Here we have collected a summary of support, advice and guidance available elsewhere on helping museums to deal with the evolving Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation. We will update this page as we find new information.

A SHARE guide for museums applying for ACE Culture Recovery Fund Round 2 applications

Arts Council England has released its emergency funding and below we have summarised key points of the application process. Please be aware that as this is emergency funding ACE may change the response time and notice period depending on the amount of applications received.

  • Click here for a guide to using Grantium
The deadline Midday Tuesday 26 January 2021
Please use the helpline and the SHARE team to help with your application. We are here to help but ask you contact us early on in the process and send us your draft answers as soon as you can. Do not wait until close to the deadline as we may run out of time to help you.


Please read all the ACE guidance, especially on eligibility and what you can and can’t use the money to fund, before using these notes, which cover:

  • Amount applied for/ annual turnover
  • The 6 application questions

The SHARE helpline with Julie Cole can help you with all finance related questions you might have around turnover, reserve, mandatory finance templates and questions 1 and 4 of the application. The SHARE team are able to discuss and suggest edits to your answers to questions 2,3,5 and 6.

The minimum amount museums can apply for is £25,000 (last time it was £50,000) which means more smaller museums can apply this time. However, if your annual turnover is less than £100k and your unrestricted reserves are predicted to exceed 8 weeks allowance at 1 April 2021, you might not be eligible.

ACE’S guidance says the amount you apply for should not exceed 25% of your annual turnover plus funding to reflate reserves for up to a maximum of 8 weeks. We calculate that if your unrestricted reserves are down to 0 weeks, your annual turnover needs to be in the region of £62k,** more if you are asking for fewer than 8 weeks, and at least £100k if your reserves will exceed 8 weeks by 1 April. it may be lower than £62k if you have negative reserves.

Please note that this is just an approximate guide. If you have additional one-off costs during the funding period then you may request funding over 25% of your annual turnover. Your application will need to be clear that you are providing a value for money approach, you have minimised costs and have no alternative way to transition to a viable and sustainable operation.

Some museums may even have gone into overdraft and have negative reserves. As long as any depletion of reserves is not historic and has occurred as a direct result of Covid 19 and you have a viable plan for sustainability you can apply to reflate your reserves up to 8 weeks.

Note that, in general, you cannot apply to reflate reserves if you have already received CRF Round 1 funding; however, you may apply to do so if you can demonstrate that you have had to deplete reserves during the period since your award was made.

We strongly advise you to seek further advice from ACE and/or SHARE if your request varies significantly from ACE’s guidance notes.

ACE have recently advised; If you’re unsure or on the borderline financially in terms of the eligibility, then apply anyway, as they understand there are variables when it comes to ‘average annual income’

** We have not shown our working here but can share details of this with those who are interested

Application Questions:

The ACE guidance has very useful prompts for all these questions which have not been repeated here. Where we can offer any more generic suggestions, we have done that below. We are very happy to discuss more specific examples and ideas with individual museums, in good time, before the application deadline.

1.Tell us how you have managed the impact of Covid-19 so far, and why you are unable to transition to viability and sustainability from 1 July 2021 without additional support. 

Covered by Julie Cole Helpline

2.Tell us how you will use this grant to support your cultural operation between April-June 2021 in a way that represents value for money.

This should include evidence that you have planned for sustainable online and face to face activities that will be manageable and engage your audience. What do your visitors want, when and how will they come back? Do you need to train staff and volunteers for this? ACE are very supportive of funding organisational development and this is a valid way of using funding. Be careful not to be too overly ambitious around events, especially in the present situation where there is no clear route to reopening in the near future.

3.Tell us how you will adapt your plans if restrictions do not ease during the period as set out in the assumptions  

Show you have a flexible plan which includes different scenarios and how you would move between these.

4.Tell us how you plan to ensure your viability and sustainability for the period 1 July 2021 – 31 March 2022

 Covered by Julie Cole Helpline

5.Tell us about your organisation’s work and how it is considered to be culturally significant and/or how it contributes to providing cultural opportunity in England  

 (This question is very similar but not identical to the previous round. If you applied for the CRF round 1 you use your previous answer to this question, adjusted to reflect the new guidance and any changes in your museum)

Some museums that SHARE supports do have buildings, collections and/or stories that are of national and international significance but for most the second half of this question is the most relevant. Is your museum a significant part of cultural life and provision in your area? Do you have any special provision or relationships with community and/or special needs groups?

 The guidance mentions the Active Lives survey. Here is a link to a dashboard developed from the survey. Use this to look up the data for your local authority area.

 6.Please tell us how you will open up access by improving the diversity of your audiences, visitors, participants, workforce and governance?  

(This question is very similar but not identical to the previous round. If you applied for the CRF round 1 you use your previous answer to this question, adjusted to reflect the new guidance and any changes in your museum).

What are the opportunities to improve diversity of each of these groups? How can you attempt to make changes? 

Wellbeing Resources: Top tips for looking after your Mental Health Covid-19

Top tips mental health Covid-19 share museums east

Lauren Ephithite is a Wellbeing Advocate based in Norfolk, UK. She works with wellbeing businesses, organisations and charities helping them to reach more people, manage projects and produce content. Lauren previously chaired SEMFed and worked at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse as Assistant Curator.

Remember – your own health and wellbeing comes first!

Don’t forget the human impact on staff and volunteers. Even if few at your museum are affected by the virus, those who come to work may have relatives who are ill or may be trying to also do the work of those who are off sick.Please continue to check the advice published here in addition that from to your local authorities:

Please be mindful of the wellbeing of your volunteers, staff and freelancers – the Mental Health Foundation has published some excellent advice on looking after your mental health during the outbreak.

Organisations Resources

Arts Council England:


Museums Association: 

  • launched a FAQ page which is regularly updated

Museum Development:

Collections Resources
Resilience Resources
  • The UK Government website has a comprehensive page on risk management.
  • The Charity Finance Group has published a Coronavirus Guide which offers  practical guide for charity finance professionals covering business continuity planning, cashflow management and insurance. The guide is being update regularly.
  • AIM has published a Coronovirus advice page on its website which includes a 10-point Business Resilience Checklist– make sure you read this and act before it’s too late. It will be updated regularly.
  • Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust has released a Coronavirus Pandemic Business Continuity Plan
Leadership Resources
  • NCVO has also created a Coronavirus page with lots of useful advice for voluntary organisations, which is also relevant for employers. It has just been updated to include: sick leave and reducing social contact; holding events, board meetings and AGMs; additions to contingency planning and how insurance will be impacted; a new section on what to expect from funders
  • The Chancellor’s COVID-19: Support for Businesses package:
    –  statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
    – a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
    small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
    – grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
    – the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
    – the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
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