C-19 Recovery

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, 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 by 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.

Environmental Sustainability

Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, Museum Development North West and the Carbon Literacy Trust have been awarded Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant funding for an ambitious two-year partnership project with MD England.

‘Roots & Branches’ aims to accelerate the museum sector’s ability to respond to the climate crisis. The launch of this project will coincide with the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Over the next two years, this project will enable us to scale up the roll-out of Carbon Literacy training across museums in England.

The project will create an environmentally aware and active sector, giving museums the tools to respond to the climate crisis. Facilitated in collaboration with MD England and supported by a new Museum Carbon Literacy Officer post, ‘Roots and Branches’ aims to train and certify 1,500 Carbon Literate museum professionals and volunteers. It will also see 300 museums developing organisational pledges to take action against climate change.

The training will start on 1 November 2021, the first day of COP26, as part of the Carbon Literacy Trust’s ‘Carbon Literacy Action Day’ – an attempt to stage the largest ever low-carbon education event globally and set a record for the number of people completing their Carbon Literacy training in a single day.

Opportunities for museums to get involved will include:

  • Taking part in a social media campaign to promote what museums can and are doing to address climate change in the run up to and during the COP26 conference
  • Attending museum-focused online Carbon Literacy workshops for people who govern, work and volunteer in museums
  • Using the free sector-specific Carbon Literacy Toolkit to roll out the training within your own museum
  • Taking your commitment further by becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation
  • Attending additional training arranged through the Museum Development Programme to deepen your knowledge and develop your action plans.

More information to follow.