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Collections to be protected by Museums Galleries Scotland grants

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Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for Scottish museums, will fund the creation of new exhibition space and the protection of valuable collections.

The £600,000 (€663,683, US$788,250) comes from the Scottish government, as well as recognition and capital grants, and will be distributed by MGS for 15 projects across the country, ranging in size and scope.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is receiving £60,000 (€66,384, US$78,824) to fit out a permanent art exhibition space on the ground floor of the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery, set to include the Nationally Significant Kirkcudbright Artists Collection.

Another major project that has been awarded funding is the University of Glasgow's project to conserve and research ten 18th-century plaster casts of a dissected pregnant uterus, which are currently in a poor state of conservation.

The £60,000 award will allow these casts to be put on public display for the first time, forming the centre of a major international exhibition at The Hunterian in 2018 that will be subsequently loaned to the Yale Centre for British Art in 2019.

Smaller grants have also been awarded, such as the £28,663 (€31,712, US$37,656) to the Biggar Museum Trust to install solar panels, and re-fit two outbuildings as climate-controlled storage.

Joanne Orr, chief executive of MGS, said “MGS is pleased to be supporting projects that will contribute to the long-term sustainability and resilience of these museums.”

“The awardees have demonstrated a real commitment to enterprise, skills development, and improving their offering and profile for future visitors.”

The MGS has also been granted £100,000 (€110,648, US$131,382) to create a new vocational skills fund.

The fund is being established to make work-based learning in museums more available at all levels, creating new career paths that includes work-based qualifications such as SVQs.

The investment in vocational skills training is part of a wider strategy in Scotland to diversify museum and gallery staff, of whom only 12 per cent do not possess a university degree, while about 59 per cent hold postgraduate qualifications.

“This fund represents an excellent effort to provide an alternative route into museums work and address the shaping of the current and future workforce of our cultural industry,” said Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.

“I am confident this will help many to develop useful experience-led skills and pave their way into leadership roles."

A second round of MGS's Museum Development Fund for 2017 is now open, but will close on 13 October, with the award date set for mid-December.

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Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for Scottish museums, will fund the creation of new exhibition space and the protection of valuable collections.
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The Hunterian is one of the museums that will receive funding