Kids in Museums’ How to be a Family Friendly Museum Training Day

Museum Development North West

People’s History Museum, Manchester
Tuesday 9th July 2019, 10am-4pm

Would you like your museum to be more welcoming of children, young people and families, but need some support?

This training day will provide a great opportunity to review where you are as an organisation and offer top tips and inspiration to develop your offer for this audience.

This day will help delegates to:

  • explore how your work fits into the local and national context
  • use our Kids in Museums Manifesto as a framework to reflect on what your organisation offers and where you can develop your work
  • pick up low and no cost tips for improving your provision
  • hear from the People’s History Museum, our 2017 Family Friendly Museum Award winner, about how they have embedded the Kids in Museums Manifesto and run Takeover Day
  • discover how Takeover Day and Teen Digital Takeover can be used to pilot new…

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Tender Opportunity: NHS at 70: The Story Of Our Lives

Job title: Exhibition Design
Budget: £10,000

Location: Flexible
Contract: Freelance

Closing date: 9 July 2019

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine, University of Manchester is inviting bids to develop an Exhibition as part of NHS at 70: The Story Of Our Lives Delivery Phase.

The tone of the exhibition needs to appeal to a wide range of audiences and be hands on and interactive perhaps including: panels, talking heads, digital media, interactive activities.

The contractor will be required to:

Work closely with the Project team to develop an interpretative concept for the exhibition.

Produce a design that is flexible and transportable and consistent with the Project’s branding; it must also be robust to withstand heavy use by visitors.

Source the most appropriate materials and oral testimony from the Project’s collection.

Take account of accessibility so an awareness of positioning, height, space for wheelchair users is essential.

Document all work in accordance with agreed standards and ensure appropriate records are established and maintained.

Report to Project Director and Advisory Board on matters relating to the exhibition.

Adhere to relevant accessibility standards, particularly with regard to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s policies on digital standards, accessibility and sustainability .

For further details and a complete brief please email Angela Whitecross

Weston Loan programme with Art Fund now open for applications

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund has now reopened for the third round of applications. The programme provides funding and training for regional museums and galleries to secure important strategic loans from national 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.

Details are here of the loans supported across the first and second rounds of funding. Plus repeated  here is Warrington Museum & Art Gallery’s guest blog on their experiences on applying to and receiving funding from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

There is funding available of £5,000-£25,000, deadline to apply is 10th September 2019. It is recommended that anyone planning to apply to the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund attends one of the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG) workshops, ‘Preparing to Borrow’. For more information on upcoming workshops visit TEG’s Eventbrite page

Further details of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund are here. You are encouraged to review the Guidance for applicants and contact the Programmes team at Art Fund to discuss your initial ideas before submitting an application. Please contact:
Penny Bull, Senior Programmes Manager
020 7225 4840





Traineeship Opportunity: National Gallery

2 x National Gallery Curatorial Traineeships
Salary: £31,500
Type: Fixed Term Full-Time
Closing date: 30 June 2019
Interview date: 1st stage: 17 July. 2nd stage: 24 July

 2 x National Gallery Curatorial Traineeships, with Art Fund support and the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation, in partnership with Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield.

Applications now invited through the National Gallery website:

Each Traineeship offers a 22-month fixed-term contract at a salary of £31,500 p.a. and consists of 6 months curatorial skills training at the National Gallery in London, followed by a placement of 16 months to work on a collections project with public outcomes at either Southampton City Art Gallery or Museums Sheffield.

The Programme is intended to facilitate access to a curatorial career for people from a wide range of backgrounds and actively welcomes those currently underrepresented in the workforce. The Programme is looking for applicants with a first degree in a relevant subject, with a keen interest in historic European paintings and with the potential to learn about curatorship, audience engagement and collections in both a national museum in London and a non-national non-London museum.

For further details please refer to the job description and person specification. Applicants should ensure that they use the personal statement to explain why they are interested in the training programme and to provide examples of how they meet the criteria. Examples based on transferrable experience and skills are welcome.


In Your Customers’ Shoes – Northern Museums Visitor Experience Consortium 2019

Museums across the North of England are invited to take part in an exciting programme this summer. ‘In Your Customers Shoes’ aims to put those that come face-to-face with visitors on a daily basis in the shoes of those visiting.

Each participating museum agrees to send its staff or volunteers to three other museum sites between July and September 2019. You are asked to assess the museum you visit in all aspects of the offer from online presence to visitor engagement. In return, your museum will receive three reports from people from other museums who have visited your site.

The programme has been running for several years in the Yorkshire region and was trialled last year in the North West. It has proved a great way for the staff and volunteers who take part to have an interesting and enjoyable day out and bring enthusiasm and ideas back to their home site. The museums being visited receive valuable comments and realistic recommendations for service improvement.

There is no charge to take part and many museums will be able to reclaim travel and admission costs for their participants.

If you would like to take part, please sign up by 21st June. The visits must be carried out by 30th September.

There is an online sign up form – click here for the form

Or if you have any questions contact Janet Thompson the programme organiser on

MDNW Family Friendly Programme 2019


Many museums are seeing an increase in family visits, and are often responsible for delivering family activities in the school holidays, but many are aware of the need to improve their offer to cater for this audience. That’s why we are delivering the second year of our Family Friendly Programme.

This programme has been developed by MDNW and aims to support six museums that wish to develop their aspirations of becoming more family friendly in line with the Kids in Museums Manifesto and the Family Arts Standards. The programme consists of self-assessments, family assessments and a workshop to be delivered by Kids in Museums, Family Arts Campaign and a family friendly award-winning museum.

Museums will be asked to:

  • Carry out a self-assessment of their museum using criteria provided
  • Recruit a family to undertake an assessment if necessary
  • Attend a workshop on the 18th October 2019 focussing on best practice and how best to implement recommendations
  • Arrange for participating families to return to the museum to undertake a second assessment after implementing changes.

How will the programme work?

The programme will consist of a self-assessment undertaken by the participating museum and at least one family assessment. The reports will then allow us to have an overview of what changes need to be made to support the museum to become more family friendly.

The Families

We are taking a different approach to recruiting the families this year, and there are a number of options for museums: families can either be recruited by the participating museums or they can be identified via the Family Holiday Association* or Kids in Museums. Please let us know what your preference is when you submit your Expression of Interest.

Financial information

All appropriate costs associated with the family visits will be covered by MDNW but will need to be paid by the participating museums if they undertook the recruitment. The participating museum will be responsible for invoicing MDNW to claim back the costs.

Each participating museum can also apply for up to £750 to support them to implement the recommendations.


The family visits will take place during Summer 2019 and the workshop will take place on the 18th October 2019.

How to apply

Please complete the Expression of Interest form and send to Alex Bird by 5pm Friday 14th June.

For more information please contact Alex Bird at

A previous programme participant said:

“Thanks to the Family Friendly Programme, Nantwich Museum has been able to diversify its offer for wider audience and we now have an all new family friendly area and we have also been able to purchase better signage for our education offers. Without the financial support and expert advice offered by the Family Friendly Programme, the great improvements to our Museum offer this year would simply not be possible.”

Elliot Goodger, Manager, Nantwich Museum

*The Family Holiday Association is the leading national charity providing breaks and days out for struggling families across the UK. They have over 4,000 registered referrers working directly with families who rarely, if ever, visit museums and assist with engaging hard-to-reach families (particularly through supported group visits).

Job Opportunity: Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

Job title: Development Coordinator (Maternity Cover)
Salary: £21,495–£22,850 (Pro rata)
Location: Carlisle, Cumbria
Hours: Up to 37 per week
Contract: Maternity Cover
Closing date: Monday 8 July, 9am

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery in Carlisle is a popular, ambitious and successful regional museum with a forward-thinking manifesto and internationally important collections. The museum houses the largest temporary exhibition gallery in the north west between Manchester and Glasgow and has an award-winning exhibitions & engagement programme. The museum has been an independent charitable Trust since 2011, it leads the NPO funded Cumbria Museum Consortium and has a range of impressive partners including the British Museum and the Universities of Cumbria and Lancaster. Tullie House is also renowned for its impressive international programme which involves working with a number of partners both in the UK and in China.

The museum is looking to employ a Development Coordinator to help shape funding opportunities at the museum through a diverse range of channels, initiatives and events.  The role focuses on developing access to funding from grants, trusts, foundations and sponsors, whilst building partner relationships with multiple stakeholders.

It is looking for someone who is efficient, organised and able to undertake independent research. The ideal candidate will be highly diligent and able to interpret funding criteria to write draft project proposals. A knowledge of funding bodies that support cultural initiatives would be advantageous but is not essential. Candidates will need to enjoy collaborating with external partners and be an enthusiastic advocate for the museum.

If you are motivated to join an ambitious, leading cultural institution and think you possess the experience, drive and enthusiasm required for this position, Tullie House would love to hear from you.

To apply for the position, please visit the website, familiarise yourself with the job description and return a completed application form to

Closing date for this opportunity is Monday 8 July 9am, with interviews taking place Monday 15 July.


Rural Museums Network Mapping Survey

The Rural Museums Network would like to hear from anyone who has over 100 objects in their collection with a rural theme. The objects may relate to agriculture, rural crafts or have a rural heritage. Whether the collection is privately or publicly owned, if it is part of a larger collection or a specialist rural collection the Network would like to record it. Currently this is part of a mapping exercise to find out where collections are located, and who cares for them; but the information will be used in the future to help inform training and networking opportunities.

Please contact Joanne Benson at with a brief description of your rural collection and your contact details. Joanne would also be interested to know if there is anyone, volunteer or staff, who has specialist knowledge about the rural objects in your collection.

The Rural Museums Network is a membership organisation open to anybody with an interest in rural life and agricultural history. It is a registered charity which exists to promote learning and aims to encourage a wider understanding of the UK’s rural heritage collections, and exchange knowledge and ideas about them. You can find out more at

Heritage Volunteering Survey 2019: Full Report

From the Heritage Volunteering Group:

Thanks to the help of Agenda Consulting, at this year’s conference we were delighted to publish our findings into volunteering in the heritage sector. An impressive 63 organisation completed the survey, which provides a detailed look at the scale, nature and impact of volunteering in our sector.

In many ways the survey reinforces what many of us probably sensed: volunteers make a huge impact in the sector but volunteering is under resourced and, arguably, undervalued by many organisations. The focus of volunteering on front-of-house and learning based activities also suggests that many of us are missing out by not involving volunteers in a wider range of activities. For example, at a time when funding is particularly stretched, it seems sensible to ask why so few volunteers are involved in fundraising or income generating activities when the inverse is true for the wider third sector.

The answer to this question is probably not straight forward. However, we hope that our findings provide you with the ammunition you need to more effectively influence decision making about volunteering in your organisation.

AMA research finds its tough at the bottom

The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) has published the results of its member benchmarking survey, drawing on the experiences of communication professionals working in and across the arts, culture & heritage sector. Over 500 responses informed the research, representing approximately a quarter of the AMA’s total membership.

Highlights from the report show that:

• 1 in 4 early career level members do not agree that they feel valued by their organisation.
• 1 in 3 early career level members have not had any role-specific training in the past year.
• 33% of early career members do not agree their views are heard in their organisation.

The more senior the role, the more likely respondents are to agree that their views are heard, and that they feel valued by their organisation. Only 50% of early career level members agree that their organisation is open to change – compared to 75% of senior career level members, which may reflect this knock-on effect of whose voices are heard within organisations.

Cath Hume, CEO of AMA said, “The number of early career stage respondents reporting lack of investment in role specific training supports the perception that organisations are not valuing their early career employees. Combined with feeling that their views are not being heard, there is the real risk of disenfranchising talent at the early career stages, making the sector a poorer place. We know there are challenges within the arts and culture sector in diversifying the workforce, with many barriers in place before even landing your first role. It’s important that we support people’s development in their early roles to help them thrive. It’s about making sure that everyone’s contribution is valued.”

In terms of valuing everyone’s contribution, the research does show encouraging signs of a shift to a cross-organisation approach to building arts, culture and heritage audiences. While Marketing and Digital is cited by all levels as being very important in developing relationships with audiences, it is notable that there is strong agreement across all artforms that it is a whole team effort, encompassing Front of House, CEO, Artistic Director, Fundraising and Outreach.

The research also looked at key benchmarking factors for members to use in their daily activity and planning including budget breakdown, email open rates, social media channel, and website trends. It also explored how members feel about their roles and organisations. This data was then broken down against the geographical location of the organisation, culture/artform and career stage of the respondents. The report summary is available on the AMA website.

The full market research report is available for AMA members only in the members’ area.