Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool museums, 2018
Opening 23 October 2023

Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund

These grants enable short-term loans of important works of art and artefacts to museums and galleries across the UK.

Our main grants range from £5,000 to £35,000. Smaller grants of up to £5,000 are also available for the research and development of loans projects.

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The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund helps smaller museums to borrow works of outstanding quality and significance from national and major lending institutions.

The programme is generously supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. Since its launch in 2017, we have delivered seven rounds of funding, awarding £1.3m to 78 museums. The scheme increases access to notable objects, shares resources across the UK, helps develop relationships, and brings lasting benefits to borrowers, lenders and audiences.

Grants of up to £35,000 are available to cover the practical elements of strategic loans projects. The programme also funds activities to maximise the impact of the loaned items and to develop the skills of museum professionals.

By selecting and displaying high-profile objects, a borrowing institution can elevate its own collection and status, increase its capacity, engage different communities, and draw out new stories of local relevance.

What we can fund

Up to 100% of the costs associated with:

  • securing a loan

  • displaying a loan

  • maximising the impact of a loan

We will consider applications that:

  • enhance the possibilities of already planned loans, exhibitions or programming

  • enable ‘quick fire’ and ‘quick win’ loan requests

  • support long-term relationship and display development

What we cannot fund

We are not able to support costs relating to long-term loans, even if they are part of a strategic plan to reimagine your collection, or  for inclusion in a permanent display or exhibition.

Who can apply

We will consider applications from UK public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives that:

  • have permanent collections

  • are regional and/or run by a local authority, university, or have independent/charitable trust status

  • are open for at least half the week for at least six months of the year, and

  • are at least provisionally accredited under the Arts Council Accreditation Scheme

We can also consider applications from small and contemporary arts spaces and other non-collecting institutions, provided they meet the aims of the programme.

Non-national institutions that are on the list of eligible lenders can also apply.

Key deadlines

Applications open on Monday 23 October 2023 and close on Friday 15 December 2023.

Grants available

The following categories of grant are available through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.


Main grants

£5,000 to £35,000

Grants to cover the costs associated with securing, displaying and publicising a loan.

Next application deadline: Friday 15 December 2023

Decision by: Friday 8 March 2024

Application rounds: October 2023, September 2024 and September 2025


Research and development grants

Up to £5,000

We can provide up to £5,000 to support the development of your plans for a loans project. Activities might include research, travel and consultation.

Next application deadline: Friday 15 December 2023

Decision by: Friday 8 March 2024

Application rounds: October 2023, September 2024 and September 2025

How to apply

Your application

Read the guidance

Download the Guidance for applicants which explains our criteria for funding, helps you apply for a grant and gives you guidance on filling out the application form. The guidance will be available on Monday 23 October.

Get in touch

If you haven’t found what you need in the guidance document, get in touch with Katie Lloyd.

Submit your application

Once applications open on Monday 23 October you can log in to your My Art Fund account, or create an account, for application forms and to apply. You must be registered as a professional user. If you already have a My Art Fund account, but are not registered as a professional user, you can add your professional details when logged in.

After you've applied

Acknowledgement of application

We will inform you as soon as the panel has made a decision.

Claim your grant

If your application is successful, we will send you our offer paperwork with more details on how to claim your grant.

Follow on relationship

After you’ve claimed your grant, and once you are a partner of the National Art Pass network, we’ll help you promote your venue and support you thanks to our expert teams.

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