WMMD Small Grants

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Recovery Grant Scheme 2021 **Closed**

The Recovery Grant is part of the West Midlands Museum Development Programme (WMMD), funded by Arts Council England (ACE) with additional funding from Art Fund building on the successful partnership and collaborative response to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The Recovery Grants will support museums with re-building their offer and organisational strength in response to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

WMMD is committed to its role in developing an inclusive sector. We will prioritise funding for activity which seeks to improve representation within the organisation, the work it produces and the audiences it engages.

Museums can apply for £500 to £5,000.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday5 November 2021.


  • The Recovery Grant will support Accredited museums or those formally Working Towards Accreditation in the West Midlands
  • Museums who have previously received a Recovery Grant from WMMD are eligible to apply providing their final report has been submitted
  • Museums with an open grant award through WMMD which is expected to finish after 5 November 2021 are not eligible to apply
  • National Portfolio Organisations and National museums are not eligible to apply

Please read the Guidance and contact your Museum Development Officer before completing the Application Form.

Please note:

  • We will prioritise applications from museums who have not been awarded Cultural Recovery Funding (CRF) and are located in areas of low cultural engagement, where the museum is the main cultural offer in a locality, and/or where museums that have niche collections outside the larger city institutions
  • We encourage applicants to carefully consider the value of their grant requested in order that the available funding may support as many museums as possible
  • We strongly recommend that you discuss your application with your Museum Development Officer before you submit it

Key Dates:

Apply from Friday 2 July 2021

You must submit your application form no later than 5pm, Friday 5 November 2021

We will tell you if you have succeeded on Tuesday 23 November 2021

Successful 2020 Recovery Grant applications:

In response to the pandemic, Museum Development UK and Art Fund worked in partnership to distribute recovery funding to museums across the UK.

The priority was to support the recovery phase of small to medium sized museums. These museums are often located in areas of low cultural engagement, are the main cultural offer in a locality, or based in urban areas with niche collections and specific cultural offers outside large city institutions. The scope of the awards and grant distribution across the UK can be viewed in this report.

Here at West Midlands Museum Development we repurposed part of our programme and combined it with The Art Fund’s contribution to award 11 grants, totalling over £44,000.

Brampton Museum

Installation of additional wifi to enable online sessions for schools, talks and virtual access to parts of museum not currently available.

Claymills Victorian Pumping Station

Produce professional quality marketing materials aimed at potential donors and sponsors. Donors to provide financial support make Claymills available to the public in the new post-Covid-19 normal.

George Marshall Medical Museum

Remote replacement for Victorian Surgery workshops. 3D scan of artefacts describing the changes in surgery and anaesthesia; webpages to inform context; and create resources for teachers.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

Project to take Haddie’s Family Gallery online through a programme of engaging content designed by families for families.

Ludlow Museum

The Museum remains closed and needs to reach out to a digital audience by sharing the collection online supported by specialist staff-training, and improved marketing.

Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery

To develop new family audiences for the museum who cannot access the museum digitally. Working with an artist and new community partner, produce creative packs and host workshops inspired by the museum’s collections.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

Host a range of onsite and offsite workshops inspired by the Brick by Brick Exhibition to boost footfall, re-engage existing audiences and encourage new visitors into the museum spaces.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

Reinterpreting the colonial aspects of the collection and the Clive Statue with the sector, partner organisations and the wider community via digital platforms and interpretation boards.

Staffordshire Museum Service

Staffordshire Poet Laureate and a visual artist will carry out online activities, and create new on-line resources supporting audiences to share their experiences of Covid-19 and to enable the museum to capture these responses for the collections.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Adapting the Recovery Art programme to deliver online workshops. Developing the programme more widely with public events.

The Lace Guild Museum

Preparations to re-open the museum including signage, one way system and PPE. Rebuild and extend awareness of the museum.

Successful 2020 Emergency Grant applications:

Our annual grant scheme was adapted to provide funding for museums who demonstrated an urgent need for support to stabilise the museum to allow future operation and/or protect heritage during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three Emergency Grants were awarded to support museums in the West Midlands that were ineligible for either ACE’s Emergency Response Fund or National Lottery Heritage Fund’s (NLHF) Heritage Emergency Fund.

Successful 2019 Small Grant applications:

Bewdley Museum
‘Forging Memories’ – becoming a Dementia Friendly venue and outreach visits

Heritage and Culture Warwickshire
Audience development research into the local communities to inform Audience Development Strategy and Equality Action Plan

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum
‘Wellbeing Workshop’ for those living with Dementia and their carers

Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery
‘Talking Collections’ – improve the use of handling collections to engage with groups of people with dementia and those at risk of social isolation

Potteries Museum and Art Gallery Cultural Exchange
A six month programme of events to stimulate an active Asian collection policy to engage with and reflect changing local community

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
‘Combating Loneliness in Later Life’ – delivering a range of activities during forthcoming exhibitions

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage
‘On YOUR Doorstep: Creative Conversations Connecting the Shared Stories of Staffordshire’ – improving the reach of the service

Staffordshire Yeomanry Museum
‘Collections and Community Co-creation in the Digital Age’ – improving access by digitising the collection and engagement with new audiences

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