Job Opportunities: Museum Development East Midlands & South West

Museum Development East Midlands (MDEM)
Museum Development Officer
18.5 hours per week
Salary – £21,144 pro-rata

From MDEM:

Who we’re looking for:

We are looking for someone to support the administration and delivery of our wide ranging museum support programme. You’ll have a head for figures and be self-motivated, with a personal interest in the museum sector. You’ll be able to work on your own and within a team, and will be a strong communicator. You’ll have ideas of your own for improving what we offer and will enjoy developing new initiatives.

What will you be doing:

You’ll be undertaking the administration of the MDEM programme. This will evolve the financial administration and supporting grant giving activities. You’ll also be part of the team evaluating what we do and reporting back to Arts Council England and others about our programmes.

We run lots of training and events at MDEM and this role will support with the administration of these, as well as other opportunities as they arise.

We offer flexible working and can accommodate some home working and varied hours. Our office is based in Leicester.

Click here to view the role and download the full job specification. Applications close on Thursday 28th June and interviews will be Monday 16th July. Good luck!

South West Museum Development (SWMD)
Museum Development Officer (Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon)
Part time, fixed term until April 2020
Based at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
4 days per week
Salary – £27,358 – £30,756 pro rata

From SWMD:

SWMD has recently been awarded funding of £2.1 million from Arts Council England as a Sector Support Organisation for the period 2018-2022. During this programme we will deliver development initiatives to 200+ museums in the Arts Council Accreditation scheme across the South West region.

Based at the SWMD office at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, you will be part of a network of MDOs spread across the South West of England and the regional team of thematic officers (Audiences, Collections, Volunteering and Digital Engagement),  helping to develop and deliver our 2018-2022 activity plans. You will contribute to the delivery of a high quality, nationally recognised South West Museum Development programme, delivering sector development support and advice to museums in the Gloucestershire and West of England sub-region (primarily in Bath and North-east Somerset, and Swindon).

You will want to use your knowledge and experience to help museums develop their skills and their offer to the public and support them to be sustainable organisations.  You will also have an understanding of the wider issues affecting the sector.

This post is advertised as a fixed term post until April 2020 with the potential for extension subject to funding. This post requires frequent travel within the sub region and the wider south west, with the possibility of some national travel. The post benefits from a wide range of benefits including flexible working, local government pension, holiday buy-back scheme and investment in continuing professional development.

Please see our website  for further information and email if you would like to discuss the post further or have any questions.

Interviews will be held in Bristol on either Tuesday 7th August or Thursday 9th August 2018.  Applicants must be available on both dates.



Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund reopens for applications

The second round of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund to enable museums across the country to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections, reopens today for applications.

In this guest blog Penny Bull from the Art Fund explains what the programme is and what it can fund, and Janice Hayes from Warrington Museum & Art Gallery writes about the programme from the perspective of a museum which successfully applied for funding in the first round.

“Here at Art Fund we’re excited to be opening the second round of grant applications to the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. The programme, made possible by the Garfield Weston Foundation, aims to provide museum visitors across the country with increased access to national museum and gallery objects. It does this by offering funding to regional museums to secure important, strategic loans from the national collections, and then maximise loan opportunities in the context of their own collections and communities. The Garfield Weston Foundation offers its very generous support in celebration of its 60th anniversary, taking place this year.

In the first round we were really excited to see the variety of ways that museums across the country planned to integrate loan objects and items from their own collection, and were so pleased to be able to support thirteen projects. You can currently visit funded exhibitions at Brampton Museum, Cannon Hall Museum and Paxton House. And there is, of course, Warrington Art Treasures at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, but I’ll leave it to Janice Hayes to tell you more on that. For a full list of previous awards please visit:

We’re thrilled to be in a position to consider funding applications this summer and again in 2019, we’re able to provide 100% of the funding needed for a project. We welcome requests of £5,000 to £25,000, and this can cover the costs associated with securing and displaying the loan, and for maximising its impact. This could include transportation, conservation, installation, marketing materials, onsite interpretation or audience engagement activity, but also much more. Eligible museums need to have a permanent collection and be Accredited, provisionally Accredited, or able to demonstrate a longstanding commitment to care for the collections. The applicants also need to be regional and/or run by local authorities, universities or have independent Trust status.

We opened for applications today, and the deadline for submissions will be 11thSeptember. For further details please visit, and do contact me if you’d like to discuss a possible application,”

Penny Bull, Senior Programmes Manager, Art Fund

Warrington Museum Learns How to Borrow
“Warrington Museum & Art Gallery had lots to celebrate in 2017 with the 160th anniversary of the current building and the 140th anniversary of the main art gallery in October 1877 – the same month Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery opened.

Since transferring to a new charitable trust called Culture Warrington in 2012 the museum had been busy adapting to life outside direct local authority support and had largely withdrawn from major touring exhibitions. By 2017 our ambitious plans for major museum capital developments meant it was time to raise our profile once again on the regional, and hopefully national, stage.

From its creation in 1848 Warrington Museum had amassed significant collections including works by prominent local Victorian artists and so the grand plan to showcase Warrington’s Art Treasureswas conceived – a series of exhibitions marking landmarks in the creation of the oldest public museum in the North West of England. Coincidentally the museum had also formerly been the home to Warrington School of Art which trained many artists who had gone on to acquire a national reputation as regular exhibitors at the Royal Academy, meaning we could link in with the RA 250 celebrations.

Our ambitions grew: could we persuade National Museums Liverpool (NML) to be a partner in our project by loaning three significant works from the Walker Art Gallery linked to two of the best known Warrington artists, John Warrington Wood and Luke Fildes?

Just loaning three paintings: how hard could it be….? Answer: a lot more complicated than we imagined, and impossible without our key partners of NML, Museum Development North West (MDNW) and the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund.

Now the paintings are safely installed in Warrington we have time to reflect on what we learnt in the process which might help other would-be borrowers, like your organisation perhaps?

Lesson One: It takes much longer than you think to negotiate a loan
Always remember this might be your priority project but your major partner will have their own priorities already in place. It can take over a year to negotiate even a relatively straightforward loan, especially if the work is on their gallery walls. If the work you want to borrow needs conservation before it can safely travel that adds to the timescales, adds to your costs and causes more admin for the loaner and the borrower. And another small tip: check and double check the measurements of the loans before you commit to any expenditure. Obvious I know, but it’s always worth checking if the dimensions you’ve been given include the frame so you can be sure it’ll fit through your doors and into your goods lift when it’s packed in the travelling crate!

Lesson Two: Does your venue meet the loan venue’s standards?
Have you got staff with the experience/capacity to negotiate the loan, deal with insurance issues and provide the data to deal with questions around whether your venue meets the necessary environmental and security standards?

Without the pragmatic support of NML we would have fallen at this first hurdle because we are based in a Grade II listed building so even before the Beast From the East hit the UK our gallery environment was somewhat erratic, but nothing new humidifiers couldn’t cure we were advised. Thanks to MDNW’s ACE-funded Ready to Borrow grants we were able to make the environmental and security improvements needed. NML agreed to the loan of our three works and our gallery environment stabilised.

Lesson Three: Never underestimate the cost of getting a loan to your venue (and returning it!)
So we could get the works we wanted to borrow but we hadn’t got the budget to pay for conservation costs to one frame, the hire of crates or transport and specialised art handlers to install the works to NML’s satisfaction. Then there were the associated publicity costs and an activity programme to engage and grow our audience. What started as a “simple” loan of three works had now escalated to unbudgeted costs of over £20,000. With the support of MDNW we applied to the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund to enable museums across the country to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections and were delighted to be successful.


Lesson Four: Getting the grant funding for your loan is only the tip of the iceberg! This is when you discover that as well as dealing with all the loan administration your small team has also got to cope with all the publicity and evaluation your grant funders will expect to see in place. Whilst national institutions have separate press & marketing teams who are well versed in scheduling, for smaller organisations the lengthy deadlines involved can cause capacity issues. Remember to allow time for press releases to get clearance from all the organisations involved in your project and make sure someone in your team can respond to urgent emails about redrafts!

Remember that long list of benefits to your organisation you put on your application form? Just beware that now you will be expected to come up with evaluation tools to demonstrate that you have achieved them! So be realistic about what you promise and pragmatic about your capacity to get meaningful data for key points.

Lesson Five: It’s not over when your loans are finally on the gallery wall!
If you are a small team the pressure is on to catch up with the enquiry backlog that built up whilst you were working on the exhibition installation or meet the deadlines for your next project… but you still need the capacity to keep feeding new angles to the press; run the activity programme and evaluate the feedback from your visitors and participants.

 So: Have we learnt how to borrow and would we do it again?
We’ll have a definitive answer to that in March 2019 when our exhibition is over, the loans have been returned and our evaluation complete! But so far we feel much better equipped to explore new loan opportunities with major partners and much more confident that our staff and venue meet expected standards. We’ve had positive press coverage and favourable feedback from visitors but our activity programme is only just beginning so overall evaluation is premature. We’ve had good support from all of our partners so if you are thinking of such a project we’d say …go for it!”

 Janice Hayes, Culture Warrington Heritage Manager


The Marsh Awards for Palaeontology, Mineralogy and Best Earth Sciences Book of the Year – 2018

Nominations are being accepted for the three Marsh Awards 2018 in association with the Natural History Museum, namely,  i. Palaeontology,  ii. Mineralogy and the iii. Best Earth Sciences (academic) Book of the Year.

The deadline for nominations is the 1st November 2018.

Further information and the respective nomination forms can be found here

The Marsh Christian Trust supports around 300 charities every year through the Grants Programme and gives over 80 different Awards to individuals and groups from across the charity sector, who make a difference to a cause that they believe in.

Job Opportunities: People’s History Museum and Victoria Baths

People’s History Musuem
Collections Officer
Salary – c£19,000
Full-time, 35 hours per week
Two-year fixed term, subject to funding
Closing date – Wednesday 4th July

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is seeking an organised, committed and enthusiastic Collections Officer to join our Collections & Engagement Team. You will have knowledge of 19th and 20th century British history and experience of caring for, cataloguing, and making museum collections accessible.

PHM is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future. The museum provides opportunities for people of all ages to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all. PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looks at representation and commemorates 100 years since the first women and all men got the vote, and 2019 will see a year of activities around protest movements to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, 1819.

PHM collects items of national importance primarily from the last two hundred years of British labour and political history, including the history of working class people and their fight for equality and change. The objects are hugely varied and include the largest collection of trade union and political banners in the world. Other material includes sashes, emblems, political posters, cartoons, badges and tokens. We also actively collect contemporary material relating to current political issues, key campaigns and demonstrations.

For details on how to apply click here and for enquires relating to the post, please contact Charlie Corkin, Executive Support Officer at or 0161 838 9190.

Closing date: Wednesday 4th July 2018 at 5.00pm
Interview candidates notified: Wednesday 11th July 2018
Interview date: Tuesday 17th July 2018

Victoria Baths Trust
Office Coordinator
Temporary – 6 – 12 months
Salary £15,233 (pro rata of full-time salary of £17,772)
30 hours per week

Victoria Baths, Manchester is an historic swimming pool which the Trust aims to restore. Meanwhile, it operates as a heritage visitor centre, events, arts and weddings venue.

This is a temporary Office Coordinator position to cover sabbatical leave, for a minimum of 6 months with a possible extension up to a year in total. The post holder needs to start on 6th August 2018 for a two-week handover and will provide both administrative and financial support to the Victoria Baths’ management and staff team. The role covers a wide variety of duties.

You will need to have excellent organisational, communication, cash- handling and Microsoft Office skills, with the ability to work independently, maintaining accurate administrative systems.

The job description, person specification and application form are available on the Victoria Baths website in the Restoration section, including details of how to apply.

Closing date: Tuesday 3rd July 2018 5.00pm
Interviews: Wednesday 11th July 2018



MDNW Succession Planning Programme

Museum Development North West

Succession planning is a hugely important task, but the lack of it in the sector is a real issue and one that needs to be addressed. That’s why this year we’re running a programme dedicated to supporting museums to tackle this issue, whether its the impending loss of knowledge or the need to share organisational procedures in-house.

Starting in October 2018 and running for three months, the aim of the programme is to support five museums to develop and implement robust succession plans through workshops, and the use of the MALD Succession Planning framework.

The programme will consist of two half-day workshops and consultancy support to complete and implement the plans.

To register your interest please complete the Expression of Interest Form by 5pm on Friday 6th July, or for more information contact Alex Bird at

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Job Opportunity: Curious Minds

Hope Streets Project Co-ordinator
Salary: £29,000 Pro Rata
Hours: 30 hours per week (0.8), fixed-term for one year initially
Based: Working across the North West (Curious Minds’ office is in Preston)
Application Deadline: 5pm on the Thursday 12th of July 2018
Interview date(s): Thursday 26th of July 2018, in Preston

Curious Minds are seeking a Hope Streets Project Co-Ordinator to play a key role in a brand-new project.

Hope Streets will see young people aged 11 – 25 revolutionise the way museums work with their peers. Working across all 5 regions of the North West, Hope Streets will create exciting learning experiences for young people and museum and youth work professionals.

It’s called Hope Streets because we believe young people and museums can provide each other with hope for the future and that’s exactly what this project will explore. The Hope Streets Project Co-Ordinator will be the lynch pin of a vibrant and fast-paced project. It’s an excellent opportunity to work with and alongside a wide range of partners and experts and be at the heart of a project creating real strategic change.

If you’re able to provide efficient and dependable project co-ordination within a dynamic and lively project, we’d love to hear from you! The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 12th of July 2018. Interviews will be held on the 26th of July in Preston.

We welcome applications from all people and we would particularly welcome applications from BAME and disabled applicants. We are taking the positive action of offering an interview to all BAME and disabled applicants who meet the Essential Criteria on the job description for the post. Any final appointment to the post will be made on merit.

This post is subject to securing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are currently in in a non-competitive Stage 2 funding round awaiting a final decision, which we expect to have on the 27th of June 2018.

For more information and details on how to apply visit the job page.

Job Opportunity: Calderdale Industrial Museum

Museum Manager
Hours – Flexible – Average 20 hours per week
Duration – Two years
Salary – £13,000 per year

This is a challenging, potentially rewarding, opportunity for the right candidate to be involved in the rebirth of what was a national award-wining museum in the 1980s. Our long-term objective is to recover that status.

Whilst suitable qualifications and experience will be important, the attribute most needed will be the ability to manage, motivate, organise and work alongside a large (and growing) body of enthusiastic volunteers, most of whom have no previous experience of working in a museum. Our work up to now has been largely to redevelop and restore the fabric of the building, to make it more attractive and accessible for today’s visitor. Our focus is now shifting to Calderdale’s amazing industrial collection, as we bring more machines back to working order and develop new displays and interpretation.

CIMA has been operating Calderdale Industrial Museum since August 2016. The museum, owned by Calderdale MBC, was re-opened for regular public visits eight months ago, in an operation run entirely by volunteers. As more of the museum is brought back into working order, and visitor numbers increase, the Directors/Trustees need day-to-day, dedicated staff support in managing what is becoming a complex operation. The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is funding the two-year appointment of the Museum Manager.

The successful candidate will need to be flexible about working hours, willing to work some Saturdays or Sundays as required. Increasing visitor numbers and income will provide opportunities for the hours and remuneration to be enhanced. Owning a car would be an advantage, but not essential.

It is hoped that, at the end of this temporary appointment, the museum operation will have advanced to the extent that a permanent post can be supported and grown into the future, without the need for further external funding.

For a more detailed job description and job requirements, please contact

Closing date for applications – Friday 20th July 2018

Culture Cares Conference 2018

Tuesday 30 October 2018

How arts and culture are making a positive impact and creating pathways in the lives of young people in and leaving care.

Join delegates for an insightful and lively conversation between the cultural and care sectors, as the conference highlights a range of innovative approaches that are creating positive outcomes for young people.

Keynote speaker confirmed as British author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE, with performances made with young people in care.

Supported by The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and in partnership with the Family Arts Campaign.

Who Is This Event For?

This event is for arts and specialist practitioners, policy makers and professionals involved in supporting young people both in and leaving the care system.

If you are from any of the below professions, the conference organisers would love to have you join them and share your expert knowledge on the day.

– Arts & Cultural Practitioners
– Local Authority Care Teams
– Funders & Policy Makers
– Residential Children’s Homes
– Virtual School Heads
– Social Workers and Key Workers
– Academics & Researchers
– Charities supporting Children and Young People
– Foster Carers
– Personal Advisers / Mentors
– Careers Advisors

For information on ticket prices and how to book visit the conference website.

Arts Council England Updates

Creativity in Schools Commission

In partnership with Durham University, Arts Council England (ACE) have launched a commission looking into creativity in schools and they want to hear from a diverse range of organisations and people to help inform their report. Register your interest here and they’ll send you a questionnaire. 

Corporate Plan for 2018-20

As they enter the final two years of their current ten-year strategy, Great art and culture for everyone, ACE have published their new Corporate Plan for 2018-20. The plan sets out how they’ll continue to deliver their strategy until 2020, across all areas and disciplines.  

You can download the plan here.

Museum & Gallery Exhibitions Tax Relief

The Museum & Gallery Exhibitions Tax Relief is the eighth in a series of creative reliefs introduced by government. It is designed to support organisations to create, and tour public facing exhibitions by helping them to recover some of their production costs.

ACE have launched a range of online content, including case studies and short films as well as a handy calculation tool, to help get you started.

Find out more here.

Funding News

D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust

The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust funds UK registered charities in the fields of the advancement of the arts, health and medical welfare and environmental protection or improvement. The focus for 2018-2021 includes accessibility of the arts for young people, provision of art and music therapy to improve quality of life for the elderly and disabled, and protection and conservation of the countryside.  Most grants are single grants over a one-year period of £500 – £5,000. The Trustees will consider applications for core costs or projects, and they also consider applications for matched funding. Find out more here.

The Henry Smith Charity: Strengthening Communities

The Strengthening Communities grant programme is designed to support small charitable organisations working at grassroots level. Through this grant programme the charity wants to make sure that their funding reaches the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, targeting places that are economically marginalised and affected by poverty. You must be working within the 10% most deprived areas for England & Scotland and within the 15% most deprived areas for Northern Ireland & Wales. The funding covers running costs. Find out more here.

The Fore Trust

The Fore Trust has announced that the next funding round to support the development of small charities, social enterprises and community interest companies will open for registrations on the 23 July 2018 at 10 am. The Trust is offering development funding of up to £30,000 and business support to expand the capacity of small charities, social enterprises and community interest companies. To qualify applicant organisations will need to have a turnover of less than £500,000 per year. To apply for funding, organisations must register at the start of each funding round. Full information: The Fore Trust.