Collections Care Scheme

Derby Museums Trust
Derby Museums Trust

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 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 can provide.

Applicants may also wish to refer to the AIM Success Guide to Collections Care in considering the needs of the collection and how they could be addressed. This guide and other useful information is available for download at the bottom of this page.

Examples of things we can consider supporting

Examples of things we can consider supporting

  • Environmental surveys
  • Obtaining professional advice to compile conservation and implementation strategies
  • Environmental monitoring and control equipment
  • Ultraviolet filters
  • Integrated pest management
  • Display cases and picture framing (where this is required for conservation reasons)
  • Storage containers and packing materials
  • Development of emergency plans
  • Improvements to museum stores, especially to increase their capacity
  • Equipment or other support for digitalisation projects where this aids conservation
  • Training for volunteers or staff
  • Collections audits and collection management plans


What should applicants consider?

What should applicants consider?

Applications should show how the proposed project fits with the Collections Care priorities of the museum as assessed through a collection care audit, collections management plan or other similar document. If the museum does not already have such an assessment, you are advised to consider applying for an AIM Collections Care Audit as a first stage.

The collections care audits provide a basic audit of collections care needs. If you know your museum requires a more in-depth approach, you can apply directly for the necessary work through this grant scheme, but you should explain why you have chosen this route rather than applying for an AIM Collections Care Audit.

Professional conservation advice or advice from a professionally qualified adviser should be taken on the project you are submitting. Training or surveys should be undertaken by a conservator with experience in these areas. The conservator should be chosen from the ICON register  unless there are exceptional circumstances where this is not possible.




To be eligible for an AIM Collection Care Grant, organisations must:

  • Be an AIM member
  •  Be a registered or accredited museum, or be confident of achieving accreditation within two years (if you are in the latter category AIM reserves the right to discuss your accreditation application with the relevant authority)
  • Be a registered Charity, an associated charity can receive the grant on the museum’s behalf, if the museum itself is not a charity
  • Have fewer than 50,000 visitors p.a. OR a turnover of less than £300,000 p.a. (Please note in the case of branch museums, the total turnover of the parent organisation must be less than £300,000 p.a.)
  • Application to this scheme does not prevent museums applying to the Pilgrim Trust for other, unrelated projects
  • Applicants may apply to the scheme more than once for different projects
Eligible costs and how to apply

Eligible costs and how to apply

Project costs may include the conservator’s time and travel and/or purchase and installation of equipment and related supplies. Digitisation is only eligible where it is to fund digitising items that have been conserved.

If you are VAT Registered, recoverable VAT should be deducted from any invoices before claiming.

The maximum grant awarded will be £10,000. It is expected that the average grant awarded will be around £5,000. Grants of less than £1,500 will be paid in full on award; others will be paid 50% on award and 50% on completion and receipt of the conservator’s report. Applicants do not need to offer partnership funding although it will be welcome if they do. Bids may be made to part-fund larger schemes but not if that scheme is already being funded by the Pilgrim Trust.

You can download an application form at the bottom of this page . Please note, this is a Word document and will download directly to your computer.

Applications close on 31 March and 30 September 2019

They should be sent by email to the AIM Grants and Finance Officer  

Projects should, ideally, be discussed with the AIM Grants and Finance Officer prior to application. Please contact the Office by phone, 01584 878151 or by email


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