Skip to content

17 museums awarded funding thanks to extra Scottish Government support

The latest round of Museum Development Fund awards has been boosted by an additional £200k of capital funding from the Scottish Government

New year brings new funding to 17 museums thanks to extra Scottish Government support

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has announced 18 projects in 17 different museums set to benefit from a share of over £700k of funding. The projects are being funded through the Museum Development Fund, which has been boosted by an additional £200k of capital funding from the Scottish Government. The investment will support a wide range of projects in museums across the country, from restoring locomotives in Newtongrange to a collaborative digital exhibition for Orkney and Shetland.

The largest award has gone to Paxton House, for work relating to their Chippendale furniture collection, which was recently recognised as one of Scotland’s Nationally Significant Collections. With their award of £60,000, Paxton House plan to improve their care of the collection and arrange a special exhibition in 2018 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth.

Among the other awardees is the Scottish Fisheries Museum, which has been awarded £58,219 for their ‘Tale of Two Boats’ project. The two vessels set to benefit from the project are Shirley 11, built in 1956 by J N Miller & Sons, and Research, a Zulu style fishing boat and the last surviving example of her type. Research was built in 1903 and fished as a herring drifter until 1968, as well as serving as a flit boat in World War II. Through the conservation and restoration of these two nationally significant boats, the Fisheries Museum will teach new skills in boat building to both staff and volunteers.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:

“Scotland has a rich cultural heritage and our many wonderful museums play a vital role in telling that story. That’s why the Scottish Government has supported Museums Galleries Scotland’s Museum Development Fund with an additional £200,000 of capital funding. These projects are all great examples of the tremendous work which museums do up and down Scotland, and I’m sure they will give great pleasure to visitors.”

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“MGS is pleased to be strengthening the resilience and long term sustainability of the Scottish museums sector by supporting such a diverse range of projects. This was a particularly strong round of applications, and the additional £200,000 from the Scottish Government enabled MGS to fund five capital projects that we would otherwise have been unable to support.”

Through the Museum Development Fund, MGS distributes a general funding grant from the Scottish Government as well as the ring fenced grants for capital projects and for Scotland’s Recognised Collections.


Full List of Awards by Geographical Area

Argyll and Bute

Live Argyll / £40,000 / Campbeltown Museum Dedicated Entrance Project           

This is a capital project to create a new entrance to Campbeltown Museum. At the moment, access is restricted as the museum can only be entered through Council rooms which are sometimes booked for meetings. This funding from MGS will give the museum control over its own threshold and opening times.

Kilmartin Museum Company Ltd. / £40,000 / Writing Kilmartin Glen’s Story – RIBA Stage 4 Exhibition Schematic (Technical Design)          

The museum need to move their interpretation plans for the museum redevelopment on to the next stage. Once this project is complete they will have their interpretation content.

Auchindrain Trust - Urras Achadh an Droighinn / £23,416 / Collections Management - Appointment of Assistant Curator

Auchindrain have secured funding to employ an Assistant Curator for a period of one year. They will review and update the documentation on the portable objects collection in preparation for a future store relocation capital project.


East Ayrshire Leisure / £16,200 / Content Management System

This MGS funding will enable the purchase of a new future-proof database for use across the museum service, as well as the necessary staff training.

The Borders

Thirlestane Castle Trust / £40,000 / Relocating the Toy Collection and Muniments at Thirlestane Castle  

This MGS funded project will see the museum relocate their toy collection to a new room so that it is more accessible to visitors. They will create a new display and interpretation, as well as fitting out another room as a storage area.

Live Borders / £40,000 / Jim Clark Museum Trophy Display          

Live Borders are in the process of creating a new Jim Clark Museum celebrating the remarkable life, career and legacy of the internationally famous racing driver Jim Clark. The new museum is set to open in 2019 and this grant from MGS will fund the purchase of display cases and other exhibition costs for their new display of the trophies.

Paxton Trust / £60,000 / Raising collections care standards and increasing access to the Chippendale furniture collection at Paxton House         

The museum wish to undertake several areas of work. They will carry out an assessment of the collections conservation needs and set up a programme of conservation. They will improve storage and security, bringing in environmental monitoring equipment. They also intend to arrange a special exhibition and events programme to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Thomas Chippendale's birth.

Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council / £58,511 / Broadening the appeal - Robert Burns            

Thanks to funding from MGS, the main exhibition gallery at the Robert Burns Centre will be redisplayed. This extensive work will involve purchasing new display cases, conserving some items for display and commissioning two digital apps.


Dundee Heritage Trust (Dundee Industrial Heritage Trust) / £58,660 / Audience Development and Engagement Project

Dundee Heritage Trust will employ an Audience Engagement Officer at Discovery Point for a period of 2 years. This project is timed to maximise the impact of a major refurbishment of the galleries, to build on success of a similar project at the High Mill, and to establish a way or working with the new V&A.

Edinburgh & the Lothians

City of Edinburgh Council / £59,062 / Changing Childhoods          

The Museum of Childhood will continue its redevelopment plans by developing engagement activity. Core to this will be the creation of a Childhood Champions Team of young people and a series of volunteer and work placement opportunities. They will employ a coordinator to manage this work over 18 months.

National Mining Museum Scotland / £32,677 / Redisplaying Locomotives at Lady Victoria Collier

This MGS funded project will see two locomotives conserved, one from the Scottish Railway Preservation Society and one from the Mining Museum. The SRPS engine will be relocated to NMMS and both will go on display there. The project will be accompanied by a marketing campaign and two youth engagement events.


Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust / £58,219 / A Tale of Two Boats              

The funding will enable the museum to develop their boat-restoration activity. They will  focusing on two boats in particular and employing an Assistant Boatyard Manager.


Glasgow Life, Glasgow Museums / £39,877 / Partnering with Art UK to drive income for Scottish collections through a shared e-commerce platform    

Glasgow Life applied to MGS on behalf of a partnership of museums from across the central belt to fund training from Art UK on making the most of their online shop and to develop the site to better support Scottish museums.


The Highlanders' Museum (Queen's Own Highlanders Collection) / £21,750 / Front of house, shop and ground floor upgrade              

This grant from MGS will enable The Highlanders’ Museum to refurbish the entrance of the museum and relocate their shop so that visitors have to pass through it in order to exit.


CultureNL / £26,840 / Upgrading Storage of Large Objects in the Recognised Collection  

This funding will increase the capacity of the Industrial History store at Summerlee Museum by installing a mezzanine floor. The project will allow them to bring some collections indoors where they will be in better conditions and ultimately more accessible to visitors.

Orkney & Shetland

Shetland Amenity Trust / £19,135 / New Connections across the Northern Isles: Linking people and heritage through the maritime cultures of Orkney and Shetland   

This is a partnership project which will see museums across Orkney and Shetland collaborating through workshops to co-curate a digital exhibition and touring displays. A new website will be produced, providing new ways for the participating museums to share and benefit from each other’s collections.

Outer Hebrides

Ness Historical Society - Comunn Eachdraidh Nis

Ness Historical Society has been awarded funding for two separate projects relating to the conversion of a derelict school house building for museum purposes.

£40,000 / Developing a collection store and conservation workshop with training facilities

This award will fund the creation of a new museum store, a conservation workshop, and space for visitors to the store.

£40,000 / Developing a bespoke archive with study area and offices at Comunn Eachdraidh Nis   

The society will use this funding to create a study area and workspace for the archive, office space for museum staff and offices for rent to bring in income.


Published 04 January 2018