ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund: How to Apply for a Grant

Orb by Yasuko Sakurai, 2013. Manchester City Galleries

Orb by Yasuko Sakurai, 2013.  Manchester City Galleries


To receive support, organisations must first meet the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund's eligibility criteria. The minimum requirement is that museums are accredited under the Arts Council England scheme and record repositories be accredited under the Archive Service Accreditation Scheme, or working towards it.

Organisations are assessed when an application is first made and continue to be monitored.

The Fund is unable to support nationally funded organisations, organisations in Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands, friends’ organisations or other third parties.

Material of any date relating to arts and culture is eligible for support: archaeological and ethnographical material; objects illustrating social and popular culture, decorative and fine art; rare books; documents and letters with good historical content, estate maps, writers' manuscripts and archival photographs. Objects to be commissioned from makers or to be bought at auction are eligible.

The Fund is unable to consider items to be commissioned from artists and makers,as these fall under the remit of the Arts Council Grants for the Arts scheme or scientific or technological material which are the remit of the PRISM Fund.

Download: Find out more about the Fund’s eligibility criteria (PDF file, 41 KB)

Download: Find out more about the housing and displaying of grant aided objects (PDF file, 46 KB)

Download: Find out more about the care of manuscripts and archives (PDF file, 51 KB)

Download: Find out more about due diligence (PDF file, 50 KB)

Money matters

  • The budget for 2014-2015 is £750,000.
  • The minimum purchase price is £500 and the maximum £500,000.
  • Grants may be up to 50% of the purchase price.
  • There is no limit to the number of applications which may be submitted.
  • It is unlikely that any organisation will receive more than £50,000 in any one year.
  • Local financial commitment is essential. Up to £5 of grant aid may be given for each £1 of locally raised funding. The balance may be sought from other grant giving bodies which operate nationally.

Download: Find out more about the financial arrangements 2014-15 (PDF file, 38 KB)


Umthombo/isiPethu/Source by Bhekisani Manyone, 1997 one of collection of prints by Rorke’s Dsrift artists. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge.

Umthombo/isiPethu/Source by Bhekisani Manyone, 1997 one of collection of prints by Rorke’s Dsrift artists.  Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge.

Applicants must discuss the potential purchase with Fund staff so that the likely demand on the Fund's limited resources can be monitored and tailored advice may be offered.

  • If the item is to be sold at auction, applicants must discuss potential applications with Fund staff immediately. Do not wait until the other details are confirmed.
  • An application form will be sent electronically after the initial discussion.
  • Applications may be submitted at any time and decisions are normally given within 4 weeks of receiving all necessary information; larger purchases are considered within 2 months.
  • Resources are limited and not all deserving cases will be successful. Applicants must therefore argue the significance of the proposed purchase in the context of their permanent collections as strongly as possible.

Download: Information leaflet (PDF file, 67.9 KB)

Download: Handy hints on making a good application (PDF file, 41 KB)

Download: Information on acknowledging the Fund’s support (PDF file, 44 KB)


All enquiries and requests for forms and should be made to the V&A National section
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2536

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