Covid 19 Recovery Grants Report

In response to the pandemic during 2020, Museum Development UK* and The Art Fund worked in partnership to distribute recovery funding to museums across the UK.

The priority was to support the recovery phase of small to medium sized museums. These museums are often located in areas of low cultural engagement, are the main cultural offer in a locality, or based in urban areas with niche collections and specific cultural offers outside large city institutions.

In the East Midlands, Art Fund’s contribution was combined with funding from Museum Development East Midlands totalling £50,000.  During 2020, MDEM funded 7 projects benefitting 10 museums across the region with grants from £2,408 to £10,000.  The majority of grants funded new digital engagement projects as well as development of a museum’s retail offer to increase income levels, and new interpretation methods ready for reopening.

The investment programme supported organisational resilience and helped museums to reopen safely and effectively, to meet audience needs and expectations and to develop a sustainable offer for the future.  MDEM will again be offering grants to support recovery and reopening from April 2021 but the details have yet to be confirmed.  Keep an eye on the MDEM website for up to date information.

Projects are still ongoing, but this quantitative evaluation report shows the scope of
awards and grant distribution across the UK.

*Museum Development UK (MDUK) brings together Museum Development providers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and allows for a shared understanding of the national picture. MDUK is a network of all national Museum Development providers and practitioners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its overarching goal is to support diverse, inclusive and innovative museums that welcome people from all backgrounds. Together it creates a thriving museum sector by raising standards, driving excellence and supporting people working in museums.

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