Recovery Grants

Recovery 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 is offering new Recovery Grants to help museums with essential work arising from the Covid-19 crisis that meets these aims.

These grants are available to help museums reopen safely, develop new ways of working, engage with their community, or support the wellbeing of their workforce.

Grant Overview

  • Recovery Grants are open to museums in the East of England within the ACE Accreditation scheme (including Provisional Accreditation and officially Working Towards).
  • Regrettably, we cannot accept applications from ACE National Portfolio Organisations or National Museums.
  • Partnerships of museums are eligible provided the majority of partners meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Museums which have previously received a SHARE Next Steps Grant in 2020-21 are eligible to apply provided their  earlier project is complete, including a submitted evaluation form.

We want to support as many museums as we can, so we ask that you apply for only as much as you need up to a maximum of £4,000.  

Examples of activities for which the grant can be used include:

Safe and effective reopening
  • Purchase of signage, protective or cleaning materials etc to enable museums to reopen
  • Online ticketing software and/or contactless payment / donation equipment
Sustainable and resilient museums
  • Consultancy on reviewing / restructuring your business model for new circumstances.
  • Volunteer / trustee recruitment campaigns or assistance for them to work from home
Digital activities to increase museums’ reach
  • Improvements to digital audience engagement, such as website upgrades, short films or webinars
  • Digital infrastructure improvements to support engagement, such as new IT equipment
  • Facebook or other social media adverts
Connecting with communities
  • Community engagement or co-curation projects
  • Audience data research, such as ‘Audience Finder’
  • Additional equipment or room hire for working in your community, away from your building
Workforce Health and Wellbeing
  • Wellbeing initiatives or programmes for staff and volunteers.

Key priorities

SHARE has two priorities for these grants which you should consider when making your application: (you do not have to address these issues, but it may strengthen your application if you do).

  • We are committed to supporting equality and diversity in the museums sector. Projects which seek to improve the representation and engagement with a diverse community, will be prioritised.
  • We want to support museums and heritage organisations to improve their environmental responsibility as part of their recovery. Applications which demonstrate an understanding of, and seek to mitigate, environmental impacts of their activity will be prioritised.

Documents and deadlines

Deadline midday 20 August 2021 

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:


Collections Review and Rationalisation

Collections Review and Rationalisation

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Collections Review and Rationalisation

Deadline: Thursday 14th October 2021

As part of our 2018-2022 regional Museum Development activity plan, funded by Arts Council England, SHARE Museums East is supporting museums to review and assess the significance of their collections, whilst developing confidence with rationalisation. The SHARE Collections Review and Rationalisation grants are available to help museums with this important area of collections management.

Museums can apply for a grant up to a maximum of £3000.

Examples of activities for which the grant can be used, include:

• Payment of an expert or consultant

• Storage and packing materials

• Collections Management Systems

• Transport or removal costs

• Conservation and condition reporting


Read about how other museums have used the grant to develop their collections:

SHARE Collections Review Grant Case Studies 2019

SHARE Collections Review Grant Case Studies 2017

SHARE Collections Review Grant Case Studies 2016


If you are unsure if what you are applying for is eligible for a grant please speak to your MDO or with Hannah Bentley, SHARE Project Officer.

Collections Review and Rationalisation Grant Application Form 2021

Collections Review and Rationalisation Grant Guidance notes


Useful Resources:

Working with Freelancers

Collections Rationalisation Planning

Creative Case for Diversity


This year we are encouraging museums to think about how their work supports the Creative Case for Diversity.  It might not be applicable to your project, but if you are doing any of the following, please highlight it in your application:

–  Research into collections that reveal untold stories of people or communities under-represented in your museum

–  Improving documentation to tell these stories or update interpretations

–  Including or updating exhibition labels or text so that these stories are available for your visitors to read

–  Working with community groups to identify and interpret collections that you have little information for



Audience Understanding

Audience Understanding

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Audience Understanding

The Audience Finder new user grant is aligned to Goal 2 of the Arts Councils (ACE) priorities – Audiences. The Audience Agency (TAA) is an ACE-funded Sector Support Organisation. SHARE Museums East has been charged by ACE to promote the use of TAA’s Audience Finder programme more widely by museums.

Audience Finder (AF) provides museums with excellent data about their visitors, but it can be a challenge for museums to take part and put the systems in place to gather the raw data required.  AF is free to use but there may be costs associated with collecting data. We are providing a small  number of grants each year to help museums make the most of this facility. Grant money may be spent on equipment, staff time or training to facilitate the running of Audience Finder and is awarded on the understanding that the museum will continue to use Audience Finder in future years and at least until 2022.

Four museums have received the grant for 2018-19. The next round of grants applications will from April 2019.

Please contact Kathy for further details.

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