AIM grants

AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme

AIM Remedial Conservation Scheme

AIM Collections Care Scheme

AIM Collections Care Audits

AIM  Training Grants

AIM Hallmarks Awards

AIM Biffa Award History Makers Grant Scheme

AIM now operates seven easily-accessible grant schemes to help members with sustainability, income generation, governance, remedial conservation, collections care and training. 

The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme, the AIM Remedial Conservation Grant Scheme, Collections Care audits (in partnership with Icon) and the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme are generously supported respectively by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Pilgrim Trust. 

The schemes have been extremely popular with members, and a total of 140 museum projects have been supported with grants from the two schemes since 2006. 

Sustainability Grant Scheme

The AIM Sustainability Grants are intended to help medium and smaller sized members improve their medium and long term sustainability. Funding is aimed at projects that:

  • explore increased and/or diversified income streams
  • develop organisational resilience.

AIM is open to funding projects with an element of risk, particularly if the approach being taken is new to the organisation, but those projects must demonstrate that they have been well planned and thought through.

To be eligible for grants under this scheme members must have either an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year. Grants are available to museums that have received a grant directly from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in the last three years.

This scheme has been made possible by the generosity of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Collections Care Grant Scheme

AIM is grateful to the Pilgrim Trust for funding the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme (formally known as the Preventive Conservation Scheme) that is being run in association with the AIM Remedial Conservation Grant Scheme and the new for 2017, AIM ICON Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit Scheme.

This is a programme that has been set up to help small museums develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections through improvements to collections care within their museum.  The grants may enable museums to receive tailored, specialist advice about care of collections, or equipment to implement that advice. Funds may also support the training staff or volunteers to use new equipment, as well as its purchase, emphasising low cost solutions that can be easily understood. Better collections care supports museums' long-term sustainability.  We are looking for projects that enable a step-change in the quality of collections care that a museum is able to provide.

Applicants may also wish to refer to the Success Guide to Collections Care in considering the needs of the collection and how they could be addressed.

Collections Care Audit Grant Scheme

AIM is grateful to the Pilgrim Trust for funding the AIM Collections Care Audit Scheme which is being run in association with Icon. It is linked to the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme. The purpose of this scheme is to enable small museums to have a basic, professional collections care audit, to identify key issues and priorities for their museum, overcoming the financial and other barriers to accessing professional advice. This scheme is open to all UK AIM Members.

The Audits will

• Support the museum to care for its collection more effectively and efficiently in the long-term.

• Support the museum to meet the standards required for Accreditation.

• Ensure that AIM Pilgrim Trust Collections Care grants are effectively used to fund the most important and

 urgent needs of applicant museums by giving museums the option to undertake an audit before making a

 full application to the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme.

Remedial Conservation Grant Scheme

AIM is grateful to the Pilgrim Trust for funding the Conservation Grant Scheme. The AIM/Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant Scheme is intended to help small museums with the conservation of objects in their collections. Accessioned objects in any media are eligible. Whilst we expect museums to have a conservation plan, the object does not have to be the most at risk in the collection. However, the reason for your choice must be made clear in your application; for example, the object might be planned for use in a temporary exhibition. Conservation work should be carried out by a conservator chosen from the ICON register (, unless there are exceptional circumstances where this is not possible

AIM Training Grant

AIM Training Grants are available to support member museums in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce (paid or voluntary). The purposes of AIM Training Grants are to promote best practice by supporting attendance at conferences and training courses.  Applicant museums must be AIM members and priority will be given to smaller museums receiving less than 50,000 visitors’ p.a.

We can grant aid fees, accommodation (only where distance travel is involved) and travel costs towards:

         Courses, seminars and workshops

•          Museum conferences

•          Museum study visits

•          Mentoring placements

The maximum grant is £300 and receipt of previous AIM grants will be taken into account where relevant. We cannot support retrospective applications.

AIM Hallmarks Grant Scheme

The AIM Hallmarks Awards are intended to help museums begin to use the principles in the Hallmarks to improve the way they work. This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply to this fund for support in planning future development. Other museums, which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour. 


AIM Biffa Award History Makers Grant Scheme

The AIM Biffa Award funded ‘History Makers – People who helped to shape our world’ £1 million funding programme closing date for the next annual round will be in October 2017.

History Makers will fund museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures who have made a significant impact on the industrial, scientific, commercial or social history of the UK, shaping the world we live in today.

The programme is a partnership between Biffa Award and AIM and it will run over three years, awarding grants to AIM member museums of up to £75,000. £300,000 will be distributed in the first round. It builds on the very successful collaboration between AIM and Biffa Award from 2012-2014, which saw £1.5m invested in National Heritage Landmark Projects, saving some of the UK’s most important industrial heritage.

‘History Makers’ will enable the creation of new museum displays which will connect the public with the personal stories and achievements of both famous, and less-well known, historic figures. Through their lives, a new generation will be inspired by the qualities behind their successes, such as ingenuity, bravery, persistence, endeavour, imagination and insight. Many objects and collections will be displayed publicly for the first time to illuminate these stories.



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