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John Ellerman Foundation Regional Museums and Galleries Fund

Museums and galleries are a means by which people engage with arts and heritage.  Many regional institutions hold important collections which have the power to inspire creativity, motivate artistic expression and stimulate local regeneration.  In the current climate they face major challenges from funding cuts and curatorial under-provision, reducing their scope to research and display collections and create new exhibitions.


The Fund aims to help strengthen regional museums and galleries in the UK. The John Ellerman Foundation want to help organisations enhance and sustain curatorial development to attract a broader public.

The budget in 2015/16 is £482,000 and they expect to make about four grants for periods of two to three years.

There is a focus on visual and decorative arts and social and natural history collections. Applicants should demonstrate:

  • excellence in their field at a national level
  • national significance, usually through a unique or high quality collection
  • a commitment to broadening audiences.

In line with our general policy, the Foundation favour applicants with an income between £100,000 and £10m, but may fund a larger institution if it is uniquely placed to meet our aim. While the priority is regional museums and galleries, national institutions are eligible to apply if their project brings significant benefits to the regions.

They are particularly interested in funding museums and galleries that plan to:

  • support new ways of working both for established curators and those just starting out
  • work in partnership with others to develop and share good practice
  • ensure that the experience from the work funded is integrated into any future plans.

They are looking for organisations that can show the following:

  • an emphasis on the value of curatorial skills
  • a commitment to excellence and innovation
  • strong leadership and commitment from senior management, board or governing body
  • effective financial management
  • the difference a grant will make, to the museum or gallery itself, to the general public and other audiences.

They do not fund:

  • individual conservation projects (but we may consider conservation work as part of a wider request)
  • education and outreach work projects.

Applying to the Fund

There have a two-stage process. First-stage applications must be received by Friday 9 October 2015. They expect to make decisions in spring 2016, so you should plan for the work funded by a grant to start from or after April 2016.

For more details and to apply, visit the John Ellerman Foundation website.

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