Grants of up to £50,000 will be available via the new initiative to back museums in starting, scaling up or evaluating innovations made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mindsets for Museums of the Future, a programme run to complement the funding offer, will help support museums and galleries in shaping plans for post-pandemic life in a series of workshops and networking sessions.

“In these unprecedented times, museums are at a critical crossroads, focusing on reopening while continuing to innovate in the brilliant ways we’ve seen during lockdown,” notes Tom Saunders, UKRI’s head of public engagement.

The organisation, he adds, “looks forward to working with the cultural sector on shaping a new cultural future and in creating a more inclusive and accessible research and innovation landscape”.

UKRI says it is committed, along with its new partners, to supporting researchers, innovators and institutions to engage under-represented people, communities and places with research and innovation – all of which is deemed even more necessary after a hugely challenging year for the sector.

“At their best museums can help us learn from the past, understand what’s happening now and help us to shape the future,” concludes Sharon Heal, director of the Museums Association.

“Museums have worked really hard during the current crisis to connect with their communities in new and meaningful ways. We are delighted to be working with UKRI to support innovation in engagement which we hope the whole sector can learn from.”

Full details will be revealed on 11th November.

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