A total of 33 museums and galleries in England will get a share of a funding pot worth £4 million.
The grants from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Foundation will fund projects in places like Hampton Court Palace in London and National Motor Museum in Hampshire.
Jon Murden, chief executive at the National Motor Museum Trust, said the £200,000 for a Motoring Into The Future exhibit is a “first step on a long road” to raise £15 to 20 million over the next seven years.
Mr Murden added: “We also plan to open up our internationally acclaimed stored collections of more than 1.9 million items of automobilia and make them accessible for everyone to see.
“The world of motoring is rapidly changing and we must keep pace to tell its story.”
Arts Minister Lord Stephen Parkinson said the funding contributes to the “government’s commitment to levelling up” agenda as 80% of it goes to 26 museums outside the capital.
The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle will use its grant of £254,900 to develop four new gallery spaces – bringing more of their collections to the public.
In 2019, conservators discovered at the museum a 16th century painting of a nativity scene hidden beneath a 400-year-old painting depicting the beheading of Saint John the Baptist.
X-ray analysis by Northumbria University experts revealed another image underneath, with a baby in a manger, angels with halos and the outline of what appears to be stables.
Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames will also use £201,400 for re-opening its Wolsey Rooms and a re-interpretation of a Tudor art collection.
A grant of £140,100 will also be used to create What The Butler Saw: Revealing Treasures and improve access at Temple Newsam in Leeds.
Principal keeper of Leeds Museums and Galleries, Maya Harrison, said more of their Grade I listed Tudor-Jacobean estate will be available to the public and it will support “the development of heritage craft and conservation skills”.
The Natural History Museum in South Kensington also received £100,000 for Mammals Galleries Project which will be located in its Mammals Hall.
The DCMS/ Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund has given out funding to more than 400 projects in its 20-year history.