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Capital Resilience Fund 2023

Any organisation that runs an Accredited museum in Scotland can apply to Museums Galleries Scotland for grants between £5,000 and £60,000 from the Capital Resilience Fund 2023.

Purpose of the fund

The Scottish Government has allocated £500,000 of capital funding to develop resilience in Scotland’s museums.

This fund will support capital costs that directly increase the resilience of museums by increasing energy efficiency, reducing running costs or preventing increases in maintenance and repair costs. We will prioritise projects that will directly reduce carbon emissions or have a positive environmental impact, but all projects should aim for best practice in environmental impact in the way that they are delivered.

Projects can run over two years and activity that can be supported includes:

  • Works to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy running costs. Energy efficiency projects should seek to reduce carbon emissions, contributing to Scotland’s target of net zero emissions by 2045.
  • Critical repairs and preventative maintenance may be considered which will:
    • Contribute to the environmental sustainability of your building and;
    • Where it can be demonstrated the works are required to be carried out in the next one to two years. These requests must be supported by a costed condition survey from a suitably qualified professional.

We will prioritise projects that will directly increase energy efficiency however other capital works which will have a significant impact on financial resilience may be considered by exception and anyone intending to apply must discuss their proposal with a member of the Grants Team in advance.

Grants between £5,000 and £60,000 will be available. In exceptional circumstances we may be able to offer grants exceeding £60,000 for high impact projects that can clearly be delivered within two years.

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.

Anyone considering applying is strongly encouraged to read our Advice Guides on climate action to improve their knowledge of the range of activity that can be delivered in this area from undertaking carbon footprint calculations and energy audits, to case studies of previously funded climate action projects.

Who can apply for this funding?

To be eligible for MGS funding, organisations must be able to demonstrate compliance with the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First policy which requires workers to receive payment of the real Living Wage and have access to appropriate channels for effective voice. The is a Scottish Government requirement for all recipients of public funding implemented from 1 July 2023. Further information can be found in Fair Work First – Guidance for funding applicants.

  • This fund will be open to all Accredited museums in Scotland.
  • This fund is not suitable for partnership applications.

Expectations of funded organisations

As well as being Accredited, we expect the organisations that we fund to be committed to certain principles in the way they operate and develop projects. We expect the organisations we fund to be committed to:

  1. Fair work 
  2. Taking action to meet net zero targets and tackle the biodiversity crisis 
  3. Becoming more inclusive 
  4. Sustainable strategic development 
  5. Working collaboratively wherever possible

Please ensure that you read our further guidance regarding these expectations by clicking on each of the commitments above so that you can answer the relevant questions in your application.

What we can fund

  • Accredited Museums can apply for between £5,000 and £60,000.
  • In exceptional circumstances we may consider applications exceeding £60,000 for high impact, cohesive projects that can be delivered within the two-year time frame. Applicants wishing to apply for more than £60,000 must discuss this with MGS prior to an application being submitted.
  • 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.
  • The percentage of the sum requested from MGS should not be less than 20% of the total project cost.

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 two years 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 must note that we can only fund activity that directly relates to your museum function of safeguarding and making collections accessible. 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 two years of the grant being offered
  • Contingency exceeding 10% for direct capital costs, 5% for any other costs

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.

Remember that the person reading your application may well have no prior knowledge of your museum, needs, or circumstances and that providing evidence of the case you are making will make it much more compelling.

The need to do the activity you are seeking funding for:

We need to understand why you need to do what you are proposing. You should help us to understand what would happen or be lost if you did NOT do this work. Remember to include evidence – this can be anything that helps us to see how vital it is that you do this work and that you do it now rather than in 6 months or a years’ time. Remember that what might be obvious to you may not be to someone who is not in your museum and working around this need every day. Your ability to provide appropriate supporting evidence of need will be important. Tell us about the research and consultation you have undertaken, advice you have sought and how you have explored how others have addressed similar issues. You must demonstrate that your proposal represents value for money and that you have ended up with the most cost-effective option.

The impact that your proposed activity will have:

We need to understand 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 quantifiable potential increase in energy efficiency and/or cost savings that could be achieved. We are looking for the things that you will be able to measure to evidence impact as a direct result of the funded activity. We will also be looking at how you will sustain the benefits resulting from the funding after the funding comes to an end.

Your adherence to the commitments we expect of organisations that we fund:

Please refer to our guidance around our expectations of organisations that we fund and if you have any concerns or questions regarding these or demonstrating your commitment to the principles, please contact our Grants Team. We are aware that different organisations are at different stages in the way they operate in relation to these principles. So aside from specific requirements (such as those required under the Fair Work First policy) what we are looking for here is evidence of your understanding and application of these principles in your specific circumstances, rather than seeking to compare your activity and progress around these to that of others.

The deliverability of your project:

Projects must be well planned and costed. Projects supported by evidence of consultation with relevant industry professionals and detailed cost estimates will be scored higher than those without suitable supporting evidence. It is mandatory that repair and maintenance requests are accompanied by a costed condition survey from a suitably qualified professional which also establishes the urgency of the works requested. Applications with statutory permissions in place, such as planning consents, will also score higher against this criterion.

Environmental impact:

We will prioritise applications that are directly about reducing carbon emissions or creating a positive environmental impact. We may 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.

Your need for financial support to deliver the project:

Consideration will be given to whether your organisation is more able to support the activity from your own reserves than other applicants that are applying, or whether you have more funding avenues open to you than other applicants. In the interest of fair distribution of funds, we will also take into account the amount of money you have previously received from MGS when there is high competition for funds. However, please note that the success of your application will not be jeopardised by any money you have previously received from MGS as part of a partnership application or, if you are applying as a partnership, by funds previously received from MGS by individual partners.

How to apply

Before you begin an application, you must read the following:

You must also submit an expression of interest to no later than 5pm on Tuesday 7 November. Your email should give a very brief indication of how much you intend to apply for, for what purpose and flagging any specific queries you have. Please also indicate whether your proposed works require planning consent and whether this is already in place. 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.

All applications must be submitted via our online application portal MGS Online. A PDF of the application form is available in the Supporting documents section below. This is for reference only and all applications must be submitted online.

Apply via MGS Online

When to apply

The submission deadline for this fund will be 5pm on Tuesday 21 November 2023.

Please note that by 5pm on Tuesday 7 November 2023, all applicants must have submitted their Expression of Interest regarding their proposed applications together with a completed Employer Declaration form to

Applicants need only submit the Employer Declaration once per financial year. You can access that form and further guidance on our Fair Work First – Guidance for funding applicants webpage.

Decisions on funding will be announced by 19 January 2024.

Supporting documents
Getting started with MGS Online
(PDF, 586 KB)
Fair Work First Employer Declaration Form
(DOCX, 87 KB)
Sample application form
(PDF, 386 KB)

Contact the Grants Team

Our Grants Team are available by telephone on 0131 550 4115 or through email.

Email Grants Team