The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund 2018

The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund








Esmee Fairbairn Foundation


The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund

Museums, galleries and heritage organisations in the UK can apply for support for time-limited projects that use collections for a social purpose, demonstrating that collections change lives and enhance public benefit.

Between 2017 and 2019 the Foundation is offering a total of £3.5 million in grants.

Grant Funding

Grants of between £20,000 and £120,000 are available to museums and galleries in the UK to enable them to focus on time-limited work on collections outside the scope of an organisation’s core resources. A large number of collections activities are eligible for funding, for example research, digitisation, loans and conservation.

The Fund focuses on time-limited work on collections outside the scope of an organisation’s core resources.


To be considered, applications must both:

  • Work with an existing collection or collections to improve understanding of them and increase their use; and
  • Through that collections work, involve, inspire and have impact on people, communities and audiences.
  • To be successful, applications will need to:
  • Engage local communities and/or those who are not typical museum attendees, and think about social impact.
  • Be developmental for the organisation or sector.
  • Think about the project's legacy, even if this is hard to define at the start of the project.

Application Deadline

There are two funding rounds per year.
Applications are currently being accepted for the second round.
The deadline for applications is 12 September 2018 (5pm).

Provided by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and administered by the Museums Association (MA), the Collections Fund will distribute £3.5 million between 2017 and 2019 and aims to draw on the learning from these projects and beyond to stimulate excellent practice across the whole sector, through open events and resources for everyone.

For More Information