GIS environmental conditions review: Have your say

Complete the survey by Arts Council England to help make sure the Scheme benefits museums, balances the needs of its different stakeholders

02 Nov 2023

Have your say

Have you used the Government Indemnity Scheme (GIS)

Complete the survey run by Arts Council England (ACE) to help make sure the Scheme benefits museums, balances the needs of its different stakeholders and continues to make a vital contribution to communities across the UK

The deadline for submissions is 19 November 2023.


Government Indemnity Scheme overview

Government Indemnity replaces the need for commercial insurance for cultural venues. It enables them to borrow amazing objects and artwork for people across the UK to enjoy. In 2022-23, the Scheme supported organisations from Aberdeen to Falmouth, covering £21.9 billion worth of cultural objects. This saved museums an estimated £100 million in commercial insurance premiums: costs that would prevent many exhibitions going ahead.

Find out more about the impact of the Scheme >


The risk of the loan is taken on by the borrower. This is underwritten by HM Government. Therefore, the Scheme requires the confidence of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and HM Treasury, the Scottish and Welsh governments. Any updates to the Scheme will need to be made in this context.


Understanding the evidence and current practice

While established and trusted, the Government Indemnity Scheme (GIS) was last updated over 10 years ago.

Since then, sector practice has evolved. Recently, stakeholders had expressed concerns that the Scheme’s environmental conditions meant they would be unable to reduce their climate impact.

In response to this, ACE commissioned a review of published evidence and current practice to explore:

  • whether the conditions for relative humidity, temperature and light, which apply under the Scheme remain fit for purpose
  • and identify potential actions to reduce the Scheme’s climate impact

ACE brought together experts from the cultural sector to guide and inform this important development. 

Following this initial information gathering stage, ACE are seeking feedback on specific proposed actions from borrowers and stakeholders of the Scheme across the UK.


More information about the consultation

Environmental bands for temperature, relative humidity and lux are currently specified for non-National organisations.

A proposed move to a context-based approach for setting appropriate conditions, in line with international practice, caused much debate among the reference group. Therefore, ACE wants to understand the practicalities, benefits and unintended consequences of this in the context of government indemnity.

ACE are now seeking views from across the sector on:

  • Replacing bands for temperature and RH
  • Adopting a target ‘budget’ for lux
  • Proposing that temperature and relative humidity conditions reflect those in the lending organisation (or match the historical conditions for long-term loans) and that these are set out in loan agreements.

Find out more about the GIS environmental conditions review here.