AIM launches grant scheme for museums improving community connections

The scheme is open to museums in 27 disadvantaged areas of England looking to tackle loneliness, volunteer accessibility and local organisational relationships

A new programme has been announced which will financially support museums in creating community cohesion in 27 areas of England.

The Association of Independent Museums’s (AIM) Connected Communities programme has been created to increase community wellbeing in disadvantaged areas of England.

It is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Know Your Neighbourhood Fund through Arts Council England (ACE).

Grants of between £15,000 and £100,000 will be provided to museums delivering projects in eligible areas, and is open to all museums, not solely AIM members.

AIM said it is looking to fund projects which reduce the risk of loneliness and increased levels of social connections for participants, improve the accessibility of high-quality volunteering opportunities, and improve organisational relationships with local institutions and other partners engaged in similar work.

Museums eligible to apply for participation in the scheme will have projects working in:

· Barnsley
· Barrow-in-Furness
· Blackpool
· Bolsover
· Burnley
· Cannock Chase
· County Durham
· Doncaster
· Fenland
· Great Yarmouth
· Halton
· Hartlepool
· King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
· Kingston upon Hull
· Knowsley
· Middlesbrough
· Rochdale
· Sandwell
· South Tyneside
· Stoke on Trent
· Sunderland
· Tameside
· Tendring
· Thanet
· Torridge
· Wakefield
· Wolverhampton

Director of AIM, Lisa Ollerhead said the AIM Connected Communities programme “seeks to harness the recognised creativity and ingenuity of museums and their important place at the heart of their communities.

“We’re looking to support projects that help increase wellbeing in deprived areas and give more people the chance to get involved in their local museum and build the meaningful relationships we know are of such benefit.”

Museums looking to apply have until 8 June 2023 to complete an Expression of Interest.