Workforce Development Grants

Thanks to generous partnership funding from Art Fund, Museum Development East Midlands (MDEM) are pleased to offer Workforce Development Grant opportunities to museums in the East Midlands.

The grants are available for individuals or organisations that represent Accredited museums (including provisionally accredited) and those officially working towards Accreditation in the East Midlands (excluding NPO or nationally funded museums). Grants of up to £3,000 are available.

Download the Workforce Development Grant application form here.

Purpose of Grant:

This grant scheme is to enable the retention, training, and development of the museum workforce to contribute to the continued recovery of the sector from the pandemic, and to support the sector to mitigate pressures resulting from the cost-of-living crisis.

The priority for this funding will be to support the ongoing resilience of small to medium-sized museums in areas of low cultural community engagement, and museums in urban areas that have niche collections and specific cultural offers outside of the larger city institutions.

What the grant can fund:

Applications for funding must support workforce and volunteer development and retention including:

  • Support for in-house training and places on training courses and conferences, including reasonable travel expenses where applicable
  • Staff and volunteer retention initiatives
  • Diversifying volunteers or workforce
  • Wellbeing offers for staff and volunteers (either as individuals or groups)
  • Bespoke personal development opportunities to upskill collections and curatorial staff, and other collection-centred roles (including learning and engagement, interpretation, and co-production)

Applicants will need to articulate what difference the funding will make and how they will demonstrate impact.

What the grant cannot fund:

  • Revenue costs such as salaries and general running costs
  • Building (capital) work

The fund is open to individuals or organisations that represent Accredited museums (including provisionally accredited) and those officially working towards Accreditation in the East Midlands. National Portfolio Organisations and nationally funded museums are ineligible to apply, although they can be part of partnership bids.

All successful applicants must complete the Museum Development annual Museum Data Survey when requested.

 Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • There is a demonstrable need
  • Urgency of need and availability of other suitable funds
  • Outcomes will demonstrate impact of funds
  • Project demonstrates value for money
  • Application demonstrates 10% match funding towards total project cost

 Match funding: The grant can fund up to 90% of the total project/activity/CPD costs in your answer to Q8 – applicants must demonstrate how they will cover the remaining costs. A match funding contribution can be in cash and/ or volunteer-time where appropriate. Staff time is not eligible match funding.

How much can you apply for:

  • Individuals can apply for up to £1,000
  • Organisations can apply for up to £3,000

 When is the deadline?

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 8th September 2023. It will be a competitive process. The grant must be spent and evidence of expenditure submitted by end of March 2024. You should receive a decision on your application within four weeks of the application deadline.


5pm, 8th September 2023 Deadline for applications 
W/c 2nd October 2023 Applicants informed of outcome
31st March 2024 Grant funding must be spent (although projects or activity can continue to end of June 2024).
31st March 2024 Evidence of Expenditure form completed and returned


31st March 2024 Monitoring Form completed and returned
30 June 2024 Project/activity Completion

If you are successful, you will need to accept the Workforce Development Grant Terms and Conditions issued with your offer letter before payment can be made. We will endeavour to make grant payments within six weeks of receipt of acceptance of terms and conditions.

More information: You are welcome to discuss your application in advance of submission with Liz Moran, the MDEM programme manager:

You can find information about our Privacy Policy here.

Museum Commitment: By applying for a grant, you are acknowledging that you will provide MDEM with grant monitoring and evidence of expenditure information, and that you will complete the annual regional Museum Data Survey and Organisational Health Check when requested.


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