The Steps to Sustainability programme, set to begin in January 2021, will provide tailored support for organisations across all four nations of the United Kingdom as a way of improving resilience at a time of crisis.

The programme will be delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy and supported by sector partners Museums Galleries Scotland, the Association of Independent Museums, Northern Ireland Museums Council, and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales. All work will be funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“During the Covid-19 response and recovery period, it is now more important than ever to support our museum and heritage sector and the creation of resilient organisations that support local communities,” says Neil McLean, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Academy. “We’re delighted to be collaborating with our sector partners to bring this transformational learning to leaders across the UK.”

Applications open later this month to members of staff who are “in a position to help increase the sustainability of their organisation and lead in a way that helps to generate and diversify their heritage organisation’s income”.

“The pandemic has brought with it many uncertainties and challenges, but we are committed to helping the heritage community weather the impact and recover in the future,” notes Eilish McGuinness, National Lottery Heritage Fund’s executive director, business delivery.

“With our investment in the Social Enterprise Academy’s Steps to Sustainability programme, we aim to ensure that organisations across the UK who work with our all-important heritage are able to unlock their entrepreneurial potential. Through supporting leadership and developing income generation skills, these organisations will become well equipped to face any future challenges that might come their way.”

All successful applicants will be eligible to apply for a seed and match funding grant of up to £10,000 to develop a new income generating idea and incentivise increased trading income during and immediately after the programme.

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