No Min - £150,000
7 Jan 2022
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← Back | Last updated on 27 Oct 2021

John Ellerman Foundation: Museums and Galleries Fund

Museums and galleries are a means by which people engage with arts and heritage. Many institutions outside London hold important collections which have the power to inspire creativity, motivate artistic expression and stimulate local regeneration.

The Museums and Galleries Fund aims to help strengthen museums and galleries in the UK. We want to help organisations enhance and sustain curatorial development to attract a broader and more diverse public.

We have earmarked 10 per cent of our overall grants budget for the 2022/23 financial year to be awarded through the Fund in 2022. We expect to make five or six grants for periods of two to three years. While the average grant size is circa £90k we will consider higher amounts for exceptional projects.

What we will fund

We are keen to fund work which has a legacy within and beyond the organisation. We prioritise applications that aspire to achieve outcomes for people working in curatorial roles, the collections they work with and the institutions in which they work. We are particularly interested in proposals which:

  • enable new ways of working both for established curators or those just starting out


  • ensure organisations are able to safeguard and advance curatorial skills and make the most of opportunities at a time of development or change.

Who can apply

The Fund is open to a wide variety of collection types. We have supported visual and decorative arts, archaeology, and social and natural history collections. You can find out about the grants we have made on our website and through 360 Giving. Accreditation is not required, but applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • excellence in their field at a national level
  • national significance, usually through a unique or high quality collection
  • commitment to collaborative approaches, either as the focus of the request, or at a minimum with a strong track record of partnership working.

In line with our general policy, we favour organisations with an income between £100,000 and £10m, but may fund a larger institution if it is uniquely placed to meet our aim. Local authority, independent museums and contemporary galleries without permanent collections are also eligible. While our priority is small to medium-sized museums and galleries outside of London, national and/or London-based institutions may also apply if their project brings significant benefits outside of the capital. Universities are eligible to apply but due to their size and relative financial stability are less likely to be successful, and we therefore recommend a pre-application conversation with a member of the Grants Team. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from those areas where we have made fewer grants, such as the East Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The organisation applying must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • an emphasis on the value of curatorial skills
  • a commitment to excellence and innovation
  • strong leadership and commitment from senior management, board or governing body
  • effective financial management
  • the difference a grant would make, to the organisation, the general public or other audiences.

What we do not fund:

  • individual conservation projects (but we may consider conservation work as part of a wider request)
  • education and outreach work.

Applying to the Fund

The online application portal for the Museums and Galleries Fund will be open from Monday 18 October 2021. As for all other applications, we have a two-stage process. First-stage applications must be received by 5pm on Friday 7 January 2022. We expect to make decisions in spring 2022, so you should plan for the work funded by a grant to start from or after June 2022.

If you have any queries in the meantime about eligibility criteria or the application process, please contact us via in the first instance. A follow-up phone call with a member of the Grants Team can be arranged for more in-depth queries.