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Museums Galleries Scotland Response on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Museums Galleries Scotland Response on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

This page contains information on how Museums Galleries Scotland is responding to the ongoing situation concerning the Coronavirus pandemic. For updated information on wellbeing, medical, and business continuity advice for museums please visit our information page on Coronavirus (Covid-19).


MGS working on your behalf

MGS is working to highlight the importance of securing appropriate and timely support on behalf of the sector. Thank you to all who have been in touch to tell us how Covid-19 is impacting on your organisation. We will continue to share these details with the Scottish Government so that they understand the specific impacts on museums and galleries and enable them to prioritise their response. Continue to keep us updated on your situation. 

MGS Funding 

On 5 April we announced that we will open two new funds to support museums and galleries at this time. The Urgent Response Fund and Digital Resilience Fund will open by 8 April.

All of our regular funding programmes will be suspended until further notice to allow flexibility to respond to the current situation. Read our announcement here


Grant payments 

We will endeavour to ensure that grant claims are processed as normal. Where our grant contributes to someone’s salary we will continue to accept claims for those costs, even if the post holder is unable to deliver the project as planned due to the impact of Coronavirus. 

For organisations currently delivering Small or Museum Development Fund projects, please remember that you can submit interim claims once you have reached a claim level of £2,000 after your award percentage has been applied, and you may wish to consider this to help improve your cashflow at this time. 

Tell us what your needs are  

MGS is monitoring the sector’s financial needs arising as a result of Coronavirus and will work to make our funding responsive. In order to do so, we ask museums and galleries in Scotland to keep us informed of the financial impact on your organisation. You can do so by emailing or calling 0131 550 4100. 

Free Advice Surgeries For Independent Museums

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM), supported by Museums Galleries Scotland, are offering free advice surgeries for Accredited museums or museums working towards Accreditation in Scotland. The advice surgeries can offer support with the issues your museum is facing right now as a result of the Coronavirus situation and look at how your organisation might need to adapt and change. Issues might include; finance, leadership, HR, business continuity, or maintaining volunteer engagement.

Up to an hour of support by email, phone or video conferencing is available. For more information and to apply for a free advice surgery please visit this page. 

MGS Workforce Development Programme  

We are looking at our upcoming training programme and what changes we might need to make to support the sector to continue to develop skills in the short and longer term. We will be in touch directly with people already booked on our upcoming courses and please also contact us should you have any queries.  


MGS, Arts Council England and the other UK Accreditation partners have announced that all Accredited museums in the UK will have their current award status extended for an additional 12 months. The plan is also to postpone all future Accreditation Panel meetings 1 April 2021 including the meeting that was scheduled for 28 April 2020.

In the meantime, the scheme will remain open so that museums who want to apply for “Working Towards” status still can and will still be able to access support from MGS to develop their applications.  MGS will publish a FAQ this week and you can get in touch with with any questions.

Recognition Scheme

MGS and the Chair of the Recognition Committee have taken the decision to defer the 2020 round of applications until 2021. This will allow applicants to focus their resources on any emergency or unexpected measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new deadline for the current round of Recognition is expected to be mid-2021. Although this deferral may afford museums more time to prepare a case, we recommend that applications begin again in earnest next year.

For museums who have already submitted a note of interest there is no need to resubmit if the application is for the same collection. Let us know if you wish to withdraw your application.

New applicants should get in touch with Jacob O'Sullivan, MGS Collections and Interpretation Manager at

Published 16 March 2020