AIM Connected Communities

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  • Eligibility: Museums and partnerships or consortia including a museum in one of the 27 eligible areas in England. Organisations do not need to be members of AIM to apply. Open to Accredited and non-Accredited museums.
  • Grant award: £15,000 – £100,000

Museums have unique abilities to bring people together around collections, treasured local sites, and ideas. AIM’s new programme seeks to harness these opportunities to increase wellbeing in twenty-seven specified deprived areas in England and give more people the chance to get involved in their local museum and build meaningful relationships.

Funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Know Your Neighbourhood Fund through Arts Council England (ACE), AIM’s Connected Communities scheme offers grants of £15,000 – £100,000 to Accredited and non-accredited museums delivering projects in the eligible areas that will improve community connections through high-quality volunteering opportunities and/or reducing loneliness and increasing social bonds.

Alongside the grants museums will participate in a capacity-building programme that will support and upskill staff and volunteers, offer expert guidance through mentorship, help build partnerships with local organisations, and ensure the grant-funded projects have a legacy both organisationally and in the eligible areas.

Eligible areas

This programme is for projects working in the following areas: 

  • Barnsley
  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Blackpool
  • Bolsover
  • Burnley
  • Cannock Chase
  • County Durham
  • Doncaster
  • Fenland
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Halton
  • Hartlepool
  • Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Knowsley
  • Middlesbrough
  • Rochdale
  • Sandwell
  • South Tyneside
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Sunderland
  • Tameside
  • Tendring
  • Thanet
  • Torridge
  • Wakefield
  • Wolverhampton

What we will fund

We will fund projects with the following outcomes:

  • Reduced risk of loneliness and increased levels of social connections for participants


  • Improved accessibility of high-quality volunteering opportunities


  • Improved organisational relationships with local institutions and other partners engaged in similar work e.g. through increased partnerships between delivery bodies; improved use of local assets for communities; convening processes enabling identification and tackling of systemic barriers.

Full details

For the full details on what we will fund and the eligibility criteria, please click here for the CC guidance notes>>

Please click here for the CC grant terms and conditions>>


  • Complete Expression of Interest due 12noon Monday 27 November 2023
  • Organisations notified of result of EoI w/c 4 December 2023
  • Full applications due 12noon Monday 15 January 2024
  • Grant panel meets and grants awarded 30 January 2024
  • Notification of successful projects and formal offer letters February 2024
  • Projects to be completed by 31 January 2025

How to apply

Please talk to us while you are developing your project (before submitting your EoI). We will tell you whether your project is eligible and help you make your application as strong as possible.

The contact is Tonia Collett, Project Officer for AIM Connected Communities on

You can also sign up for one of our online workshops on Connected Communities themes (see below). We will provide information on all aspects of the scheme and there will be an opportunity to ask questions about your application.

All applicants must submit an Expression of Interest in the first instance, deadline 12noon on Monday 27 November. The panel will assess all the EoIs and select the projects that will be invited to submit a full application. If successful at the EoI stage, your full application will be due by 12noon Monday 15 January.

Please click here for the Expression of Interest Form>>

Please click here for the full application form>>

This programme is part of Know Your Neighbourhood. Other elements delivered via the Arts Council are through Creative Lives UK and Libraries Connected. The other strands of the project encompass Heritage Action Zones, UK Community Foundation projects, and National Lottery Community Fund projects.


These online workshops are intended to support potential applicants to develop their project ideas and to make a strong application so we’d recommend attending, if you can.

  • 21 November – Connected Communities – The role of museums in supporting wellbeing and alleviating loneliness – FULLY BOOKED
  • 7 December – Connected Communities – Ten top tips for making your organisation attractive to volunteers – click here to find out more and book>>
Funded by UK Gov-01
11/05/2023 in Leadership & Culture AIM Connected Communities Expression of Interest form

AIM Connected Communities Expression of Interest form

11/05/2023 in Leadership & Culture AIM Connected Communities guidance notes

AIM Connected Communities application guidance notes

11/05/2023 in Leadership & Culture AIM Connected Communities application form

AIM Connected Communities full application form

11/05/2023 in Leadership & Culture AIM Connected Communities terms and conditions

AIM Connected Communities grant terms and conditions