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Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund

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Museums Galleries Scotland manages the Recognition Scheme and Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Recognition Committee formally recognises, and invests in, collections of national significance held in non-national museums and galleries throughout Scotland.

We commissioned this research to chart the development of the Recognition Scheme, which was set up in 2006 and had formally recognised 41 collections across the country by the time of this evaluation. The research team gathered views from the museums caring for Recognised Collections, others who had been involved in the scheme and also the wider museums sector in Scotland. Management, operational procedures and funding patterns were also examined.

We welcomed the report’s clear recommendations as to how to improve both the scheme and fund, and its positive feedback on the extent to which the aims and objectives of the Recognition Scheme were being met. Crucially, the report considered the impact of the scheme and the fund – both for those involved and for the wider museums sector in Scotland.


  • Recognition gives collections profile, prestige and validation – all 32 holders of Recognised Collections noted the importance of this
  • The combination of prestige plus availability of funding was also said to be important
  • Recognised Collections that appreciate the funding noted that they would have sought the status even without the funding – because of the benefits to prestige, status and profile
  • Other general benefits include: confidence and pride in being a Recognised Collection; increase in community pride due to the status; skills development benefits derived from the status and funding

Of the Recognised Collection holders surveyed:

  • 56% said that going through the application process enhanced their knowledge of and approach to managing their Recognised Collection
  • 31% emphasised the role of recognition in wider developments and longer term strategic plans
  • 63% identified key projects they would not have been able to implement without the funding
  • 26% conceded that they would have been able to carry out some activities supported by the funding even if this hadn’t been available
  • more than 40% acknowledged that they have been able to use the funding to enhance existing projects that were going ahead

Download the full and summary reports

Download Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund 2014 (PDF, 881KB) Download Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund Exec Summary 2014 (PDF, 394KB)
Published May 2014
Research Conducted By DC Research
Research Funded By Museums Galleries Scotland