Museums & Galleries

Museums & Galleries

Funding for museums and galleries reflects the Wolfson Foundation's interest in the country's cultural heritage. We support excellence in the sector, defined in this context both through the significance of the collections themselves and also through the work of the institution in displaying, interpreting and encouraging access to these collections. Grants are made for capital infrastructure projects, refurbishing or creating new galleries, and, less often, education and learning spaces.

The Foundation has three funding programmes in this area:

1) Direct applications

We award grants to support the display of permanent collections in museums and galleries throughout the UK. We fund organisations of national significance that demonstrate excellence in this field, with the aim of producing the following outcomes:

  1. Excellent interpretation of designated collections of national significance
  2. Increased numbers of visitors to museums and galleries
  3. Better public engagement with and understanding of collections 
  4. Improved future sustainability of organisations 
  5. Conservation of architectural heritage


Capital projects for our open programme may be considered eligible where the collection has a national significance and the organisation itself is considered to be of excellent quality.

Where buildings are Grade I or II*, projects may also be eligible, where work is to the historic fabric of the building (see here for information on our funding of historic buildings). 


A full list of exclusions is available here.

Applications for our direct museums and galleries programme may be made via the link to the right.

2) DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund

Since 2000, the majority of our funding for museums and galleries has been via a partnership programme with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). More information on this programme may be found here.

Examples of projects that have been assisted under the scheme may be seen in a publication celebrating the programme's work.

3) The Art Fund

We support the acquisition of important works through an annual grant to the Art Fund. More information on this partnership may be found here.


Click below for our online
stage 1 application form

Please ensure you have first read the relevant programme section and general advice on applying, via the menus to the left.