout the year to support the sector in 2020 and 2021. 


Annual Reports and Financial Statements

A Look Back At 2021 22 (PDF, 6MB) A Look Back At 2020 21 (PDF, 2MB) Annual Report and Accounts 2022 (PDF, 448KB) Annual Report and Accounts 2021 (PDF, 975KB) Annual Report and Accounts 2020 (PDF, 1MB) Annual Report and Accounts 2019 (PDF, 4MB) Annual Report and Accounts 2018 (PDF, 11MB) Annual Report and Accounts 2017 (PDF, 10MB) Annual Report and Accounts 2016 (PDF, 1MB)