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Small Project Fund

Apply for up to £5,000 towards the cost of a small project that will help your museum to develop. Proposals should support the aims of Going Further, the National Strategy.

About the fund

This fund is designed to support museums to carry out small discrete projects in line with their own continuous improvement goals and the aims of the National Strategy.

Projects should demonstrate one of the following:

  • an enterprising approach – either with an innovative way of solving a problem or involving income generation
  • skills development (for staff and or volunteers)
  • advocacy – helping to raise your museum’s profile


Any organisation that runs an Accredited Museum in Scotland can apply.

(N.B. Applications from partnerships are welcomed, but must be submitted by a partner organisation that runs an Accredited museum. In all instances Accredited museums must be the main beneficiaries of the funding.

Any Scottish non-profit, non-Accredited organisation that holds a collection which is accessible to the public (N.B. these organisations can only apply for a total maximum of £1,500 either through one grant of £1,500 or two or more grants making up a total of £1,500)


Organisations running Accredited museums can apply for £500 up to £5,000 and up to 75% of the total project costs.

Non-Accredited organisations can apply for up to £1,500 and up to 100% of their total project costs however, £1,500 is the total that they can be awarded from the fund, whether this be in one grant or two or more smaller grants that add up to £1,500. Once they have received £1,500 from the fund they will not be eligible to apply again.

When to apply

There are three rounds of funding in financial year 2018/19. All successful applicants must start their project within 6 months of receiving the award and will have one year within which to complete their project. They must submit their final claim within 2 months of project completion.

Round Deadline Award
1 2 March 2018 9 April 2018
2 8 June 2018 16 July 2018
3 28 Sept 2018 5 Nov 2018

How to apply

Applications to this fund will are now open. 

If you wish to discuss any potential applications please contact Gillian Simison, Investment Manager at

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment criteria

We’ll assess your application in terms of:


We will look at how well you have demonstrated the need for this project and the suitability of your chosen approach.


We will look at:

  • how well your project aligns with our priorities (enterprise, skills development, advocacy)
  • how well your project aligns with the aims and objectives of the National Strategy
  • to what extent the project will support your organisation to improve in line with your stated plans


We will be looking for evidence that your project can be delivered on time, to budget, to specified standards and with the identified outcomes.

What we can fund

We will fund activities that contribute to the aims and objectives of the National Strategy.

What we can't fund

  • Core work or fill in for funding cut from core services
  • Maintenance and like-for-like replacements
  • Acquisitions
  • Projects that have already started, or will start before our published decision date (this does not include preparatory work)
  • Continuations or repeats of projects we have funded before, unless it can be demonstrated that there is new work taking the project on to another stage with new benefits to be gained
  • Salaries for existing staff, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the work is additional to their normal contracted hours
  • Project contingency

Case studies

Information and inspiration on projects MGS has previously funded through the Small Project Fund. 

Linlithgow Heritage Trust - Capacity Building Project

This case study is about a capacity building project to increase the resilience of Linlithgow Heritage Trust. You should read it if you are interested in improving the leadership, governance, and long-term sustainability of your museum.

Read more

Fife Folk Museum - 'Things We Love' 

This case study is about producing a new exhibition where the museum volunteers themselves were the focus. You should read it if you are looking for ways to recognise and celebrate the contribution of your own volunteers or to make use of an underused area of your museum. 

Read more


Gillian Simison
Investment Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4115