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Preparation for museum closure: Governing body


The decision to wind-up a museum’s governing body depends on whether the governing body’s remit is solely about the museum offer, or whether it has a broader remit. 

If the governing body can continue to achieve its stated objectives/charitable purposes without the museum then they may need to look at alternative ways to fulfil them. In which case the governing body will continue to exist after the museum has closed. 

The trustees/directors of the governing body need to be fully aware of all their personal liabilities and risks. Depending on the constitutional form the level of these risks will vary. The governing body members should have been made aware of these liabilities and risks, via a regularly reviewed risk register, when they were inducted to their role. 

If the charitable governing body needs to be wound up or dissolved, then the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) consent is required. This is to ensure that any remaining assets are used for charitable purposes, as required by charity law, and that clauses in your governing document have been followed. 

OSCR’s four steps to winding up are: 

  • Look at remaining assets 
  • Look at governing document 
  • Decide what to do with assets 
  • Apply to OSCR with at least 42 days’ notice 

OSCR has published guidance for winding up charities on their website. 

If the governing body is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), then the procedure with OSCR is different. OSCR have specific advice for SCIOs wishing to dissolve, amalgamate with another, or transfer its assets to a new SCIO. 

Risk Register Templates
(PDF, 45 KB)

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For further advice on preparation for museum closure, contact our Museum Development team.

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