SHARE has set up a package of support for museums which are facing challenges as a result of the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic. Below is a list of new programmes we are launching to support museums in the East of England during this difficult time.

If you cannot see the help that you think you need listed below, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss this.

All the help listed below is offered FREE to museums in the East of England within the ACE Accreditation scheme and is available immediately. To discuss any of the opportunities below with a member of the SHARE team, please email (Please note: we are currently working away from the office with changes to normal working patterns. We will answer enquiries and process applications as quickly as we are able.)

To find out what support and guidance is available from other organisations such as Association of Independent Museums and Arts Council England, please visit our Corona Virus Resources page which we update regularly.

Next Step Grants

Whether planning to reopen to the public or choosing to remain closed, we want to support museums in the coming months to prepare effectively, develop resilience and maintain community links. Thanks to support from the Art Fund, SHARE Museums East has been offering grants to help museums with essential work arising from the Covid-19 crisis that meets these aims.

These grants are available to:

  • Support effective reopening
  • Develop sustainable and resilient museums
  • Meet audience needs

Grant Overview

We have given out most of this funding now, but if you still need some help along these lines please get in touch as we may be able to help.

Please make sure you have made use of the free SHARE helplines before you plan your application to us. It may be that these consultants will be able to help you so that you do not need to apply for this grant, or that you may decide to frame your application in a certain way because of their advice.

Examples of activities for which the grant have been used include:

Effective Reopening

  • Commissioning signage to enable museums to reopen
  • Purchasing cleaning materials to enable museums to reopen
  • Purchasing online ticketing software
  • Purchasing contactless payment/donation equipment
  • Enabling Track & Trace data collection in line with GDPR

 Sustainable Museums

  • Expert advice via consultancy on reviewing / restructuring your business model to meet the new changed circumstances
  • Any other project to mitigate your funding deficit forecast in order to preserve the museum business over the coming year.
  • Improvements to security to ensure collections are safe during lockdown
  • Purchasing equipment and refreshing stock for emergency kit during an extended closed period.
  • Volunteer / trustee recruitment campaigns (if you need more or other support with volunteering or trustees, please approach SHARE separately).
  • Purchasing IT equipment and licences to support working / volunteering from home.

Meet Audience Needs

  • Digital marketing costs e.g. Facebook ads
  • Digital equipment, tools or training to improve accessibility of exhibits
  • Costs towards website improvement
  • Equipment to record and publish podcasts promoting your activity

Who is eligible to apply?

  1. To apply for a Next Steps grant, you must be a museum in the East of England within the ACE Accreditation scheme (including provisional and officially Working Towards) which is not also an ACE National Portfolio Organisation or a National museum.
  2. Museums which have not received emergency funding from ACE, NLHF or other emergency funders such as Heritage England will be prioritised, due to the requirements of our funders the Art Fund. 
  3. Museums cannot apply for funds for capital projects (building work) and revenue costs such as salaries and general running costs.
  4. Museums cannot apply to cover the costs of activities that have already occurred or are currently running, or expenditure incurred before a grant offer is made.
  5. Museums must complete pre-application work before applying, see full guidance document
  6. Museums must have the support of their County Museum Development Officer (MDO).  

Documents and Deadlines for main tranche of funding: 

Deadline was  31 JULY 2020 

Please return your application form and supporting documents to the SHARE  email Inbox. Please do not post a paper copy; we are unable to access our office or post. 

Other useful documents and resources: 

Other Funding Support

Online fundraising support

This scheme is for Accredited museums facing financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. We will fund and coordinate work that directly supports online fundraising for museums, through experienced web designers Starfish. Examples of projects that we will fund include:

  • Setting up an online donations platform (e.g. JustGiving)
  • Creating a social media profile to promote fundraising
  • Creating a website or single page that directly supports or links to online fundraising
  • Design and creation of an electronic newsletter to support fundraising

How to apply

Email asking to apply to the fund, with the following information:

  • Name of your museum
  • Outline of proposed project and why your museum needs support
  • Two named contacts, with email addresses and phone numbers
  • Confirmation of approval by Chair of Trustees
  • Charity Number (if applicable)
  • Confirmation that you will be able to provide a range of information (e.g. museum images, bank account details etc.) to the designer on request at short notice

Before Applying

Please have a look at these resources when thinking about your project:

To help you plan your project we are also offering FREE access to a fundraising consultant (see below). Please contact him to discuss your plans before applying.

Eligibility and application criteria

Accredited museums and those officially Working Towards Accreditation from across the East of England are invited to apply.


Applications will not be considered:

  • To cover the costs of activities taking place before a grant offer is made.
  • By museums that are not Accredited or actively Working Towards Accreditation.
  • From National or ACE National Portfolio Museums.

Successful applicants

Successful applicants will receive confirmation by email or phone. SHARE will negotiate with and coordinate the contractor who will develop your project, and we will pay the approved contractor directly.

To discuss this opportunity with us, please email

Free Helplines

Audience Development, Communications and Marketing support helpline

We have appointed Christina Lister of Christina Lister Comms  to support museums in the second phase of support. Christina can take your calls and emails about any aspect of Marketing, Communications and Audience Development. She can give you advice and help, which might include:

  • Developing a communications plan during closure
  • Engaging audiences during closure
  • Researching your audience and/or non-users
  • Reallocating or focusing marketing budget
  • Marketing and Audience Development plans for re-opening
  • Developing ideas and content for Social Media channels

Please email Christina: to arrange a time to talk.

Business support helpline

We have appointed Julie Cole of JMC Consultancy to provide support to museums with business planning, governance and HR issues. Julie is able to advise on:

  • Paid employees/workers
  • Home working
  • Lone working / safeguarding
  • Insurance cover
  • Director/Trustee decision-making
  • AGM/EGMs
  • Statutory reporting
  • Emergency financial planning
  • Planning for worse case scenarios: winding-up/dissolution

Please email Julie to arrange a time to discuss talk.

Fundraising support helpline

We have appointed David Burgess of Apollo Fundraising to support museums with immediate advice on fundraising. David is on hand to take your calls and emails about any aspect of fundraising. He can give you his advice and help with urgent need to fund-raise at this time, which might include:

  • Managing grants – both new and existing
  • Options for those with Membership schemes
  • Setting up a new fundraising appeal at this time
  • Online platforms and crowdfunding
  • You might like to book a one hour session with several members of your team to look at the specifics of your own museum.

Please email David at to arrange a time to talk or Tweet him @DavidBurgessFR

Please see guidance:

Volunteer support helpline

We know that many of your volunteers will be having to leave your sites and a lot of the contact between them and you and your museum will be drastically reduced.

If you have concerns, or worries about any of this then consultant Linda Brandish has kindly offered to talk things through with any of you who want to contact her. (Some of you will know Linda from SHARE volunteer training and development over the years.)

Linda is happy to give any support that she can during this crisis via email or telephone if anyone feels they have any volunteer related issues they want to share or discuss.

Please email Linda initially on

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