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Funding Announced For Innovative Projects In Scotland’s Museums And Galleries

Funding Announced for Innovative Projects in Scotland’s Museums and Galleries

As a new decade begins Scotland’s museums and galleries have big plans to further their innovative work in creating meaningful experiences and spaces for their communities and visitors to explore.

2020 sees nine projects from around the country awarded a share of 300k of funding from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for Scotland’s museums.

Funding from MGS’s Museum Development Fund will support these projects as they look to the future through ambitious redevelopment, international partnership projects, and the preservation of important collections for the next generation.

The nine projects range from celebrating local family history through the refurbishment of a resource centre in Nairn Museum, to creating meaningful international relationships through connecting David Livingstone Birthplace with organisations in Malawi, Botswana and Zambia. Future innovation will be at the forefront of a new interactive and immersive gallery space exploring robotics in surgery at Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The range of the funded projects highlights the diversity of objects and stories in the care of Scotland’s museums and galleries.

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland said:

“We are delighted to support museums and galleries in Scotland to continue their ambitious approach to making the fascinating collections in their care accessible to everyone. The nine funded projects are looking to the future to create museums that are relevant and responsive to their community and visitors. Many of the museums are using the grant to strengthen their position in these changing times through developing their financial sustainability, increasing digital use in exhibitions, and creating peer to peer learning opportunities.”

The David Livingstone Birthplace received £39k for a project which will develop working partnerships and networks between museums and organisations that hold collections relating to Livingstone in the African countries he explored.

Grant MacKenzie, Project Manager David Livingstone Birthplace said:

“David Livingstone was one of the foremost international travellers through his explorations in Sub-Saharan Africa and the trust is uniquely placed to foster contemporary international links with the countries that he visited. We are delighted that the Museums Galleries Scotland grant will enable us to work with Museums in Malawi, Zambia, and Botswana developing knowledge of our collections, sharing best practice and then sharing this with Scotland’s heritage sector.”

MGS recently announced their decision to remove the need for match funding from their grants programme, in order to further support museums and galleries through increasing access to funding.

A full list of the funded projects appears below, and further details on the fund are available from



Grampian Transport Museum Trust | £10,777 | Utilising assets to engage with the cruise ship market

Grampian Transport Museum receive £10k of funding to support the promotion and restoration of a rare 1960 Bristol double deck The ride on the Bristol is to be the main attraction in a promotional co-operation organised by Grampian Transport Museum with National Trust Scotland Craigievar Castle to attract cruise ship passengers from the new port facilities at Aberdeen from Spring 2020.


Dundee Museum of Transport | £37,666 | Building a Sustainable Future for Dundee Museum of Transport

Dundee Transport Museum receive over £37,600 to support their goal for long-term financial sustainability. The funding will be used by the museum to create a 24 month Museum Development Officer post, who will work to establish the foundations for the museum’s financial future.


Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh | £60,000 | Body Voyager

Surgeons’ Hall Museum receive £60k of funding to support the development of a gallery space that will explore the topic of robotics in surgery. This new space will be an immersive, interactive experience that will engage visitors in debate through innovative digital interpretation.


University of St Andrews | £56,141 | Hazardous Collections Survey and Stewardship

The University of St Andrews receive £56k of funding to develop the understanding and management of the collections in their care which consist of hazardous substances. This project will widen the accessibility of the hazardous items in the University collection.


Highland Museum of Childhood Trust | £14,650 | The Highland Museum of Childhood Development Project

The Highland Museum of Childhood receive £14,650 to support phase one of their redevelopment project. The funding will reinvigorate the museum retail and reception space through refurbishment of the space and new shop stock. The display area will under go development with a refresh of the museum interpretation panels and labels.

Nairn Museum Trust | £16,275 | Family History Room refurbishment

Nairn Museum receive funding for a new Family History Centre to extend and greatly improve access and facilities for local historians, family history researchers, professional genealogists, visiting academics, and amateur sleuths in Nairn and the surrounding areas. The museum will increase the accessibility of their popular resource through relocation of the centre, improved visitor facilities, and new IT equipment.


Culture Perth and Kinross | £59,770 | Perth City Hall Museum - Archaeology, Social History and World Cultures Exhibit Conservation

Perth City Hall Museum receive £59k to conserve 462 objects from their Nationally Significant Collection of unique archaeological, social history and world cultures material. These items tell the story of Perthshire and its people at home and abroad, from earliest times to the present day. The objects will be conserved before many of them go on display in the new permanent galleries at City Hall Museum.


David Livingstone Trust | £39,840 | Livingstone's Living Legacy 

The David Livingstone Birthplace received £39k for a project which will develop working partnerships and networks between museums and organisations that hold collections relating to Livingstone in the African countries he explored.


Scottish Contemporary Art Network | £14,400 | CLiC: Connect and Activate

Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) receive £14k of funding towards an exciting programme of activity for Curatorial Leadership in Collections (CLiC), a network of curators from 10 contemporary art collections in museums and galleries around Scotland. With match-funding from Art Fund and Creative Scotland, CLiC’s new Connect and Activate Programme for 2020/21 has a particular focus on exploring how contemporary artists can work with collections to develop fresh perspectives and nurture diverse audiences.



  • Museums Galleries Scotland is the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland and offers strategic development support to the sector. For further information about Museums Galleries Scotland visit  
  • Museums Galleries Scotland distributes funding from the Scottish Government to support development in Scottish museums. The funding is allocated through grants to project activity, which delivers outcomes that directly align with Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries and with the development plans of the individual museum.   
  • The nine projects supported through the MGS Museum Development Fund are: David Livingstone Birthplace, Grampian Transport Museum, Nairn Museum, Scottish Contemporary Art Network with match-funding from Art Fund and Creative Scotland, University of St Andrews, Highland Museum of Childhood, Culture Perth and Kinross, Dundee Museum of Transport, and The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.



Published 13 January 2020