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#COP26Conversations Fund

Museums, libraries and historic environment organisations can apply for up to £1,000 to deliver activity that will take place in Scotland before 15 November and involve public facing activities and events focused on engaging communities with climate matters.

About the fund

An Introduction to COP 

The Conference of the Parties or COP is a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). Around 200 countries committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions will gather creating a busy, thought provoking and exciting atmosphere. This year the UK Government and Italy are COP26 Presidents and Glasgow City Council is the host city. The Scottish Government is planning an extensive programme to showcase Scotland and the ‘Race to Zero’ - the shared global net zero emissions target - opening up lots of ways for people to engage and learn about important work being done and to come.  

Role of the Culture Sector in meeting the Climate challenge – Net Zero 2045 

Culture and heritage organisations have the power to support conversation, build ambition and drive climate action by communities towards a net zero society. Connecting with culture and our heritage offers an invaluable way of bringing empathy and understanding to the complexities of the human impacts of climate change and the opportunities we have to create positive change.   

With Scotland hosting COP26 there will be a huge amount of energy and debate centred around the Climate Emergency. This fund will support organisations to create and support opportunities and conversations around important climate issues emerging in communities across the country. This is an exciting chance to drive and shape local solutions to an international issue. 

Our Fund

The #COP26Conversations Fund has been designed to help cultural and heritage organisations begin to raise their profile as spaces for communities to engage with the climate challenge and explore positive actions. The fund encourages fun and creative participation, a chance to connect with the energy that is building in Scotland as the hosts of COP26. 

The fund is being delivered in partnership between Museums Galleries Scotland, the Scottish Library and Information Council and Historic Environment Scotland, it will offer small grants (up to £1,000) to museums, libraries and historic environment organisations to host small scale, community focused events and activities in the build up to and during COP26.

Who can apply for this funding?

Museums, libraries and historic environment organisations that are formally constituted and not-for-profit and which have an organisational bank account.

Please note that if you have not applied for funding via MGS before, you will be asked to supply information with your application to enable us to verify your eligibility for funding, this will include sending a copy of your governing document and a copy of your most recent bank statement.

What we can fund

The fund will offer small grants to museums, libraries and historic environment organisations to host small scale, community focused events and activities that will take place between early September and 15 November. (Please note our awards are announced on 6 September and we cannot support activity delivered prior to that date.)

Activity could be in person or by digital means and might include; 

  • a one-off event or workshop to explore the impact of climate change in your local area 
  • a trail or walking tour to explore climate impact 
  • storytelling or other artistic presentations or experiences reflecting on climate change
  • a specialist piece of interpretation around an object, book, site, building or landscape
  • a call to action to inspire individuals to take action to reduce climate impact in their own lives 

Costs might include additional staff costs, fees for a workshop leader or storyteller, event equipment, materials, resources to support compliance with Covid restrictions, PPE, hospitality, marketing for your activity.

We will be keen to see collaboration with climate or environment organisations to deliver activity. 

What we cannot fund

You can only apply for support for the additional costs you would incur through running a community, climate focused event or activity. We cannot fund:

  • Contingency exceeding 5% of total costs
  • Core business costs or overheads
  • Activities that contravene government guidelines relating to Covid


You can apply for a grant between £150 and £1,000.

When to apply

The fund will open for applications on 6 July.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 30 July (first time applicants to MGS must register before they can begin an application which can take 2 working days – please see instructions in ‘How to apply’ below).

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by 6 September.

How to apply

Applicants should read the guidance on this page thoroughly, including the information about our assessment criteria below

All applications must be submitted and completed online via MGS Online .

A PDF version of the application form for reference can be found at the bottom of this page.

Any applicants experiencing technical issues with MGS Online should email:

Organisations need to be registered on MGS Online in order to start an application so if you have never applied for funding via MGS before, you will need to complete and submit an organisation registration form. Please allow 2 working days for us to process your request and get your details onto our system

A copy of the organisation registration form is also available in the files section at the bottom of this page.

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment criteria

We will need to understand from your application what your planned activity is and how it is going to engage audiences with climate matters. Make sure it is clear who your intended audiences for the activity are eg. children, specific community groups, your general visitors. Please note that we are keen to see accessible and inclusive community focused activities designed to engage a range of people and not just those who may already be very engaged with climate issues.

We will also need to be able to see that your plans are viable so we will be checking that:

  • You have planned the steps necessary to deliver your activity
  • Your costs are reasonable (it helps if you back up your costs with quotes or links to where you found the prices of resources)
  • You will promote your activity so that audiences get to know about it

Please note that we want to support activity that promotes sustainable development practices and where possible use local suppliers.

In the event of very high demand for funds, we will prioritise:

  • A good geographical spread of activity across Scotland
  • Engagement of highest possible number of people (members of the public)
  • The most accessible and inclusive activities
  • Activity that will establish sustainable new partnerships and relationships


If successful

Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement, agree to general conditions for spending the funds, and to report back on the use of the funds. They will also need to comply with government COVID-19 guidelines (Scottish Government Events Sector Guidance). 


Our Grants Team are available at:

Please note, for technical support with using MGS Online, you should email