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Museums Galleries Scotland Response on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Museums Galleries Scotland Response on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

This page contains information on how Museums Galleries Scotland is responding to the ongoing situation concerning the Coronavirus pandemic. For updated information on wellbeing, medical, and business continuity advice for museums please visit our information page on Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Advice on Coronavirus (Covid-19)


Statement from Lucy Casot on MGS response on Covid-19

MGS working on your behalf

MGS is working to highlight the importance of securing appropriate and timely support on behalf of the sector. Thank you to all who have been in touch to tell us how Covid-19 is impacting on your organisation. We will continue to share these details with the Scottish Government so that they understand the specific impacts on museums and galleries and enable them to prioritise their response. Continue to keep us updated on your situation. 

MGS Funding 

We know you are all working under very difficult circumstances and that in the current evolving situation it is difficult to plan ahead needs. The following are some areas that we know museums will have questions and do get in touch with any other queries. 

Flexibility around project timescales and how funding is used 

Some projects which we are supporting through our funding streams will need to be paused or changes might be required. We are happy to discuss these issues with you on an ongoing basis as the situation evolves. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss any changes to your funded projects. 

Festival Fund and other grant supported events 

We advise grantees to keep a close eye on any developments and to follow advice from the Scottish Government when considering whether to postpone activities. When it is necessary to postpone events we will honour costs already incurred and will work with organisations to cover any additional costs required to hold the event at a later date. 

Grant payments 

We will endeavour to ensure that grant claims are processed as normal. Where our grant contributes to someone’s salary we will continue to accept claims for those costs, even if the post holder is unable to deliver the project as planned due to the impact of Coronavirus. 

For organisations currently delivering Small or Museum Development Fund projects, please remember that you can submit interim claims once you have reached a claim level of £2,000 after your award percentage has been applied, and you may wish to consider this to help improve your cashflow at this time. 

New applications  

MGS will continue to channel funding to the sector. We are currently working out the best way to continue funding support in the current situation and we will share details soon. If you would like to discuss your plans continue to get in touch with our Grants Manager  

Tell us what your needs are  

MGS is monitoring the sector’s financial needs arising as a result of Coronavirus and will work to make our funding responsive. In order to do so, we ask museums and galleries in Scotland to keep us informed of the financial impact on your organisation. You can do so by emailing or calling 0131 550 4100. 

Free Advice Surgeries For Independent Museums

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM), supported by Museums Galleries Scotland, are offering free advice surgeries for Accredited museums or museums working towards Accreditation in Scotland. The advice surgeries can offer support with the issues your museum is facing right now as a result of the Coronavirus situation and look at how your organisation might need to adapt and change. Issues might include; finance, leadership, HR, business continuity, or maintaining volunteer engagement.

Up to an hour of support by email, phone or video conferencing is available. For more information and to apply for a free advice surgery please visit this page. 

MGS Workforce Development Programme  

We are looking at our upcoming training programme and what changes we might need to make to support the sector to continue to develop skills in the short and longer term. We will be in touch directly with people already booked on our upcoming courses and please also contact us should you have any queries.  


For museums who have closed their venue to the public in response to Covid-19, this will not affect your Accreditation status.  

Recognition Scheme

MGS and the Chair of the Recognition Committee have taken the decision to defer the 2020 round of applications until 2021. This will allow applicants to focus their resources on any emergency or unexpected measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new deadline for the current round of Recognition is expected to be mid-2021. Although this deferral may afford museums more time to prepare a case, we recommend that applications begin again in earnest next year.

For museums who have already submitted a note of interest there is no need to resubmit if the application is for the same collection. Let us know if you wish to withdraw your application.

New applicants should get in touch with Jacob O'Sullivan, MGS Collections and Interpretation Manager at

Published 16 March 2020