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Museums Capital Resilience Fund

Museums were able to apply for between £3,000 and £75,000 (£20,000 for non-accredited museums) for capital costs which will help your museum build resilience. THIS FUND HAS NOW CLOSED.

About the fund

This Fund Has Now Closed


The Scottish Government has allocated £1 million of capital funding to develop resilience in Scotland’s museums. This funding must be distributed by 31 March 2022 and spent within a year of grants being awarded.

The funds will support capital costs that directly increase the resilience of museums, either by increasing income, reducing costs or both. Activity that can be supported includes:

  • Works to increase energy efficiency and reduce running costs
  • Improvements to the visitor offer to attract new and returning visitors
  • Investment in income-generation such as outdoor events space, café or retail
  • Critical repairs and preventative maintenance, where a case can be made that this essential work cannot be carried out without support due to the financial impact of Covid

Grants between £3,000 and £75,000 will be available although the maximum award that non-accredited museums will be able to apply for is capped at £20,000. In exceptional circumstances we may be able to offer grants exceeding £75,000 to accredited museums for high impact projects that can clearly be delivered within one year.

Competition for funds is expected to be high and funding will go to those applications that make the strongest case for need and impact. It is important to read the following guidance carefully and then contact the MGS Grants Team to discuss proposals before starting to complete the online application. 

The timescales for applying for and using these funds are tight - the grants must be spent in full by 31 March 2023. Potential applicants should therefore consider carefully what activity they are most likely to be able to achieve within this timeframe. 

What we can fund

This fund can support the capital costs of projects that will have a demonstrable impact on the long-term resilience of your museum and that can be delivered within one year of the date of award. We will prioritise projects that are likely to generate the most immediate impact on resilience. Eligible costs include building work and repairs to, or purchase and installation of, assets that will be in use for at least three years.

The fund can support project management fees and professional fees for plans and surveys as long as the capital works themselves will be completed within the time frame for this funding.

We will prioritise projects that will directly reduce carbon use or have a positive environmental impact but all projects should aim for best practice in reducing carbon emissions in the way that they are delivered. 

Applicant organisations that have a wider remit than running a museum (please refer to the definition of a museum in the section “Who can apply for this funding?” below) must note that we can only fund activity that relates directly to your museum function. You will therefore need to articulate, specifically, the benefit to your museum activity that will result from increasing your resilience in the way you are proposing.

What we can't fund

  • Staff costs, other overheads, or full cost recovery
  • Development and planning activity alone - delivery of capital works must occur within the timeframe for the fund
  • Shop stock or consumable supplies
  • Collections acquisitions
  • Temporary exhibitions
  • Costs of setting up new museums
  • Costs incurred prior to the date of any award offer from us
  • Activity that cannot reasonably be expected to happen within one year of the grant being offered
  • Contingency exceeding 5%

Who can apply for this funding?

For grants up to £20,000:

  • Any organisation that runs an Accredited Museum in Scotland
  • Non-accredited, independent museums in Scotland that:
    • Meet the agreed definition of a museum: “Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society.” MA definition, 1988(This means that we cannot give grants to museums where the entire or majority of the collection is in private ownership).
    • Operate a physical site/space/building which is normally open to the public for a minimum of 20 days a year.
    • Have collections with which the public are normally able to see and engage.
    • Are a registered charity or a formally constituted not for profit organisation.

Please note that non-accredited museums that have not previously applied to MGS for funding must submit an eligibility questionnaire before starting an application and must do this by 31 January at the latest to allow time for eligibility checks to be made.

For grants up to £75,000:

  • Any organisation that runs an Accredited Museum in Scotland


  • Accredited Museums can apply for between £3,000 and £75,000. In exceptional circumstances we may consider applications exceeding £75,000 (up to £100,000), for high impact, cohesive projects that can be delivered within the one year time frame. Applicants wishing to apply for more than £75,000 must discuss this with MGS prior to an application being submitted.
  • Non-accredited Museums can apply for between £3,000 and £20,000.
  • You can apply for 100% of the total cost, although we are keen to see a financial contribution wherever possible to ensure that limited funds can support as many museums as possible.
  • Grants will be awarded as exempted subsidy under Article 364(4) of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. There is a ceiling of 325,000 Special Drawing Rights for subsidies provided to any one economic actor under this Article over a 3-year period.  Any Article 364(4) subsidies (or similar aid, including “de minimis” aid granted prior to 31 December 2020 under Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013) awarded to the Grantee will be relevant if the Grantee wishes to apply, or has applied, for any Article 364(4) subsidies.

When to apply

The submission deadline for this funding will be 5pm on Monday 14 February 2022, however please note that all applicants should contact MGS regarding their proposed applications no later than 5pm on Friday 4 February 2022. Please see below for process of registering interest.

Please also note that, if you are a Non-accredited Museum that has not previously applied to MGS for funding, you will first have to submit an eligibility questionnaire by 31 January. This is necessary because you cannot begin an application until we have declared you eligible to apply and it can take up to a week for the eligibility verification process to be completed. The eligibility questionnaire is available in the “Supporting documents” section below.

Decisions on funding will be announced by 31st March 2022.

How to apply

Once you have read this guidance carefully, you must contact the MGS Grants Team to register your intention to apply no later than 5pm on Friday 4 February. They will be able to give advice on the suitability of your proposal and how to make your case for funding. You should email giving a very brief indication of how much you intend to apply for, for what purpose and flagging any specific queries you have. A member of the grants team will then get in touch either with a direct response to your proposal and queries or to arrange a telephone call to discuss further.

Applicants must complete their application online - please click on the link below to access our application portal and select the Museums Capital Resilience Fund application form. Please note that you do not have to complete the application in one sitting; you can save the application form and come back to it later to complete it.

A PDF version of the application form is available in the “Supporting documents” section below. This is for guidance only, so you can see what questions you will have to answer before starting the online form.

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment Criteria

We will assess your application against the following criteria, using them to make our decisions about who to fund in what we expect to be a competitive round. It is therefore important that applicants seek to make as strong a case as they can against each of these. The application form contains guidance under each question about the kinds of things we are looking for in your response. Please read this carefully; it is advice about how to make your case as strong as possible in relation to these criteria and applicants who do not use this advice are unlikely to be successful.

  • Need: both for the work you propose to carry out and your need for financial support to deliver it.
  • Impact: the demonstrable difference the project will make to your museum’s resilience, taking into account how quickly you will begin to feel this benefit and backed by information about the potential income generation and/or cost savings that could be achieved.
  • Deliverability: projects must be well planned and costed. Please note that we understand it may be difficult getting formal quotes in the time available, but you must explain how your costs have been calculated if quotes are not available.
  • Environmental impact: we will prioritise applications that are directly about reducing carbon emissions or creating a positive environmental impact. We will fund projects that are not explicitly about these things, but we expect all projects to consider the carbon and other environmental cost of delivering their activity and to reduce this wherever possible.


All applicants should contact MGS regarding their proposed applications no later than 5pm on Friday 4 February 2022.

The Grants Team can be reached via email: