Funding scheme to help Covid-hit museums and galleries

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A £4m scheme has been announced to support independent museums and galleries across Scotland.

It has been designed to help those worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish government's Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund will be administered by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Closure as a result of lockdown, and the end of the furlough scheme, could result in many running out of funds before the end of March next year.

The government said the scheme was aimed at supporting the return of staff and the wider reopening of museums and galleries.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the sites played a "big role" in supporting education, health and wellbeing and helped to generated more than £1bn for the economy.

She said: "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."

'Passionate and skilled'

Ms Hyslop encouraged people to visit their local museums and galleries.

Lucy Casot, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said the scheme was "warmly welcomed".

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."

The Scottish government has previously provided £483,000 in additional funding to help support museums and galleries "critically affected" by the Covid-19 outbreak.

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