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Summer Programme Fund

The Scottish Government has made £266,000 available to support museums across Scotland to contribute to the national summer of play 2021 by providing opportunities for all children and young people to participate in activities and experiences this summer.

About the fund

This fund is designed to help restore the well-being of children and young people during summer 2021 by enabling museums to provide fun, safe and local opportunities for these groups to connect, play, be active and enjoy themselves.

We are looking for activity that will support children and young people’s lasting connection or re-connection with;

    • peers/friends
    • trusted adults (family/carers/volunteers)
    • community
    • their environment and nature

We want to see activities that are fun and that children and young people have expressed an interest in doing.

Across the board we will be looking for a variety of activity across Scotland, with something for everyone, but we will be particularly keen to see;

    • activity for children and young people in areas and communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic
    • activity encouraging children to spend time outdoors
    • activity encouraging learning and education outcomes through play

We will welcome creative proposals for activity directed at those who have been most vulnerable and shielding.

We expect proposals to have been designed with potential barriers to participation in mind and making every effort to remove these. For example, ensuring provision for those with additional support needs (with particular attention to any additional Covid-related requirements) or removing any requirements for participation that might not be possible for all, such as travel and subsistence costs.

All successful applicants will be required to participate in national communication about the programme.

What we can fund

  • New play equipment and repair of existing equipment
  • Resources for delivering activities, including consumables, purchase or hire of event equipment (eg. marquees, AV) and digital equipment
  • Other materials and equipment to ensure compliance with Covid guidelines
  • Fees for performers/artists/workshop leaders
  • Staff time to prepare and deliver activity where additional hours are required
  • Marketing
  • The costs of removing barriers to participation such as transport or the provision of catering where necessary or where this would prevent people from being able to participate
  • Training

What we can't fund

  • Activities that are not specifically for children or young people
  • Activities for which participants will be charged a fee
  • Activities that contravene government guidelines relating to Covid
  • Contingency exceeding 5% of total costs

When the money must be spent

We will only fund activity that will take place and engage children and young people before 1 September 2021.

Who can apply

Any organisation that runs an Accredited Museum in Scotland and any non-Accredited museums that have already been verified as eligible for MGS’s Covid related funds.


£5,000 - £50,000

Match funding is not a requirement but is welcomed where possible. Please note that you must declare any in kind corporate sponsorship (not match funding) for your activities at the point of application.

When to apply

Applications will open on 1 June and will close at 5pm on 21 June. They will be assessed on a rolling basis and we will aim to notify applicants of awards within 1 week of receiving their application.

How to apply

Applicants should read the guidance on this page thoroughly, including the information about our assessment criteria below.

You can contact our Grants team at any other time on 0131 550 4115 or at

Applicants must complete their application via MGS online. A PDF of the application form is below in Supporting Documents but this is for reference only.

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment criteria

We’ll assess your application in terms of:

1. The strength of concept and alignment with the purpose of the fund (see above).

2. How accessible your activity will be, considering;

  • The strength of your plan to market it so that as many as possible are aware and can participate. We want applicants to demonstrate how you will engage the most marginalised children and young people in your community and which partners you intend to work with to reach them e.g. community learning and development teams, children’s charities, social workers, education providers
  • The extent to which you have considered and removed barriers to participation

3. Value for money considering how many will benefit from the money you spend.  (we understand that Covid guidelines may place some limitations on capacity)

4. The feasibility of your proposal considering;

  • realistic planning within the short time frame and the context of changeable Covid restrictions. 
  • adequate costings


Our Grants Team are available on:
Telephone: 0131 550 4115