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Financial Resilience

Museums Galleries Scotland Launch £332K Fund to Support Sector Reopening

Museums and galleries across Scotland are currently exploring options for reopening during Phase 3 of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Plan in ways that are safe and ensure confidence in visitors. To support the sector to meet the costs of reopening Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has launched a new COVID-19 Adaptation Fund. 

Tensure the safety and confidence of museum staff, volunteers and visitors thCOVID-19 Adaptation Fund will enable the purchase of items such as personal protective equipment (PPE)additional cleaning equipment and products, and screens to protect front of house staff.  

MGS has allocated £270K to the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund. An additional £62,720 from Art Fund brings the total funding pot to £332,720. The fund will be open to Accredited and non-Accredited museums and galleries in Scotland. Funding from Art Fund will prioritise smaller non-Accredited museums fulfilling specific cultural or local needs. 

MGS is part of the working group to develop reopening guidance for the museums and heritage sector and are working with Scotland Excel to enable museums and galleries to take advantage of the procurement contracts that they provide to all 32 local authorities. Available contracts include first aid, janitorial and PPE equipment.  

MGS’s Urgent Response Fund will remain open alongside the COVID-19 Adaptation Fund. The Digital Resilience Fund will close on 3rd July. 

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland said: 

Museums and galleries are entering another challenging period as they navigate the process of reopeninin a way that is safe for staff, volunteers, and visitors. I hope that our COVID-19 Adaptation Fund will help to plan ways to meet immediate needs and ease some of the pressures of reopening. Our support and funding will remain flexible to adapt to the needs of the sector, as we learn together how museums and galleries can safely operate in line with physical distancing. 

We urge museums and galleries to keep us informed of the challenges they face and their needs during reopening, so that our support can remain responsive for the sector. 

Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund said: 

At Art Fund we are putting every effort into helping museums and galleries through this current crisis as they face unprecedented challenges. We are delighted to be working with Museums Galleries Scotland to distribute grants to non-accredited museums, prioritising those that have not yet received emergency public funding and smaller museums fulfilling specific cultural or local needs, as part of a wider partnership with the Museum Development Network. We look forward to supporting museums in Scotland towards reopening safely and developing a sustainable offer.  

The COVID-19 Adaptation Fund will open for applications as soon as the Scottish Government guidelines for museums, galleries and heritage attractions guidance is published – anticipated later this month. It will be open to all Accredited and non-Accredited museums and galleries in Scotland. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. Accredited museums can apply for up to £7,500 and Non-Accredited museums can apply for up to £1,500, with partnerships of museums eligible for up to £10,000. 

MGS has also launched a new survey to understand museums and galleries readiness to reopen and what support is required. They are asking for people to respond as quickly as possible. Results will be shared with Scottish Government, the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions and members of the STERG group (Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group) and through their wider advocacy work.