Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund to launch five-year grants

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 04.10.2019
Fund will split into two tiers and provide more than £3.75m over three years 
The Museums Association (MA) has launched a new phase of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. From next year the fund, which supports innovative projects that bring collections closer to people, will split into two tiers, awarding more than £3.75m over the next three years.

For the first time, the fund will support core collections work in museums. Grants of up to £250,000 will be available for around 12 five-year projects that contribute to the strategic direction of the recipient organisation and leave a long-term legacy. 

Smaller grants will be available for time-limited projects spanning two to three years that are ambitious, innovative or test new ways of working.

The new phase of the fund, which is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, was launched at the Museums Association Conference in Brighton, where a reception was held to celebrate the success of previous grant-winners. 

The fund has awarded £8.5m to 108 projects since it launched in 2011. Recent projects include Multaka-Oxford at the Pitt Rivers Museum and the History of Science Museum in Oxford, which creates volunteering opportunities for forced migrants to work with collections. The initiative recently won the Collections Trust Award 2019.

The new phase of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund will open for applications in later this year. Check our website for more details soon.

Sally Colvin, the MA's programmes manager, said: "It was nice so many people came to hear about the new version of the fund and to chat to people about how their work can fit the two tiers that we have in mind.

"We are delighted to be able to support more long-term, strategic collections work. We look forward to seeing what the next round of proposals will bring."