Culture Recovery Fund

This page was last reviewed 13 August.

For museums in England

Applications are open now for The Culture Recovery Fund – part of the government’s £1.57 billion emergency funding to safeguard museums and heritage. Deadlines are tight – consider these funds today!

Who is it for?
If your organisation has exhausted all other financing options and is at risk of failure before March 2021 then this funding is absolutely for you. The application process is split depending on your accreditation status, so AIM members who are Accredited, have Provisional or are Working Towards Accredited status should consider the Arts Council England support packages and Non-accredited museums and other heritage organisations should consider the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, administered by National Lottery Heritage Fund working with Historic England.

Non-accredited museums / other heritage organisations:

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage will provide £92m of grants for heritage and non-accredited museum organisations in England.

These funds will be distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund working together with Historic England on behalf of DCMS.

Grants from £10,000 up to £3million available .

Applications open now

Deadline: Monday 17 August

Full guidance and application details are available online at

Slides on the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage from recent online workshop with AIM consultants, Marilyn Scott and Heather Lomas.

Accredited museums, those who have Provisional or Working Towards Accredited Status:

Culture Recovery Fund: Grants

The Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme is focused on supporting cultural organisations at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year that are considered to be of international or national cultural significance, or contribute to Government’s levelling-up agenda.

Grants of between £50,000 and £3 million will be awarded from a budget of up to £500 million. A Cultural Recovery Board will make decisions on applications over £1m and any organisation requiring more than £3m can only apply for a loan, with no upper limit.

Round one: 12noon Monday 10 August – 12noon on Friday 21 August
Round two: 4pm Friday 21 August – 12noon Friday 4 September

Applicants will need to be registered on Grantium to complete.

Visit the Arts Council England website to find out more and make your application. 

Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance

£270 million will be available through the Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance programme, open to both charitable and commercial organisations.  More details about this programme will be published shortly and before the recovery grants close to applications, so potential applicants can choose which option is best for their organisation.

Please note organisations cannot apply for both grants and repayable finance.

National Lottery Project Grants

National Lottery Project Grants also reopened recently and are aimed at those who need funding for an arts, museums or libraries project that shows public benefit. ACE have updated the guidance removing the need for applicants to source match-funding; giving individuals time and space to think and plan with their funding; and making more museums and libraries projects eligible for funding. They are also open to applications from freelancers.

More details on ACE support

Getting help with your application

If your organisation does not have specialist fundraising expertise or you have never made an application to NLHF or ACE then we can help. Sign up for one of our online workshops to find out more about the grant schemes and talk through key aspects of your application with two of AIM’s experienced consultants, Marilyn Scott and Heather Lomas.

Tuesday 11 August at 2.30pm. Overview of both funds, with a focus on Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.

Slides from this session.

Friday 14 August at 2.30pm. Overview of ACE funding scheme and opportunity to discuss your application.

Register on Zoom here.

For museums in Scotland

Independent museums run by a not for profit organisation

Museums Galleries Scotland have announced the £4 million Museum Recovery and Resilience Fund, which aims to secure the future of Scottish independent museums put at risk by the Coronavirus pandemic and to protect the vital role that they play in their communities.

MGS expects most awards to be upward of £10,000. Some smaller organisations may find that their needs are not at this level and therefore requests for smaller amounts can be considered.

The fund opens to applications on Monday 17 August and MGS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the fund closes at 5pm on Friday 30 October.

Find out more on the MGS website.

Securing the future of Wales’ cultural sector

The Welsh Government is investing £53 million to help Wales’ diverse culture sector deal with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Cultural Recovery Fund will help protect organisations, individuals and jobs in the culture sector, including heritage sites and local museums.

More details are due to be released soon, but you can read more on the Welsh Government website here.

AIM Coronavirus resources
All AIM Coronavirus resources can be found here.