Funding sources

This page includes information on external sources of funding. For AIM member grants, please click here.

National Lottery Project Grants

National Lottery Project Grants are open to applications via Arts Council England 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.

For those that are new to Project Grants, or haven’t applied for funding via ACE before, this presentation from Isabel Churcher, Senior Manager Museums at Arts Council England might be useful. Isabel shares an overview of Project Grants, the eligibility and application process. Download the slides or watch the 20 minute presentation given to AIM members:

Download the slides.

Watch the presentation.

Find out more and make an application via the ACE website. 

National Lottery Grants for Heritage

A funding programme for projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. Made possible thanks to National Lottery players. Grants available from £3,000 to £5 million.

Click here to find out more>>


National Heritage Memorial Fund’s COVID-19 Response Fund

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was founded in 1980 as the fund of last resort for outstanding nationally important heritage that is at risk. Over the past four decades over 1,300 heritage treasures have been saved for the nation.

In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, earlier this year NHMF’s £40million fund to support nationally important heritage at risk opened. This UK-wide fund includes the Cultural Assets Fund, a specific allocation of £20m from DCMS for England, alongside  NHMF’s own £20m allocation available to organisations across the UK. 

Organisations based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which own or manage nationally important heritage assets at risk due to the impacts of the pandemic are particularly encouraged to contact for advice.

 The fund is available across 2021/22 and 2022/23. The mandatory first step in making an application is to submit an Expression of Interest form before 16 January 2023.

Currently closed for applications>>

Historic Houses Foundation

The Historic Houses Foundation is a charitable grant giving foundation. The main aims of the Foundation are to support the preservation of buildings of historic or architectural significance together with their gardens and grounds, and to support the restoration and conservation of works of art in historic houses open to the public.

The HHF gives grants for the repair and conservation of rural historic buildings and structures located in England and Wales, including where appropriate their gardens, grounds and outbuildings. They would normally expect your building or structure to be listed however, they may also make grants to projects that involve an unlisted building.

Click here to find out more>>

National Archives

The National Archives is the sector leadership body for archives in England. They work with the archives sector, and with other Government departments and cultural bodies, to encourage sustainable, innovative and resilient archives across the UK. Since 2006, The National Archives has run several grant funding programmes for archives, working alongside a number of charity partners. In 2022, they gave over £625,000 to 47 different archives across England and the wider UK, and have given nearly £3 million since 2017.

In 2022, The National Archives consulted with over 150 archives and other key stakeholders, as part of a wider refresh of their approach to funding. They have launched that new vision, and the new funding programmes for 2023 – 2024, on their website:

For those interested in finding out more, a launch webinar will be held on Wednesday 14 June, at which the team will share some of the results of the consultation, introduce the new programmes (including four grant programmes which will be immediately open for archivists to apply to), and answer your questions. You can sign up here:

Weston Loan Programme

This programme from Art Fund provides funding for museums and galleries to borrow works from national collections, encouraging the sharing of works more widely across the UK.

The grants cover up to 100% of the costs associated with securing and displaying a loan, for example security reviews, insurance, transportation, conservation, installation and invigilation. They also support activity related to maximising the impact of the loan, such as production of marketing materials, on-site interpretation and/or audience engagement activity.

Made possible with the support of the Garfield Weston Foundation, the programme aims to encourage new and stronger relationships between regional and national museums and galleries.

Currently closed for applications>>

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation reopened their UK Funds on Friday 30 October 2020, with some changes to our criteria and processes which reflect what has worked well over the last few months, with more flexibility and better responsiveness to applicants. There are a number of Funds available but only some will suit museums and heritage organisations:

  • Arts Access and Participation Fund – addresses inequalities of opportunity to access and participate in the arts. Grants from £30,000 – £400,000 and lasting between 12 months and 4 years are available and its a rolling application cycle.
  • Arts-Based Learning Fund – supports work which enables pupils in formal education settings, particularly those experiencing systemic inequality or disadvantage, to thrive through engagement with high quality, arts-based learning. Grants up to £150,000 over two academic years with one deadline per year in the autumn.

You can find out more about the scheme and make your application here>>

Viridor Credits

Viridor Credits fund heritage projects in England and Scotland. The funding is via landfill tax so eligibility based on proximity to a Viridor landfill site applies, but its quick and easy to check your eligibility using your postcode and you can see all the guidance notes on the Viridor Credits website.

Click here to check your eligibility>>

Heritage Funding Directory

Managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Heritage Funding Directory is a free guide to financial support for anyone undertaking UK related heritage projects. This is a useful starting point for navigating funding sources in the sector detailing sources of grants from trusts and foundations, as well as organisations offering loan finance, awards, scholarships and other ‘in kind’ resources.

Visit the Heritage Funding Directory here. 

Funding Wales / Cyllido Cymru

Funding Wales is a free tool to help voluntary organisations find funding for their cause. The website, created by Third Sector Support Wales, allows charities, community groups or social enterprises in Wales to find funding using a free online search engine. You can search hundreds of grant and loan finance opportunities from local, national and international sources, from small grants to large capital projects.

To take advantage of the funding search, register at>>

Mae Cyllido Cymru yn declyn rhad ac am ddim er mwyn cynorthwyo mudiadau gwirfoddol i ddod o hyd i gyllid i’w hachos. Mae’r wefan, a grëwyd gan Cefnogi Trydydd Sector Cymru, yn galluogi elusennau, grwpiau cymunedol a mentrau cymdeithasol yng Nghymru i ddod o hyd i gyllid trwy ddefnyddio chwilotwr ar-lein rhad ac am ddim. Gallwch chwilio trwy gannoedd o gyfleoedd cyllid grant neu fenthyciadau o ffynonellau lleol, cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol, o grantiau bychain i brosiectau cyfalaf mawrion.

I fanteisio ar y chwilotwr cyllid, cofrestrwch gyda cyllido cymru>>

Grants Online

Grants Online is a comprehensive and up to date UK grant funding information service. Updated on a daily basis, Grants Online informs you of grant funding opportunities from the European Union, UK Government Agencies, the Lottery as well as grant Making trusts and foundations. Take a look at the latest funding opportunities available to UK based organisations, schools and community groups.

See the government website for finance and support available to businesses in the UK including loans and grants. Not all will be open to charities, and some will be location specific, so you may also want to speak to your local authority.

Click here to see finance and business support from>>