Job Opportunity: Manchester Jewish Museum

Café Team Leader (x 2)Salary: £23,000 – £25,000 pro rata dependent upon experience
Location: Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M8 8LW
Hours: Two positions available, full time or part time depending on applicants’ availability. Monday-Sunday including occasional evenings.
Contract: permanent
Closing date: Sunday 25 April

Manchester Jewish Museum are looking for two Café Team Leaders to join their Front of House Team as they prepare to open their brand-new vegetarian kosher-style café this summer as part of their reopening following a multi-million pound capital redevelopment.

These will be active, varied and hands-on roles supervising the daily operation of the café and the café volunteers. The museum is looking for natural hosts with a passion for making delicious food from scratch, and who are enthusiastic about encouraging their team-mates to learn and grow.

Visit the Manchester Jewish Museum website for more information and to download the job description and person specification:

If you feel at home in the kitchen, taking care of others and cooking authentic recipes from scratch then send a CV and Cover Letter to by Sunday 25 April 2021.

Sharing Collections: the future of borrowing and lending – Webinar

Touring Exhibitions Group TEG Logo

From Touring Exhibitions Group:

We’ve teamed up with Art Fund, National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) and UK Registrars Group (UKRG) to bring you a five-session free webinar series about how to borrow loan objects and plan this process from start to finish. It is also suitable for people who need to apply for loans for their ambitious exhibition projects. The series is closely associated with the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, which provides grants to museums and galleries.

To register for the webinar series, please click here.

New resources for museums working with freelancers

South West Museum Development have worked in partnership with Museum Freelance to develop a set of Principles for commissioning and working with freelancers alongside a set of practical guides on:

  • How to write an effective freelance brief
  • How to commission freelancers in a fair, inclusive and transparent way
  • Contracts, work plans and  working effectively with freelancers

Freelancers make a vital contribution to the museum and heritage sector. The principles and guidance were developed in recognition of the important role freelancers play. We encourage those currently working or planning to work with freelancers to read and follow them.

” We really welcome South West Museum Development’s leadership and commitment to developing fair and inclusive procurement practices and successful working relationships between museums and freelancers, which our 2020 survey on freelancing in the sector highlighted as a real need.”
Christina Lister & Marge Ainsley, Museum Freelance

“South West Museum Development is committed to upholding these principles in our own work and through the funding we provide in recognition of the important role that freelancers play in supporting the sector ” 
Victoria Harding, SWMD Programme Manager

For the guidance documents, click here.

Heritage workshops: Online collaboration tools for heritage organisations – 29 April

From Heritage Digital:

Our next Heritage Workshop is here, Online collaboration tools for heritage organisations!

The workshop will cover:

  • How you can foster better internal and external collaboration
  • The free and low-cost tools that can help you collaborate effectively
  • Interactive, real-time activities to practice using these tools
  • Much more!

Apply now for your chance to take part! Application deadline: 20th April at 15:00 (BST). The session will take place on Thursday 29th April. To book your place, please click here.

MDNW coronavirus update

Here’s our round up of news about COVID-19 relevant to the sector from this week. These are up to date at the time of posting but please check the original source for any updates.

Most of the relevant news is already included in the DCMS Museums & Galleries Sector Coronavirus bulletin published on 6th April – DCMS Bulletin

Anything additional, or updates to the information contained in the DCMS bulletin, is listed below.

Latest government information

Latest information and advice (9th April)

DCMS have published their new GOV.UK guide (Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)) aimed at members of the public who are currently, or are interested in, volunteering during the pandemic. It sets out clearly, in chapters, everything people need to know to be able to volunteer safely. It includes advice on: 

  • how restrictions affect volunteering
  • travelling safely as a volunteer
  • volunteering safely with other people
  • finding volunteering opportunities with organisations and groups
  • helping others ‘informally’ in your local area
  • accessing testing and vaccinations

Track and Trace Update

Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus.

The rules on what you need to do when a group enters your venue have changed.

You must ask every customer or visitor to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member of the group.

Read the updated government guidance.

Restart Grants

Restart Grants are a one-off payment available to the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors in England. This group explicitly includes museums and galleries. The grants are available now through local authorities and consist of either:

– up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector (likely to reopen on 12th April) or

– up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors (likely to reopen from 17th May)

For full details, click here.

Free Lateral Flow Tests

You can order free rapid lateral flow tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace.

If you have 10 or more employees, from early April you’ll be able to order tests for your employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week. You can do this if you cannot provide testing in the workplace.

You must register by 11:59pm on 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you should still register so you can order tests in the future.

For full details, click here.

National Museums Directors Council Good practice Guidelines for Reopening Updated

NMDC has updated its Good Practice Guidelines for Reopening Museums in the light of recent Government announcements. The tier system has now moved to a step system, with Step 2 beginning on April 12th with the opening of outdoor areas, and Step 3 from May 17th when museums can reopen their buildings. Major additions include guidance that on reopening museums should:

Arts Council England

National Lottery Project Grants

National Lottery Project Grants are reopened with additional supplementary guidance which applies until 31 August 2021 to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible. 

The supplementary guidance

outlines what has changed to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during Covid-19. 

Creative People and Places Fund, 2022-25

ACE’s next round of Creative People and Places funding for 2022-25 will bring the programme into the Arts Council’s National Portfolio of organisations, to support the delivery of their ten-year strategy, Let’s Create.

Creative People and Places focuses on parts of the country where involvement in arts and culture is significantly below the national average. It provides National Lottery funding to groups of local organisations, or consortia, who work together to bring creative opportunities to the lives of people who live in that place. 

For full details, click here

National Lottery Heritage FundNational Lottery Grants for Heritage

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is now accepting applications again for larger projects (from £100,000 up to £5million) as well as small and medium project funding applications. 

Association of Independent Museums

Prospering Boards

AIM’s Prospering Boards governance support programme is now open to new applications. Whether its reviewing basic good practice or dealing with complex challenges, this programme offers the opportunity to work with an experienced and expert consultant. You can apply for two days of online support and applications will be assessed on a rolling basis for as long as funding remains available.

Coronavirus resources

AIM’s round up of coronavirus resources now includes a briefing from the Charity Finance Group (23rd March) on how the budget impacts charities

Museums Association – Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people.

The Museums Association award the fund on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to projects that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness and power of collections to people.

The fund has awarded over £10m to 145 projects since it launched in 2011. In 2020, they awarded 26 Sustaining Engagement with Collections grants to support work that responds to the Covid-19 pandemic by finding ways to share collections while traditional and physical access is not possible.

The Audience Agency – COVID-19 Cultural Participation Monitor

The Audience Agency’s nationwide longitudinal (ongoing) panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic.

To support cultural organisations, the Audience Agency has shared findings from its ‘Covid-19 Cultural Participation Monitor’. This longitudinal survey helps to understand changes in the public’s cultural participation through and beyond Covid-19 and its impact.

Read the findings of the first wave of research from Autumn 2020, which will be added to over the coming months. 

You can also find other insightful audience research studies and resources on the Bounce Forward section of the Audience Agency’s website.

Culture Geek Conference 14-16 June

From MuseumNext:

We’ve had a great response to the launch of this year’s Culture Geek Conference with museums, theatres, festivals and arts organisations signing up to attend from all over the world. 

If you haven’t yet checked out who’s speaking at this virtual conference, you can find out more about them here.

This years conference will take place 14 – 16 June, but all talks will be recorded and will be available for delegates to enjoy until the end of 2021.

Job Opportunity:  Science and Industry Museum

Science Museum Group

Job Opportunity:  Science and Industry Museum
Job title: Curator of Exhibitions
Salary: £28,000 per annum plus benefits
Location:  Manchester
Hours: Full Time (36.25 hours per week) 
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: 21/04/2021

From the Science and Industry Museum:

We are looking for a Curator of Exhibitions with a passion for sharing big ideas with a broad range of museum audiences.  The candidate will work with a team of talented specialist curators and exhibitions colleagues to bring exhibitions to life The Curator of Exhibitions role is a new permanent position based in Manchester, which has been created to support the ambitious exhibitions programme planned across Science Museum Group (SMG).   In this role, you will lead on developing curatorial content for exhibition projects at the Science and Industry Museum, including large exhibitions which can travel across SMG sites and tour internationally, as well as smaller, site-specific displays and digital exhibitions which have a wider global reach. You will create compelling content and relevant narratives for different SMG audiences, using museum collections in exhibition storytelling, following good research and collections practice. As Curator of Exhibitions, you will collaborate closely with interpretation and project management colleagues, as well as with the wider curatorial department, advocating for new ideas and presenting these to your colleagues across the organisation.

Joining us, you will have an interest in historic or contemporary science, industry, technology, engineering or medicine, and will be able to undertake high-quality research using varied sources. You will be an imaginative storyteller, able to take your research and turn it into compelling narratives and content for exhibitions, simplifying complex ideas for a range of audiences. You will also need to be confident in presenting ideas for new exhibitions content to a wide range of colleagues, including at senior level. As a Curator of Exhibitions, you will be passionate about and advocate for the needs of audiences from a wide range of backgrounds.

Apply online:

Trustee Opportunity: Co-operative Heritage Trust

The Co-operative Heritage Trust are looking for an independent Trustee to join their board – the closing date is 21 of April 2021 and you can apply by sending a CV with up to date contact details and a short statement (200 to 500 words max) to the Charity Secretary Edward Powell

The Trust highly encourage people with protected characteristics under the Equalities Act to apply.

For more details, including a role description, please click here.

Call for papers: Museum Environments International Conference

Museum Environments: Challenges and Opportunities  

14-15 December 2021 

Cairo, Egypt 

The conference is organized by the Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Egypt, and Smart Urban Futures (SURF) at the University of Salford, United Kingdom. The conference aims at presenting and sharing best practices in museology and mobile heritage conservation. In addition, it addresses some of the main challenges associated with meeting conflicting environmental requirements, demanding international standards, and the use of technology in assessing museum performance, digital twinning, and monitoring indoor conditions.   

The conference will be staged as a hybrid event, face-to-face as well as virtual attendance and participation. The conference covers four themes that can be seen on the conference website here.

The conference proceedings will be published on ICOM-ICMAH’s publication webpage:   

For further information and abstract submission please click here.

Getting Your House In Order workshops 2021-22

Museum Development North West, in partnership with Collections Trust, is launching a new programme of workshops for 2021-22.


The Covid-19 pandemic has put many museums in a financially precarious situation. In extreme cases, if not now possibly in the future, they may be looking at insolvency, merger with another museum, splitting up the collection or putting it in a separate trust.

The actions required to manage the collections in order for these to happen responsibly are the same as how any museum collection should be managed to make it accountable and useable in any circumstances – but these scenarios add an extra pressure or urgency to make sure your collections documentation is adequate.


Using the framework of Spectrum 5.0 and its procedures, and referencing the Museums Association’s guidance ‘Museums Facing Closure: Legal and Ethical Issues’ this series of workshops will focus on the planning and work required for museums to get their collections documentation in order.

Led by Sarah Brown, Outreach Manager at Collections Trust, these online workshops are open to staff, boards and volunteers from museums in the North West which are Accredited or formally working towards Accreditation.

They are not just for museums facing these significant changes, but are also a good refresher for museums wanting to tighten up their documentation, and a reminder of why this work is necessary.

Within the booking process you can indicate if your museum is or could be facing one of these scenarios, and you will be prioritised for a place.

Spectrum 5.0
15th April 2pm-3.30pm

This session will offer an introduction to the Spectrum standard, and will also put into context the Spectrum procedures covered in the other workshops in this programme. We will discuss how a Spectrum 5.0 procedure works and how it might be applied within your own organisation. It will give an overview of the primary procedures, focusing on details flagged in your registrations – so please do let us know your questions, issues and priorities. There will be opportunities to ask questions during the session, as well as sharing ideas with other attendees.

Important because – Accredited museums considering the future of their collections should still continue to work in accordance with the Code of Ethics. Actions and decisions made that are set within Spectrum, the recognised collections management framework, will help in managing the collections with transparency and competency through a challenging period.

Click here to book a place.

Ownership of collections
18th May 2pm-3.30pm

In this session we will focus on the Spectrum procedures and processes involved in assessing and documenting new acquisitions. This includes due diligence, provenance, decision-making and capturing written evidence of transfer of title.

Important because – you have to know, and have the paperwork to show, that objects are owned outright by the governing body, are subject to a separate trust or on loan if they are to be moved on elsewhere, whether through a change of ownership, return of objects to original owners, or long term loan to another organisation.

Click here to book a place.

Documentation histories
22nd June 10.30am-12pm

This session will explore the benefits of recording the history of your documentation systems. For example, have you captured key information about historic cataloguing systems, old numbering systems and policies?

We will explore this topic using elements from the collections biography toolkit developed by Museum Development Yorkshire as a framework:

“A collection biography is useful as a simple aid to increase understanding of a collection and to give access to all who use it or are involved in its management. It can also be used to inform key stakeholders whose understanding of the collection and the issues which relate to it might be minimal. At its most basic it can be used to create a simple statement which provides an overview of the collections and how they came about …” MDY collection biography toolkit.

Important because – if a collection is to be transferred elsewhere, a detailed history of how the collection was formed and developed, with evidence of its significance, provides valuable context for decision making. Insolvency practitioners follow a Code of Conduct which requires them to acquire knowledge about the industry they are working in and, in the case of museums, to know about the collections for which they have taken over control.

Click here to book a place.

Dealing with objects with uncertain ownership or conditions attached
20th July, 10am-12pm

In a joint session with Collections Trust and Janet Ulph, Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Leicester, we will look at the legal and ethical issues of dealing with objects you may not own (e.g. historic loans, uncollected objects, objects with no paper trail etc.) and objects with conditions attached. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these issues using real-life (anonymised) scenarios.

Important because – at the point at which collections are to be moved on in some way, the process will be made more complex and lengthy if there are objects for which ownership has not been proved, or where there are conditions to comply with which have not been identified sufficiently in advance to deal with. The process will also become more expensive if an insolvency practitioner has to allow time for claimants to come forward where ownership of objects is uncertain.

Click here to book a place.

14th September 10.30am-12pm

Do you have the collections and information you think you have? This session will explore the Spectrum 5.0 Audit procedure – systematically checking the accuracy and completeness of the information you have about your collections.

At the most basic level, the procedure confirms that your records match the physical reality: you have all the objects you should have, correctly numbered and located where they are supposed to be. We will explore the difference between Inventory and Audit, discuss the benefits of undertaking regular audits and how you might approach this.

Important because – collections documentation handed over to a third party must match with the collections. The museum may have someone dealing with the process who doesn’t normally work with the collections, and it is the responsibility of the governing body to provide information to insolvency practitioners so they can deal with collections as best they can.

Click here to book a place.

19th October 10.30am-12pm

This session will explore the Spectrum 5.0 procedures for borrowing and lending objects: Loans in and Loans out. We will review the policy considerations, requirements, and guidance for both procedures, discussing how this is approached by attendees.

Important because – ideally loans (both in and out) need to be identified before a collection is moved on. Loans in should be returned as soon as possible, with information and arrangements for loans out also concluded before an insolvency practitioner becomes involved. Loans are a potentially tricky and time-consuming issue that will add to the practitioner’s fees which have to be covered.

Click here to book a place.