Grants totalling £4m are being handed out for display and access improvements at 40 museums and galleries in England.
It is the fourth year of money being allocated under a funding partnership between the government and the Wolfson Foundation charity.
The biggest beneficiaries this year include the Wedgwood Museum Trust in Stoke-on-Trent and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust in Kent.
Projects in Bradford, London, Liverpool and Nottingham also benefit.
The Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have awarded £12m to 65 institutions since the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund was set up in 2002.
The funding is for work on displays, public spaces, disabled access and environmental controls.
The projects receiving the biggest grants in 2005 are:
Wedgwood Museum Trust in Stoke-on-Trent - £250,000 for improvements to environmental controls.
Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool - £225,000 for a new entrance, reception and learning suite.
Nottingham City Council - £220,000 for refurbishment at Wollaton Hall.
National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford - £200,000 for gallery redevelopment.
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Kent - £155,450 for access improvements.
V&A Museum of Childhood, London - £155,000 for a Creativity and Imagination Gallery.
Culture minister David Lammy said the grants would broaden the appeal of England's museums and galleries which are "known throughout the world for their excellence, social relevance and educational benefit".