Lancaster Museum © Victoria Smith

Covid-19 Recovery

Since 2020, MDUK and The Art Fund have forged a new partnership to distribute recovery funding to museums across the UK.

Recovery Grants and Programmes are administrated by the UK-wide Museum Development providers comprising; Museum Development England (partnership of nine English regional MD programmes, funded by Arts Council England); Museums Galleries Scotland; the Welsh Government (assisted in 2020 by the Federation of Museums and Arts Galleries); and Northern Ireland Museums Council.

The priority for the initiative is to support the recovery phase of small to medium sized museums that have not received emergency funding from national bodies such as Arts Council England or National Lottery Heritage Fund. These museums are often located in areas of low cultural engagement; the main cultural offer in a locality; or based in urban areas with niche collections and specific cultural offers outside large city institutions.

Recovery Grants and Programmes awarded at the discretion of Museum Development providers based on urgency of need, project description and research, understanding of audience needs, track record of managing funds, value for money, evidence of strategic planning, organisational sustainability, and impact on communities.

The Art Fund contributed £280,000 in 2020 and £175,000 in 2021 to MDUK to support Recovery Grants and Programmes. MDUK has matched funded this with over £500,000 across the two years.

In 2021, programmes launch in July. For full details, eligibility and to apply, contact your local Museum Development provider.

In 2020, 156 museums across all nations of the UK benefitted from these Recovery Grants. A report on awards and grant distribution from 2020 is available here and our final evaluation report is here.