Museums Galleries Scotland releases £466k of funds for 15 projects

Main Image: Part of the funding will create a virtual tour of the Mackintosh House, which includes the Studio-Drawing Room above. © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017

The funding for the 15 projects is part of Museums Galleries Scotland’s (MGS) Museum Development Fund and includes the Hunterian Museum’s virtual tour of Mackintosh’s Glasgow home

The investment covers a wide range of projects across the country such as the Outer Hebrides where the Ness Historical Society (Comunn Eachdraidh Nis) will receive £29,100 to appoint a Development Officer to work with volunteers to create new displays and interpretation in the refurbished space at the Heritage Centre. And the Highland Folk Museum will receive £28,729 to digitise 400 items of shinty memorabilia and capture oral histories about the sport.

In Argyll and Bute, the MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust will embark on a collaboration with students, artists and volunteers to add four new designs to their heritage fabrics range. Located near Oban, the Trust has ‘already successfully developed textiles inspired by their collection and the grant from MGS will allow them to explore this valuable income stream further’.

The Industrial Museums Scotland will develop and share skills among staff at member museums including the National Mining Museum Scotland and the Scottish Maritime Museum. And University Museums in Scotland has secured funding to appoint a coordinator who will increase engagement and access to fascinating collections containing over 1.8 million items.

John McLeish, Interim CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “MGS is pleased to be strengthening and supporting the resilience and ambitions of the sector by funding such a diverse range of projects. This was a strong round of applications and we look forward to seeing the long-term benefits brought by our Museums Development Fund for the museums and their visitors.”

Full List of Awards by area

Argyll and Bute

MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust – £23,228

In this exciting project the museum will work with students, artists, community partners and volunteers to expand Dunollies’s heritage fabrics range. The project draws on the museum’s existing experience of developing textiles based on their collection and will allow them to continue to develop this source of income.


Trimontium Museum Trust – £39,300

Trimontium Museum in Melrose tells the story of Roman Scotland and explores the mysteries of the fort, named Trimontium by the Romans after the adjacent three Eildon Hills. The funding from MGS will allow them to purchase and install 17 new museum grade cases which will allow them to completely transform how they display the collection.

Dumfries and Galloway

Wanlockhead Museum Trust – £60,000

The Museum of Lead Mining is set in the picturesque village of Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland. This funding will allow the Museum to undertake essential renovations on the Miners Library which housed their Recognised Collection of National Significance and to train staff in collections management software.

Edinburgh & the Lothians

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum Trust – £28,779

Based in Edinburgh Castle, this museum interprets and displays over 300 years’ history of the cavalry regiment. This award will allow them to develop their collections management processes ahead of major redevelopment of the museum’s permanent gallery space. Part of the work will be to digitise items from their collection including albums and maps increasing opportunities to tell the stories behind the objects.


St Andrews Preservation Trust – £46,750

MGS is funding two St Andrews Preservation Trust projects in this round of the Museums Development Fund. An award of £40,000 will support their plans to develop a new collections store and allow them to fit out the building with shelving and facilities. The new store will create more space, improve the visitor experience and access to the collections.

A separate grant of £6,750 will allow them to redevelop their website and increase awareness of what they have to offer.


University of Glasgow – £30,000

The Hunterian Museum is the location of The Mackintosh House – a meticulous recreation of much of the interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home from 1906 to 1914. With support from MGS the University of Glasgow will create a new entrance gallery which help them to increase the level of interpretation they can provide. They will also create a virtual tour to open online access to this important collection.


High Life Highland – £28,729

This project will allow the museum to digitise and document 400 shinty related items in their collection. Oral histories will be gathered through a community collecting scheme and online exhibitions and blogs will help the museum to reach a wider audience.


South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd – £9,103

This funding will allow the Council to install wi-fi and internet access at the Low Parks Museum. Visitors will be able to view online interpretation of the collections during their visit and the museum plans to host digital workshops and increase their social media activity.

Outer Hebrides

Ness Historical Society – Comunn Eachdraidh Nis – £29,100

Comunn Eachraidh Nis will appoint a Development Officer to work with volunteers to create new displays and interpretation in the refurbished space at the Heritage Centre.

This temporary role will have a big impact on the wider development work undertaken by the museum.

North Uist Historical Society – Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath – £6,206

This award will allow the museum to develop and move their collection to a new store. A part time project manager will be appointed to oversee the project. The MGS grant will also fund training in basic collections care, management and movement for volunteers.


The Scottish Crannog Centre – £25,438

The award will allow the Scottish Crannog Centre to create open storage within their museum. New displays and shelving will allow them to refresh how they present their collection for visitors.


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Trust – £40,000

As part of an ambitious redevelopment plan undertaken by the museum located in Stirling Castle – these funds will help draw out stories from their collection which will appeal to wider audiences andhelp to revamp gallery space with new display cases and audio-visual interpretation.


Industrial Museums Scotland – £58,678

Go Industrial is a collective of Industrial Museums who work to ensure that Scotland’s industrial heritage continues play a role in our rich culture and is safeguarded for future generations. Funding from MGS will support the group to deliver an ambitious, collaborative project to develop and share skills amongst the staff across the member organisations.

University Museums in Scotland – Partnership Coordinator – £41,105

Scottish universities hold diverse and immensely rich collections of more than 1.8 million items.  University Museums in Scotland (UMIS) is a collaborative organisation comprising all the Accredited university museums in Scotland. The funding from MGS will allow them to appoint a Partnership Coordinator.  Part of their role will be to strengthen engagement with, and widen public and academic access to, their collections.

MGS is the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland and offers strategic development support to the sector. Through the Museum Development Fund, MGS distributes a general funding grant from the Scottish Government as well as the ring-fenced grants for Scotland’s Recognised Collections.