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Our expectations of the organisations we fund

In line with the ambitions outlined in the Strategy, we expect the organisations that we fund to be committed to the following principles. We expect to see these principles evident in the way that you operate and in the way that you develop projects for which you are seeking funding from us.

Fair work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, organisations, and society. We therefore want to ensure that those organisations we fund are committed to fair work.

All museums should be familiar with the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Framework and the five dimensions it focuses on; effective voice; security; opportunity; fulfilment; respect.

All applicants to our funds will be required to confirm that they pay ALL workers the Real Living Wage and provide appropriate channels for effective voice. By effective voice we mean that employees are able to contribute their ideas, be listened to and able to make a difference.

Applicants will need to provide evidence of their adherence to these requirements and can access more information about how to do this on our Fair Work First – Guidance for funding applicants page.

If you are applying for funding to support a post or a freelance contract you will need to ensure that the salary, contract, recruitment processes and support for the post holder meet certain requirements, further details of which are available in our guidance for developing your project and application.


Climate Action
Click here to go to the Strategy Hub

Funded organisations will be more environmentally sustainable

Museums can and must play a part in helping Scotland to achieve net zero by 2045 and in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis.

We expect museums we fund to be developing their understanding of the environmental cost of all of their activity and taking steps to reduce this.

Regardless of what you are asking us to fund, you will be required to tell us about how the environmental cost of this particular activity has been considered and what steps you are taking to reduce this.

Museums should provide the opportunity for all people to enjoy a cultural life.

We expect all museums to recognise that barriers to participation exist for certain groups and individuals, resulting in their exclusion from museums and their work. Museums we fund should be developing their understanding of who is under-represented in their current users and in the stories they present and proactively seeking to engage and represent those that have previously been excluded.

Support and advice relating to becoming a more inclusive museum is available in our advice topics.

For any project involving collections research, or about improving access to collections, developing audiences or any kind of programming, applicants will be required to tell us about how they have considered inclusion in the development of their project. However, inclusion will be relevant to other projects and any applicant can opt to respond to this question if they wish.

Museums should be actively planning their development, aware of and responding to social, economic and environmental factors and the resources they need to sustain their work in the longer term.

We expect all museums applying to us for funding to have an up-to-date, active forward/business plan that clearly states their vision. Those applying to the Museum Development Fund will be required to submit a copy with their application. They should be able to articulate the role that the project for which they are seeking funding will play in furthering that vision and their development.

Crucially, all applicants must be clear on how they will sustain the outcomes brought about by our funding, once the funding has come to an end.

Click here to go to the Strategy Hub

Working collaboratively wherever possible

Working collaboratively can enable museums to do more through the sharing of resources, knowledge and skills. It can open up opportunities, raise the museum’s profile and awareness of its assets, and build a network of support.

We expect museums applying to us for funding to always consider whether a collaborative approach could be adopted for the work they are proposing, whether that be working with other museums and heritage organisations, or other organisations and groups outwith the sector.

We appreciate that not all activity will lend itself to a collaborative approach, but we expect applicants to be able to articulate how they have concluded that it does not. As a minimum, applicants must have a plan for how and where they will share learning from their funded activity.

We will prioritise partnership applications and those that demonstrate a collaboration with non-museum organisations. Being part of a partnership application will not compromise your chances of success if you also wish to submit individual applications for funding for activity that cannot be done collaboratively.