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Information for existing grant holders

Information for existing grant holders

Accepting your award

You must formally accept your award, and provide information relating to any conditions on acceptance set, within one month of the date on the award letter. Failure to do so may result in the award offer being withdrawn. You must not commence work on your project until you have formally accepted the award and if there were any additional conditions of acceptance set for your award, you must wait for MGS to confirm that these have been satisfied before you begin the project.

Instructions on how to accept your award are detailed within your award letter. In order to accept an award a third person from your organisation must join the grant as a member in MGS Online. This person takes the role of financial authority and only they will be able to submit claims for the grant, although a claim can be written by any member of the grant.

Publicising your project

A great way of raising awareness of the project you plan to undertake and the fact that you have successfully bid for funding from MGS is via press and media. Publicising your grant is also a great way to raise local and national awareness of your organisation. We've created some helpful advice on what you should do when announcing your grant and how best to go about it. We are also on hand if you would like any media advice.

When publicising your project you must acknowledge MGS’s support by including our logo on all publicity and marketing materials relating to the project. Logos should be requested from our Marketing Manager. When producing materials that feature the MGS logo, visuals should be sent for approval to our Marketing Manager at We will endeavour to respond within 7 days of receipt. 

Keeping MGS updated and making changes to your project

It is a condition of all awards that you inform Museums Galleries Scotland of any potential delays to your project, any financial changes or any other matters arising that will affect your ability to carry out the project as described in your application. We will then be in a position to provide you with advice on how this will affect your award.

You can let us know of changes either through a project progress report submitted via MGS Online (see below for further details) or by contacting the Grants Manager directly at or on 0131 550 4115. 

If you make a request for a change to your project you must wait for written permission from MGS before you implement the change. Unauthorised changes may result in the grant being withdrawn.

Project Progress Reports

Projects receiving grants of more than £5,000 are required to schedule in regular progress reports – you will be asked to supply reporting dates at the time of accepting your award. These progress reports should be completed in MGS Online, scheduled reports appear on the specific grant’s page. It is the grant holder’s responsibility to ensure that progress reports are completed and submitted by their due date.

Claiming your grant

MGS grants are paid retrospectively – once you have incurred expenditure you should complete and submit a claim form, via MGSOnline, along with proof that you have paid for the items/work listed in your claim. You can submit interim claims although to avoid excessive administration these should be kept in line with the size of the award. For example a maximum of two claims would be reasonable on an award of under £5,000, whereas more would be acceptable on a larger project over a longer period. It is also acceptable to submit only one final claim on completion of your project. 

Initial payments

For our larger grants (more than £10,000) you will have the option to request an initial payment of 25% of your award when completing your formal acceptance.

If you have received an initial upfront payment, costs covered by that payment (and their proof of payment) should be provided in your first retrospective claim for that award in addition to any further costs you wish to claim for.

How to submit a claim

To submit a claim, log in to your account on MGSOnline. In the top left corner of your home page, click on ‘Projects’. On this page, click on the project title in the ‘Active Projects’ section. Scroll down to ‘My Claims’ and click on the blue ‘New Claim’ button. If the New Claim button does not appear, it may be because you already have a claim in progress.

Proof of payment

You must provide invoices for all expenditure over £100. The date of invoice, total amount and the purchaser* should be clearly visible. If the item or service purchased is not clear in the invoice description, please expand on this in the Notes section of the claim.

From October 2019, evidence is no longer required for costs under £100. Costs should be itemised in a single Excel spreadsheet detailing Date of Purchase, Description, Net cost and VAT (the VAT column is only required if you cannot reclaim VAT). In the expenditure table in your claim, a single line should be entered for the total amount of these items and the spreadsheet attached. IMPORTANT Please note that all receipts and invoice should be retained and be accessible as scans (a single scan of all items is acceptable) as you may be subject to a random audit to verify the entry in your claim.

For those items that do not generate an invoice, alternative proof of payment must be provided. This may be in the form of authorised expense claims, receipts, online payment confirmation emails or payroll extracts. It is important that what you provide clearly shows that the expense has been incurred and payment is expected – quotes, booking confirmations, purchase orders or delivery notes cannot be accepted. Extracts from finance systems in Excel must be clearly labelled to show what they are, where they have come from and what exactly they are showing.

For salaries, an extract from your financial system should show the person’s name, the description of the item (gross salary, NI contributions, pension contributions), the month covered, and where the claim covers several months, the amounts should be totalled. Please note the period covered in the Description in the expenditure table. Payslips can be supplied to cover the claim period, however if you wish to submit only one payslip, then a signed contract should also be supplied to show the name, post, start date of employment and the period of the contract.

Additional days

For a person already contracted to the organisation who is working additional days specifically for the grant project, it must be clear what part of the payslip relates to the project itself. If this is not clear on the payslip then a separate Excel spreadsheet should be supplied which separates out the costs relating to the project. Alternatively, a timesheet signed by an appropriate authority within the organisation, along with details of the hourly rate and overall payment due is also acceptable.

It is not necessary to provide bank statements if you have provided invoices, however a bank statement may be supplied in place of other evidence, provided both an explanation of the goods or service supplied and authorisation of payment is also supplied.

*If the invoice is addressed to anyone other than the organisation, this should be treated as an expense claim and cannot be supplied as sole proof of payment.

Ineligible expenditure

Consumables are not eligible expenditure, ie everyday items which would be purchased in the normal course of business such as cleaning products, light bulbs, batteries etc. Printing inks may be acceptable if they are shown to be used specifically on the project, ie in printing bulk marketing materials (although these should be noted on the original budget).

Percentage payments

Most of our awards are offered at a percentage of the full project costs as outlined in your budget – this percentage is clearly stated in your award letter. Because of this, when you submit a claim you must list, and supply proof of payment for, all project costs not just those you wish to claim from MGS. Note that the full cost should be entered in the expenditure table - the percentage should only be applied when entering the amount you wish to claim.

Final claims

You must submit your final claim within two months of completing your project – this applies to all grants. Unless you have requested a project extension, we expect your project to complete on the date stated in your award acceptance. Failure to submit your final claim within this period may result in the award being withdrawn and any money already paid out being reclaimed. If you are required to complete an end of project report, payment against your final claim cannot be made until we have received your end of project report.

Payment of claims

Payment will be made by BACS. From October 2019, following confirmation of your award, you will receive a request for confirmation of your bank details. These will be used for the life of the grant unless you inform us of a change to or by calling the Finance Manager on 0131 550 4111.

End of project reports

Most projects receiving a grant of more than £2,000 will be required to complete an end of project report via MGS Online. We advise you to look at what is going to be required in your end of project report early on in your project so that you can ensure you collect the relevant information as you go along. To do so, log in to MGS Online and into the relevant grant. In the section titled “Reports” you will be able to click on the scheduled “End of Project” report. If this report is not showing in the list, please contact MGS at .