Scottish museums

Scottish museums scoop funding for projects disrupting traditional interpretations

Article: David Styles | Image: © Glasgow Museums

Museums Galleries Scotland, the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland, has pledged funding of almost £500,000 for 12 projects across the country to help arts and cultural institutions challenge the status quo and better represent the modern world.

Funding awarded by Museums galleries Scotland will assist institutions in areas including collections research, launching reminiscence sessions, audience development, digitising collections, and building improvements.

A number of the museums will also use the funding to facilitate the creation of new roles in such fields as project management, business development, curation, and digitisation.

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said the organisation is “delighted to support Scotland’s museums in achieving their ambitions through these twelve projects.”

Museums, Casot continued, are “safe spaces that reflect the world we live in, so it is entirely appropriate that we should invest in ensuring they remain relevant in today’s diverse society and we particularly welcome the projects that are revisiting their collections to explore different perspectives and stories.”

Projects selected for funding


University of Aberdeen | £47,548 | Caring and Sharing: Responsible curation of the North American cultural collections in the University of Aberdeen

Dumfries & Galloway

Eastriggs and Gretna Heritage | £24,673 | Time for Improvement

Dundee & Angus

Ian McIntosh Memorial Trust | £40,000 | Development of a new exhibition hall

Edinburgh & Lothians

West Lothian Council | £30,347 | Whitburn: Our Community Museum

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh | £25,000 | Expanding Exhibitions: A collaborative approach

Linlithgow Heritage Trust | £22,500 | Linlithgow Museum Sustainability and Growth Project


British Golf Museum | £45,471 | Fore! Driving Inclusivity: Engaging the Local Community with the Nationally Significant Collection of the British Golf Museum


University of Glasgow | £51,000 | Curating Discomfort

Glasgow Life, Glasgow Museums | £60,000 | Legacies of Slavery and Empire


Groam House Museum | £59,880 | Sharing the Creativity of Celtic Art through George Bain’s Collection

Perth & Kinross

Culture Perth and Kinross | £59,924 | My Museum

South Lanarkshire

Crawfordjohn Heritage Venture Trust | £19,142 | Conservation Heating

Speaking on behalf of one of the institutions to receive support, Lola Sánchez-Jáuregui, William Hunter Tercentenary Curator at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, said: “We are living in the midst of agitated times, and museums have the responsibility to adopt more critical approaches to issues of identity, gender or colonial histories.

“In this context, the Hunterian wants to be an open space for dialogue and transparency, and this grant award will enable us to fund a series of initiatives to address these issues.”

The funding project has been conducted in accordance with Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries, the guidelines set out by Museums Galleries Scotland in 2012.

Highlighting how the support will enable museums to deliver on their responsibility to truthfully reflect the past in which its artefacts were spawned, Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections at Glasgow Life, said: “Many objects and documents in Glasgow Museums’ collection, the City Archives and Special Collections testify in one way or another to this grim part of our collective heritage.

“The funding from Museums Galleries Scotland will help us to draw attention to them and explore the ways in which they can shine a light on Glasgow’s relationship with transatlantic slavery during the 17th to 19th centuries.”