Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

Fund will provide more than £3.75m to projects that bring collections closer to people

UPDATE: We would like to reassure current and potential grantees that we will continue to be flexible during this period of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people. 

We 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 £9.1m to 113 projects since it launched in 2011. Recent projects include Multaka-Oxford at the Pitt Rivers Museum and the History of Science Museum in Oxford, which creates volunteering opportunities for forced migrants to work with collections. The initiative recently won the Collections Trust Award 2019. 

Following the recommendations in the Empowering Collections report, the fund will award more than £3.75m to projects around the UK dedicated to making their collections more empowering, relevant and dynamic to people. 

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we have made some changes to our dates and deadlines of these funds to enable us to respond to the immediate needs of museums during lockdown and social distancing. 

The map above illustrates a range of projects previously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund


Please contact Sally Colvin or Sarah Briggs for advice on eligibility for the fund and help to develop applications: 

Sally Colvin, Programmes Manager:, 020 7566 7851 

Sarah Briggs, Collections Development Officer:, 020 7566 7834