The money will be used to support the reopening of venues.
The Scottish Government has announced £4 million of funding to support independent museums and galleries who have seen their finances plummet during lockdown.
The Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund, which will be used to bring staff out of furlough and support the reopening of venues, will be administered by national body Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS).
All independent museums are eligible to apply for financial aid, and MGS says it hopes to launch the fund “as soon as possible”.
Announcing the investment, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Museums are the places where we hold memories of our people. They play a big role in delivering social impacts in education, health and wellbeing and also generate a considerable amount for the economy, with £1.04 billion directly attributable to heritage, tourism, rural employment and apprenticeships.”
Ms Hyslop added: “Sadly, many of these wonderful institutions are now at a critical juncture in making decisions about whether they can afford to reopen, looking at possible redundancies, cancelling events and putting off critical repairs. I am pleased to announce this much needed support for the sector to help them get through the rest of the financial year.
“We all need to come together to support our local museums and galleries. As part of the campaign to encourage Scots to staycation this summer, I would encourage everyone to consider visiting their local museums, galleries and heritage attractions, if they are open. Scotland’s communities are relying on our continued support.”
Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, welcomed the announcement.
She said: “The burden of uncertainty has been one of the hardest hitting consequences of this pandemic – affecting us all. This financial support will enable us to alleviate the intense pressures felt by our independent museums and heralds a precious opportunity for the passionate and skilled people working in this sector to plan, to collaborate and to deliver vital services with and within communities.
“Museums and galleries are a vital part of the fabric of our towns, cities and communities the length and breadth of this country and we welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of their important role through this support.”
Dundee Heritage Trust, who care for the RRS Discovery and Verdant Works in the city, is one of the organisations set to benefit from the additional investment. CEO Deirdre Robertson said: “The next few weeks will be critical for us and we are facing the prospect of some very difficult decisions. So, the news today that MGS has been allocated £4m in funding for the independent museum sector is incredibly welcome and we hope will make a material difference to our future.”