Museum Development UK (MDUK) announces The Wild Escape funding awarded to over 130 museums in a celebration of museum collections, UK wildlife and creativity

Museum Development UK, a network of national Museum Development providers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, has awarded over £400,000 as part of The Wild Escape grant programme to over 130 museums, galleries, and historic houses, and 7 further consortia projects of museums enabling them to participate in this major new project.

The Wild Escape, led by Art Fund and supported by Arts Council England, is a major new project uniting hundreds of museums, schools, and communities in a celebration of UK wildlife and creativity. For museum teams and schools, the project offers a fun and educational way to engage children with museum collections, through a focus on wildlife and the nature around us.

The Wild Escape coincides with the BBC’s Wild Isles programme, a major new BBC natural history service, presented by Sir David Attenborough, revealing a rarely seen wild side of the UK. It will inspire primary school children through art and design activities on BBC Bitesize, also lined to from other BBC sites.

The Wild Escape

Led by the Art Fund, with support from Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, Kusuma Trust and a group of generous individuals and trusts, The Wild Escape grant scheme has been developed and delivered by Museum Development UK.

This collaboration to deliver small grant investment in museums across the UK builds on previous work undertaken by Museum Development UK and Art Fund, which provided small grants through the Museum Development Recovery grant programme in response to the pandemic, across 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Vic Harding, member of MDUK said: “MDUK is delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Art Fund on this exciting new project. The Wild Escape could not be better timed, with the urgent need to support museums rebuild their connections with schools and other education providers following the pandemic alongside the significant role museums can play in supporting local communities navigate the climate emergency and the impact it is having on our precious biodiversity. Collections provide a unique vehicle through which to discuss and further understand the wider impact of this collective challenge for today and future generations.”

Art Fund’s director Jenny Waldman said, The Wild Escape is a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s museums, galleries and collections to creatively engage the next generation in a positive future for our wildlife and natural environment. I hope all museums, galleries and historic houses join us and take part in The Wild Escape. Where cost is a barrier, they can apply for a grant to support their activities. We are enormously grateful to Arts Council England for their generous support for this ambitious project through a major National Lottery Project Grant.”

Applications are now closed for The Wild Escape small grants however museums, galleries and historic houses can still participate and benefit from a wide range of resources and project opportunities developed as part of The Wild Escape programme. For full information and to register, please go to About | The Wild Escape or contact [email protected]