The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people. They award the fund on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to projects that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness, and power of collections to people. The fund has awarded over £11m to 170 projects since it launched in 2011.
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports museums to use their collections to become relevant and sustainable organisations that are connected to, and valued by, their communities. All applications to the fund must focus on existing collections, typically held by an Accredited museum or partnership of museums and other organisations. The funded work must engage and involve audiences to achieve public benefit. In 2022 they have simplified the grants offered, recognising the challenge of the pandemic and seeking ways to build on the great work undertaken in the last two years. This year they are offering grants of up to £90k over two years for museums to test new, ambitious, creative collections engagement that has a social impact. These grants are for museums to innovate, kick-start, or develop their collections engagement practice where there is a strong link between a relevant collection and audience.
The last expression of interest deadline this year is 14 September 2022 for awards in December, following a two-stage process. In total £1.3m will be awarded in 2022 across an anticipated seven to ten projects in each funding round. All applicants will meet a set of essential requirements relating to using existing collections to engage, involve and inspire audiences. You can find out more about what they want to see in their guidance for applicants.
For more information and download applicant information packs, please click here to visit their website.