Funding sources

This page includes information on external sources of funding; for information on AIM grants available to AIM members, 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. 

Welsh Federation small grants

Since 2010 the Federation has received funding from the Welsh Government to offer grants to its members. The funding enables the Federation to advertise two grant rounds per year. The maximum grant amount is £10,000 (spring) and £3,000 (autumn). Since 2010 museums have benefitted to the value of over £375,000.

Next round of grants is now available – closing date 30 April 2021.

To apply for a grant, applicants must be a member of the Federation and be an accredited (or working towards accreditation) museum.

For more information, contact Chris Delaney on

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

  • Two funding streams for collections engagement, both offering grants up to £90,000 over around two years.
  • Expressions of interest deadlines are 26 April for grant awards in July and 13 September for awards in December, following a two-stage process.
  • In total £1.3m will be awarded, anticipated to be 7-10 projects in each funding round.

Click here to find out more>> 

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>>

Heritage Funding Directory

Managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fud, 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>>