The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme Is Closing Soon

Your last chance to apply for an AIM Sustainability Grant - closes 15 January
About the AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme

About the AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme

The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme, supported through the generosity of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is intended to help medium and smaller sized AIM members to improve their medium and long term sustainability. To be eligible, museums must have an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year.

The scheme will come to an end in early 2018 – so this is the last chance that AIM members can apply: please submit your application by the closing date of 15 January 2018. Funding is aimed at projects that explore increased and/or diversified income streams and/or develop organisational resilience. Examples of the type of project that AIM would be keen to fund can be found on the main grants page here.

Not sure how the scheme could help your museum? Take a look at the case study below from AIM members, The Grantown Museum, to see how an AIM Sustainability Grant supported them.



Case Study: Grantown Museum


Cairngorms National Park

AIM grant received: £6,300 for a Retail consultant

The Grantown Museum is a social history museum in the Highlands of Scotland which has been operating since 1999.

Like so many Museums, we are experiencing the effects of local authority cutbacks and now need to be more self sufficient. We entered a partnership with Visit Scotland in 2014 and now run a tourist information centre in our foyer which has had significant impact in increasing our footfall.

While this has translated in some increase in revenue we knew that we would have to further improve our self generated income in order to survive. After a redisplay funded by Museums Galleries Scotland, which massively improved our offer, it was time to look at the shop.

We applied for an Aim Sustainability Grant to engage the services of ‘The Retailer’ – a retail consultancy team of associates. Working over the winter period of closure the team worked with us to come up with and implement a plan of analysis and action.

We first identified our fairly new customer groups and their needs, some of whom are not interested in a visit to the museum at all! We also identified areas that we could improve on, both physically – the shop lay out , external signage and a myriad of unconnected product lines; and how we were (usually under) selling our shop products and entry into the museum.

The consultancy team guided us through a process of change, facilitating volunteers’ training in the art of selling (having conversations and asking questions, not rocket science!), helping us decide on a streamlined and bespoke product range designed with our customers in mind, changing our shop and information centre layout so it is a more welcoming and pleasant space that helps our volunteers to engage with visitors, creating new signage and improving our outside space.

All pretty simple stuff really… but having someone with fresh eyes tell you half of what you already know needs to be done and make helpful suggestions about things you hadn’t thought of, really gives you the impetus to get those things done.

The team also left us with valuable tools which will improve how we evaluate and plan for the retail side of the business and how we can make best use of our EPOS system which has, before now, been a source of bamboozlement.

The work has borne fruit already with a satisfying 32% increase in shop revenue compared to last year.

 Daniel Cottam

 Museum Manager   01479 872478


AIM Grants

AIM can offer member museums a variety of grants to support different areas of your work

Guidance & Grants

AIM offers a range of grants for members