MDNW Sustainable Improvement Fund – Recovery Grants 2021

Through a continued partnership with Art Fund, Museum Development North West’s Sustainable Improvement Fund – Recovery Grants programme opens today to support North West museums with their recovery over the next 12 months.

The Sustainable Improvement Fund (SIF) is a major part of the Museum Development North West Programme (MDNW) and is taken from our core Sector Support Organisation funding from Arts Council England.

Through Museum Development UK’s continued partnership with Art Fund, MDNW has secured an additional £12,000 to add to our £50,000 SIF fund and award as Recovery Grants to support North West museums with their recovery over the next 12 months.

A single Accredited museum or museum working towards Accreditation can apply for up to £7,500. A partnership of museums or a museum service with multiple Accredited sites can apply for up to £10,000. Where a partnership of museums or a multi-site organisation is applying, the project must involve a minimum of two Accredited sites.

National Portfolio Organisations, national museums, English Heritage and National Trust properties are ineligible to apply, although they can be part of partnership bids.

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 10th September 2021.

We will support organisational resilience of museums around three key areas:

  1. Developing new sustainable offers for the future
  2. Re-engaging with audiences
  3. Creating and adapting programmes and services

Within these areas, museums can bid for a range of activity that meet the strategic needs of organisations in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and those that allow museums to build back better. These could include, but are not limited to:

  • Adapt or develop new ways to connect with, and meet the needs of your communities
  • Invest in the health and wellbeing and development of your paid and volunteer workforce
  • Enhance existing or start new digital activities to increase reach
  • Respond to the climate emergency and reduce environmental impact

N.B. Collections are not directly mentioned in the criteria – but they can be indirectly supported where it supports a museum to meet one of the three key areas listed above.

The full guidance and the application form for the Sustainable Improvement Fund –  Recovery Grants can be found below.

Sustainable improvement Fund – Recovery Grants Guidance

Sustainable Improvement Fund – Recovery Grants Application Form

Trustee Opportunity: Engage – Chair of trustees

Trustee Opportunity: Engage
Trustee title: Chair of Trustees
Salary: Voluntary
2 to 3 day per month
Contract: Three-year term
Closing date: 10am, Monday 23 August

Engage is looking to appoint a new Chair of our Board of Trustees.

The ideal candidate will have a clear knowledge and understanding of issues affecting arts organisations and specifically visual arts and heritage and education.

The link for all the information about the role can be found at:

ACE Youth Advisory Board Recruiting Now

From Arts Council England:

Today we’ve launched our recruitment for the pilot of our first ever Youth Advisory Board. We’re looking for 10 young people from across the North of England to ensure the voices of children and young people are at the heart of what we do. 

Our first cohort will be in post from September 2021 – July 2022, where they will have the opportunity to engage in arts and culture whilst developing skills to support them in their future careers.  

Get involved!

We’re looking for a diverse group of young people, representing different backgrounds and life experiences across the North of England.

Are you between ages 16 – 25 and interested in creativity? Maybe you want to know more about arts and culture? Or want to make a difference? We work with theatres, galleries, artists, librarians and all sorts of other people and organisations here at the Arts Council. 

Does this sound like something you want to get involved in? If so, then we’d love for you to be part of our first ever Youth Advisory Board.

What’s in it for me?

  • A chance to engage in national and local cultural experiences
  • Have your voice heard
  • Develop your skills
  • Connect with Arts Council and cultural sector staff through mentoring opportunities
  • Influence Arts Council England’s policies and programmes
  • Input on projects that interest you
  • Enhance your CV and gain valuable work experience
  • Help if you need access to data to get online
  • Meet like-minded young people and most importantly, have fun!

Find out more and apply today >  

The deadline to apply is 16 August.

Job Opportunities: Wordsworth Trust

From Wordsworth Trust:

Job Opportunity: Wordsworth Trust
Job title: Individual Giving Officer 
Salary: £18,000
Location: Grasmere, Cumbria
Hours: Full time
Contract: Permanent 
Closing date: Monday 9 August, 7am

The Wordsworth Trust is looking for someone who is outgoing, energetic, and well-organised to initiate, develop and sustain relationships with its Patrons, Friends and other individual supporters. This is a great time to join a small and friendly team in the heart of Wordsworth Country.  After completing a £6.5 million transformation and opening Wordsworth Grasmere this spring, we are preparing for the next phase of our fundraising strategy.  The Individual Giving Officer will play a crucial role in creating opportunities for supporters at all levels to be part of an exciting new stage in the Wordsworth Trust’s history.

In return we offer a range of benefits, including affordable accommodation for those considering relocating to the area.

If you’d like to find out more please visit

Job Opportunity: Wordsworth Trust
Job title: 
Receptionist and Group Bookings Assistant 
Salary: £17,550
Location: Grasmere
Hours: Full time
Contract: Permanent 
Closing date: Monday 16 August, 5pm

The Wordsworth Trust is looking for someone who is friendly, efficient and used to managing multiple priorities to provide receptionist duties, deal with group bookings and undertake a range of other administrative tasks. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain a broad understanding and experience of working in the arts and heritage sector. 

In return we offer a range of benefits, including affordable accommodation for those considering relocating to the area.

If you’d like to find out more please visit

Job Opportunity: Team Leader – West Cheshire Museums

Job Opportunity: West Cheshire Museums
Job title: Team Leader
Salary: £24,982 – £27,741
Location: Northwich
37 hours per week
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: 01/08/2021

West Cheshire Museums are recruiting a Team Leader who will have day-to-day site responsibility for the management of Lion Salt Works and oversight of Weaver Hall including security and maintenance of the buildings and collections and the safety of other staff and visitors.

To learn more and to apply, please visit

Heritage Fund launches digital volunteering grants

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has launched a scheme to support digital volunteering.

Applications to the ‘Digital Skills for Heritage’ initiative are open with a total of £1m being available. The grant range from £10,000 to £100,000 to and are for organisations looking to establish new digital volunteering opportunities and roles in the UK.

The deadline for submitting a Project Enquiry Form is 16 August 2021.

To find out more and to apply, please visit

Weston Loan Programme Open for Applications

From Art Fund:

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund provides funding and training for regional museums and galleries to secure important strategic loans from major UK collections.

The grants cover up to 100% of the costs associated with securing and displaying a loan, for example security reviews, insurance, transportation, conservation, installation and invigilation.

They also support activity related to maximising the impact of the loan, such as production of marketing materials, on-site interpretation and/or audience engagement activity.

Made possible with the support of the Garfield Weston Foundation, the programme aims to encourage new and stronger relationships between regional and national museums and galleries.

Take a look at some of the loans we’ve supported so far, across the firstsecond and third rounds of funding.

Who should apply

We can accept applications from UK public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives which are:

  • regional and/or run by local authorities or universities, or have independent Trust status
  • open for at least half the week for at least six months of the year (but we’d be happy to discuss this further)
  • at least provisionally accredited

If your museum is not fully or provisionally accredited you’ll be asked to explain why, and to demonstrate a longstanding commitment to care for the collections to the same nationally recognised standard.

We’ll consider applications that:

  • enhance or maximise the possibilities of already planned loans/exhibitions/programming
  • enable ‘quickfire’ and ‘quick win’ loan requests
  • support long-term relationship and display development

We don’t expect you to have confirmed approval of any loan request before you apply, but you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you have discussed the details in depth with the relevant national museum partner and ascertained the conditions that will need to be met to receive the loan, and the likely costs.

Funds available

£5,000-£25,000, though we are able to consider applications for more or less if there is a strong case to do so.

Click here for the full details.

Roots and Branches – social media opportunity

Museums taking action against climate change

Roots and Branches is a collaboration between The Carbon Literacy Project, Museum Development England and Manchester Museum, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It aims to train and certify 1,500 people from 300 museums as Carbon Literate over the next two years and give an opportunity for museums to converse, experiment, and test new ideas for a more sustainable future.

The launch of Roots and Branches will coincide with the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021 when The Carbon Literacy Project hope to see the most people Carbon Literacy trained on that day than ever before.

From 9th August to 12th November 2021, on the run up to and during COP26, a social media campaign will run for all museums to join in with, showcasing how the museum sector is responding to the climate crisis. The #MuseumCarbonStories campaign has a schedule of weekly themes linked to environmental sustainability that participating museums can respond to over 14 weeks.

See Roots and Branches – museum involvement to find out more about Roots and Branches and for information on how you can get involved.

See Roots and Branches Social Media Campaign Schedule to get involved in the #MuseumCarbonStories social media campaign, including the schedule of weekly themes.

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Culture24 Workshop – Leading a digitally literate museum

Museum Development North West

Online, via Zoom
3 x online content sessions of 2hrs

Session 1: Monday 20th September, 2- 4pm
Session 2: Monday 27th September, 2- 4pm
Session 3: Thursday 7th October, 2 – 4pm

Is your museum leadership team confident when it comes to digital? Are they as digitally literate as our fast-changing world requires? The opportunities around digital culture can be huge but it’s a multi-layered environment that is a challenge for many museums to exploit, particularly so in the current climate.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, museums more than ever need a digitally literate workforce that understands the ways in which digital technologies, content and culture can best serve their mission. It is down to museum leadership to create the right conditions to meet those challenges. This online course will combine strategy, theory and expert insight with practical advice and peer support.

Who should attend?

Two members…

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Arts&Heritage launch new Resource Hub

Arts&Heritage have recently launched a new Resource Hub, which is free to access on their website.

The Hub aims to support curators, artists, heritage & museum staff and volunteers to create and commission new artistic projects that explore stories within heritage sites and collections from new perspectives.

The platform features Arts&Heritage Case Studies, Tools & Templates, and upcoming sector news.

Click on the link below to access the Resource Hub:

DCMS Museums & Galleries Sector Coronavirus Bulletin, 19th July

The latest DCMS coronavirus bulletin, with updates reflecting the changes of legislation and guidance that came into force yesterday for England, has been published – Coronavirus bulletin 20210719

It includes:

  • The Prime Minister urges caution in Step 4 and calls for all adults to come forward for both vaccine doses
  • National Museum Directors’ Guidance has been updated
  • Government guidance on events and attractions has been published
  • Although no longer a legal requirement in England, businesses are encouraged to display QR codes for visitors to check in using the NHS COVID app, to support Test and Trace.
  • How to get the NHS covid pass

To sign up to receive these weekly bulletins directly, email either Museums & Cultural Property COVID-19 Response Mailbox ( or David Rowland ( to be added to the circulation list.