Guide to Social Investment

English Heritage have kindly passed on to us a new guide published by the Big Lottery Fund and Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) explaining social investment – useful for anyone involved in a voluntary and community organisation or social enterprise. Social Investment Explained

BRICK programme to help save local heritage

BRICK (Building Resources, Investment and Community Knowledge) is an innovative education programme designed to build skills, knowledge and connections.

The BRICK programme, supported by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, empowers community groups to find the investment and support necessary to save their local heritage and build a better future for their local area.

BRICK is aimed at community groups looking to start or progress their heritage regeneration project. We have almost two decades of experience working with these groups and know the unique challenges they face, including:
  • financial challenges – with limited funding sources groups often struggle to secure funding for initial work, such as options appraisals or legal advice, as well as the main building works 
  • accessing relevant expertise – community groups often struggle to harness the correct expertise to develop and deliver a project, as they are usually made up of people from a variety of professions and backgrounds
  • building a convincing and viable case – developing meaningful reuse options for a heritage site, selecting a preferred option and building a financial case is the critical part of the process and one that many groups struggle with
  • promoting the project – many groups underestimate the importance of digital media and social networks in promoting their project, engaging a wider community base and attracting funders
  • working in partnership – it is often essential for community groups to work with private sector developers to create a viable project, and yet ‘inter-cultural’ conflicts and misunderstandings can derail the relationship. 

For further information visit the Prince’s Regeneration Trust BRICK website

Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK: promoting and safeguarding our diverse living cultures

The Museum of London Docklands
Saturday 20 September 2014

Storytelling, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional crafts knowledge and skills are a key part of the UK’s traditions and cultural heritage. They have also provided us with a means of living and a way of life, while informing us of our history and shaping our identities.

These intangible cultural practices are not static, like buildings and artefacts—instead they continue to evolve as they are passed down from one generation to the next. This brings with it a risk that some may not survive, raising questions of what we value in our intangible cultural heritage, and whether and how we should take steps to document and safeguard it.

ICOMOS-UK presents the first-ever conference to focus exclusively on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the UK, combining theoretical contexts with practical examples. The primary aim of the conference is to raise awareness about the different types of ICH, both rural and urban, as practised by the UK’s culturally diverse groups of people.

The conference will also explore some of the key issues and challenges relating to the safeguarding and transmission of traditions or living cultural expressions to future generations.

For more information and to book a place visit the ICOMOS website

Asset Transfer for Industrial Heritage

The Ironbride Gorge Museum Trust
Saturday 18th October

This event, organised by Ian Bapty, Industrial Heritage Support Officer for England will be a practical overview, very much focussed on the particular issues and challenges of industrial heritage sites, and is intended for both relevant local authority staff and members of groups who may be considering taking on such assets. Speakers include Sir Neil Cossons and Ian Morrison (HLF).

For further information about this event please contact Ian Bapty

VAT rate puts British tourism at disadvantage says Merlin’s Nick Varney…

Originally posted on AIM Blog for independent museums and heritage sites:

Leisure Management reports:

In the wake of a new report which says cutting the value added tax VAT rate on visitor accommodation and attractions would massively boost the UK’s tourism economy, Merlin CEO Nick Varney has said that the current VAT rate is at present a “disadvantage” to British tourism.

The Nevin report, commissioned by the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, says that a VAT reduction from 20 per cent to five per cent for tourism businesses would provide a £4bn US$6.7bn, €5bn boost to the UK economy, create 120,000 jobs and put the UK back on a level footing with European tourism rivals.

The Cut Tourism VAT Campaign has been gathering steady momentum in recent months. A February debate on the matter at the Houses of Parliament saw a number of MPs speak out in favour of the cut, while the campaign has received substantial national newspaper coverage, with…

View original 65 more words

GEM conference 2014

Enterprising Educators
Generating income without compromising one’s principles
Selwyn College Cambridge
Tues 2nd – Thurs 4th September

Find out how to raise more income from education programmes.

Learn from leading experts and practitioners of entrepreneurship and income generation, including:

Prof Shai Vyakarnam (holder of Best Entrepreneurship Professor award and currently director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School)

Unlocking the entrepreneur within

How can we best learn enterprising skills?  How can communities of highly diverse individuals work together to build enterprising capacity in museums?

Phyllida Shaw (freelance facilitator, writer and researcher)

Sensible conversations with funders

With her vast and thorough knowledge of the policies and practice of grant-making trusts, Phyllida is in the ideal position to talk about how best to approach trusts for funding and how to have a sensible conversation with a potential funder.

Prof Peter Latchford (chief executive, Black Radley)

Are you trying to build an igloo in Africa?

As a trouble-shooter for a variety of public service organisations, Peter knows that good museums encourage innovation and change, and knows that good enterprise is not about taking unnecessary risks.  Income generation is about understanding what people want and giving them more of it.

Medeia Cohan (creative director, School for Creative Startups)

Transforming educators into entrepreneurs

How does an educator become an entrepreneur without having to learn all the technical gibberish, pesky acronyms and theoretical rhetoric?  Medeia believes that museums and other cultural organisations need to learn to be economically sustainable, and she has some ideas and top tips on how to become an entrepreneur.

Generate more income for your museum by learning how to:

·         recognise what skills educators already have and use them more effectively,

·         become an enterprising museum by better understanding your audience,

·         adopt entrepreneurial attitudes for increased sustainability,

·         maximise the potential of the new national curriculum and museum outreach services,

·         run an outreach service on a shoestring budget,

·         predict ethical issues which arise from income generating activities,

·         calculate the value of inclusive cultural models,

·         understand staff comfort zones and their commitment to income generating activities,

·         realise the potential of digital activities for income generation.

No-one who wants to generate more income for their museum can afford to miss this conference!

For more information and the conference programme, please visit the GEM website:  Alternatively, you can contact the GEM office on, tel: 01634 853 424.  Join in the conversation using #GEMConf14 and keep up to date with conference announcements by following @GEM_heritage.

Job Opportunity: People’s History Museum

The museum’s Transition Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), aims to help ensure the continued sustainability of the People’s History Museum and enables the museum to appoint two fixed term roles, funded by HLF: a Commercial Income Project Post and an Individual Giving Project Post.

Commercial Income Project Post

  • 12 months fixed term project post, anticipated start September 2014
  • Based at People’s History Museum, Manchester

The Commercial Income Project Post role will be responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the museum’s shop, including sourcing and buying stock, preparing sales reports, working with Front of House colleagues, liaising with suppliers, colleagues and the general public.  The role will also assist in all the museum’s income generation functions.

The museum is looking for an experienced retail and commercial colleague to join its small and proactive Business Development & Marketing Team to deliver our ambitious plans.  The successful candidate will have demonstrable experience in a commercial retail environment, working with the general public and as part of a multi-disciplinary team – either through paid or voluntary experience.

To apply: download the application form, fill it in referring to the job tasks and person specification demonstrating how you fulfil the criteria.  Either post your completed application form for the attention of Janneke Geene, Head of Business Development to the museum’s address or email it to

  • Closing Date: 5.00pm, Wednesday 20 August 2014.
  • Interview Date: Wednesday 10 September 2014.  Please indicate on your application form if you are unable to make that date.

Individual Giving Project Post

  • 12 months fixed term project post, anticipated start September 2014
  • Based at People’s History Museum, Manchester

The Individual Giving Project Post role will be responsible for securing funds from individual donors through the museum’s new membership scheme, through the development of a broader individual giving agenda and through specific appeals and events, which is likely to include a major donor event in London in late autumn 2014.  The role will also include assisting in the implementation of a new CRM system for the museum.

The museum is looking for a colleague with experience of individual giving to join its small and proactive Business Development & Marketing Team to deliver our ambitious plans.  The successful candidate will have demonstrable experience in an individual giving environment, working with the general public and as part of a multi-disciplinary team – either through paid or voluntary experience.

To apply: download the application form, fill it in referring to the job tasks and person specification demonstrating how you fulfil the criteria.  Either post your completed application form for the attention of Janneke Geene, Head of Business Development to the museum’s address or email it

  • Closing Date: 5.00pm, Wednesday 20 August 2014.
  • Interview Date: Thursday 11 September 2014.  Please indicate on your application form if you are unable to make that date.

For enquires relating to either the Commercial Income Project Post or the Individual Giving Project Post, please email Janneke Geene, Head of Business Development on

Kids in Museums Family Fortunes Workshop

People’s History Museum, Manchester
Wednesday 10th September 2014

From Kids in Museums:

Only a couple of weeks ago over 50 museum professionals met in the Jewish Museum for Kids in Museums Family Fortunes Workshop and this is what they said about the day,

‘I’m brimming with ideas’

‘The workshop content provided lots of information on how to develop relationships with families’

‘Great bunches of people & love hearing case studies & samples of other museums’ work. Really thought provoking’

We are delighted to be holding the Kids in Museums Family Fortunes Workshop in the North!

If your family service could do with a bit of an update or you’d like to focus on improving your family offer come along to find out what other museums and visitor attractions are doing and learn from their experiences?

Cost – £82.50 **Early Bird Rate** Take advantage of our Early Bird Offer (only until the end of July when it’ll be going up to £95)

What will you get out of attending?

- Simple, practical ideas to make your museum more inviting for families – Understanding your family audiences and what you can offer them
– Knowledge of different groups and organisations to work with
– Understanding barriers and how to overcome them
– Networking and learning from colleagues in other museums and attractions

Who is it for?

Our workshop is great for people working in: Family Learning, Education, Visitor Services, Marketing, Interpretation, Volunteer Management, Audience Development.

Who will be speaking?

We’re delighted to be joined by special guests David Bridgford of Merlin Entertainments and Abigail Hackett of Sheffield University talking about what we can learn from their work with families.

Of course we’ll have our famous ‘Five Minute Blasts’, including Liz O’Neill of Z-Arts and Lisa Headley, a Manchester childminder packed full of ideas and top tips from museums, galleries and heritage attractions.

In the afternoon our speakers will run workshops to help you work out how to put their ideas into practice in your own museum.

Please feel free to circulate this invitation to any one you feel would also benefit from a Kids in Museums workshop.

For more information and to book visit the Kids in Museums website

Job Opportunity: Lancaster Institute for The Contemporary Arts

Gallery Assistant
Salary:   £18,031 to £20,198 
Closing Date:   Wednesday 27 August 2014

Linked to Lancaster University’s knowledge rich environment, Live at LICA’s presentation and preservation of the contemporary arts together with opportunities for artists is valued in regional, national and international contexts.

You will work alongside Live at LICA’s Exhibitions Curator to support collections care and associated programming. Predominantly based at our Peter Scott Gallery you will help deliver exhibitions commitments over a period of 12months allied to Live at LICA’s broader range of arts activity. You will also play an important role in encouraging meaningful dialogues with visitors and developing relations with volunteers, schools and community groups with respect to the gallery.

This is a fixed term position for one year.

Interviews are likely to take place on Thursday 4th September 2014.

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

For more information please visit the Lancaster University Jobs Page

Cultural Commissioning Programme

If you missed the launch of the Cultural Commissioning Programme’s first report, here is the link to the recently published research report on the opportunities for arts and cultural organisations to deliver public services. The report finds that many arts and cultural organisations deliver strong social outcomes, enable sustained participation by individuals, and help prevent the need for more intensive support further down the line. It finds that local government and health commissioners are under growing pressure to solve social problems, and that arts and culture organisations can play a more central role in addressing these.  Read the executive summary for an overview.

For organisations who didn’t manage to get to the first sell-out national seminar held at Cast in Doncaster in June, here are the presentations from that event.


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