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Weston Loan Programme

This programme provides funding for museums and galleries to borrow works from national collections, encouraging the sharing of works more widely across the UK.

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund provides funding and training for regional museums and galleries to secure important strategic loans from national collections.

The grants cover up to 100% of the costs associated with securing and displaying a loan, for example security reviews, insurance, transportation, conservation, installation and invigilation.

They also support activity related to maximising the impact of the loan, such as production of marketing materials, on-site interpretation and/or audience engagement activity.

Made possible with the support of the Garfield Weston Foundation, the programme aims to encourage new and stronger relationships between regional and national museums and galleries.

Take a look at some of the loans we’ve supported so far, across the first and second rounds of funding.

Who should apply

We can accept applications from UK public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives which are:

  • regional and/or run by local authorities or universities, or have independent Trust status
  • open for at least half the week for at least six months of the year (but we’d be happy to discuss this further)
  • at least provisionally accredited

If your museum is not fully or provisionally accredited you'll be asked to explain why, and to demonstrate a longstanding commitment to care for the collections to the same nationally recognised standard.

We’ll consider applications that:

  • enhance or maximise the possibilities of already planned loans/exhibitions/programming
  • enable ‘quickfire’ and ‘quick win’ loan requests
  • support long-term relationship and display development

We don’t expect you to have confirmed approval of any loan request before you apply, but you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you have discussed the details in depth with the relevant national museum partner and ascertained the conditions that will need to be met to receive the loan, and the likely costs.

Funds available

£5,000-£25,000, though we are able to consider applications for more or less if there is a strong case to do so.

Sharing Collections Symposium, Natural History Museum, 15 November 2019

Over the past five years, the lending and borrowing landscape in UK museums and galleries has been the subject of increased focus, activity, training and funding. Art Fund, the National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC) and the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG) invite you to join them, and colleagues from Arts Council England (ACE) and the National Museums, to:

  • Be inspired to lend and borrow to achieve your organisation's objectives
  • To review and reflect on the loans activity resulting from programmes including the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, Ready to Borrow and Preparing to Borrow, and the wider context and agenda set by the Mendoza and DCMS Reviews
  • To consider what changes and adaptations still need to be made to facilitate and maximise the impact of loans
  • To consider future opportunities for lending and borrowing between museums and galleries

For more information and to book a place please visit:

Tickers are £35 or £25 to TEG and NMDC members, and anyone working at one of the National Art Pass network of museum partners. A number of bursaries are available to support attendance and travel, contact for more details.

This symposium was made possible with support of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

Get in touch

You are encouraged to review the Guidance for applicants and contact the Programmes team to discuss your initial ideas before submitting an application.

Please contact:

Penny Bull, senior programmes manager
020 7225 4840

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