Job Opportunity – Saddleworth Museum

Full-time post 35hrs per week for 3 years
Salary – £17,500 per annum
Job Description for Learning Officer at Saddleworth Museum

Saddleworth Museum is an independent museum run by a trust as a registered charity and recently had its 50th birthday. A charge is made for entry to the museum and it has a shop. There are many cafes and bars nearby. It stands in a historic and beautiful location beside the Huddersfield Canal in the village of Uppermill, nestled in the hills in the middle of the area known as Saddleworth, an old Yorkshire Parish with its own identity made up of the villages of Delph, Diggle, Dobcross, Denshaw, Greenfield and Uppermill – which is a busy thriving village with a strong community and many visitors. The museum tells the story of the people who have created Saddleworth’s landscape and character. The collections include archaeology, social and industrial history and a significant local art collection. There is also an archive and art, photography and crafts exhibitions are frequently held.

Job shares are welcome – applicants wishing to share the post must apply jointly and explain how they will share the work. 

The Learning Officer will support the delivery of a 3 year HLF funded Activity Plan at Saddleworth Museum. The museum is currently being completely remodelled, refurbished and fitted out with new interpretation. It will reopen to the public in the summer of 2016.

The position which will bring a new range of activities into the museum has three key strands:

  • recruiting and organising training for volunteers;
  • planning and delivering formal and informal learning activities and events with the Museum Curator;
  • providing informal learning and activities with volunteers which are aimed at a wide audience.

During the first six months, the focus will be on recruiting and organising training for volunteers although there will also be activities delivery. Over the rest of the period of employment the post holder will continue to sustain volunteer numbers and support volunteers in delivering activities and events, as well as contributing to marketing and other activities within the museum. There is already an enthusiastic, friendly and capable group of active volunteers who are fully engaged with the project and who will welcome new recruits from a wider range of people. The Activity and Interpretation Plan which was prepared as part of the HLF development work on the project outlines the activities and also sets targets for the project’s evaluation. There is only one professional member of staff currently in post. This is the Museum Curator who reports to the museum trustees. The Learning Officer will report to the Museum Curator. The museum has a great atmosphere and there is a very cooperative relationship between trustees the Museum Curator and the volunteers.

The post holder may be required to work some weekends and bank holidays and will be given time off in lieu.

The salary will be £17,500 per annum. Standard terms and conditions of employment will apply.

Key Responsibilities, Duties, and Tasks:

  • Recruiting volunteers using existing or new role descriptions
  • Providing, organising or buying in training for volunteers
  • Ensuring that appropriate standards of health and safety are in place and that DBS checks have been carried out
  • Recruiting participants for the different activities
  • Planning the delivery of the activities with different target audience groups
  • Planning and delivering workshops for school groups
  • Maintaining contact with project partners and developing relationships with new partners
  • Promoting the different activities and volunteering opportunities
  • Contributing to marketing of activities and the site as a whole
  • Contributing to the preparation of reports for trustees and HLF payment request
  • Contributing to the evaluation of the project for HLF on its completion

Person Specification

Qualifications and Training:

It is essential that the post holder has:

  • A degree or equivalent qualification or experience in a relevant discipline to the post
  • Evidence of appropriate continuing professional development

It is desirable that the post holder has:

  • A professional qualification relevant to heritage or teaching and or experience of working with young people and community or voluntary projects 


The successful candidate will demonstrate experience in working with volunteers and learning delivery. They will be confident in working with partner organisations. They will need to be collaborative, well organised and able to plan ahead, manage modest budgets and meet deadlines.

It is essential that the post holder has:

  • Experience of working co-operatively with a broad range of internal and external contacts and groups.
  • Experience or knowledge of working with volunteers
  • Knowledge of or interest in history

Skills and Abilities:

It is essential that the post holder has:

  • Ability to plan and deliver activities
  • Ability to feed evaluation into future planning
  • Ability to manage modest budgets
  • Strong networking abilities
  • Well-developed inter-personal skills
  • The ability to act proactively, use initiative and be self-motivated
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent computer skills


Interested applicants can receive a copy of the Activity and Interpretation plan by emailing

The closing date for applications is 25th February 2016.
To apply please send your CV and a letter explaining why you think you are the best candidate for this post to

If you want to discuss the post call Rosemary Allen on 07966 245216

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on 15th March 2016, by a panel made up of the Museum Curator, the Project Manager for the HLF delivery project, the Chair of the trustees and a volunteer.

The post will begin as soon as convenient to the successful candidate. Initially the post will be located in Portacabin outside of the museum whilst work on the building is completed.

Consultancy Opportunity – MDNW Board Development Programme


Museum Development North West (MDNW) is a programme of support for museums across the North West, promoting excellence, innovation, partnerships and organisational sustainability with the aim of helping museums to become resilient in challenging times.

We offer face-to-face contact for museums across the North West (Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cumbria) and run a series of central programmes of development to support organisational resilience, excellence and effective engagement.

MDNW is managed by the Cumbria Museum Consortium (CMC) and the Manchester Partnership, which are Major Partner Museums in Arts Council England’s (ACE) Renaissance Major Grants Programme. Over the lifetime of the programme (April 2012–March 2018) MDNW is funded to deliver exciting and innovative programmes to raise standards in museums.

The CMC comprises of Tullie House, Lakeland Arts and the Wordsworth Trust and the Manchester Partnership is Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery.

Programme Context

MDNW wishes to appoint a consultancy to work with museum boards from a cohort of Independent museums across the North West. Operating in unpredictable and complex landscapes, Museum Boards require a level of leadership agility to ensure they can support their organisation’s sustainable development.

Boards have responsibility for leading an organisation to fulfill the future vision whilst managing current performance, throwing up a number of challenges, which should be recognised and then addressed by the Board. These challenges include:

  1. Understanding the external environment the organisation operates in to develop the right strategic focus
  2. Identifying collective skills, roles and responsibilities and balancing support for board members along with constructive challenges
  3. Balancing the diverse needs and expectations of stakeholders
  4. Developing a collective mind-set and being accountable for decisions

The Board Development Programme will assist museum Boards to help them fulfill their potential through strong and effective governance, as well as the development of a range of leadership and management skills.

Course Structure

The Board Development Program should offer a combination of bespoke, organisational-based workshops and cross-organisational workshops. We envisage the programme to run in two stages:

Stage 1: Board Assessment

Offered to a maximum of 10 museums across the region, this would be an independent assessment of the effectiveness of each museum board involved in the programme. The findings will be presented to each museum as a report and take into account the size and capacity of the organisations involved with realistic recommendations offered. The report will also give the boards information as to whether they meet the standards and expectations of funding bodies, partners, Local Authorities and other key stakeholders.

Stage 2: Bespoke Workshops

Up to 5 museums will be assessed, based on the diagnostic reports, and given the opportunity to participate in an in-depth programme of development support in the form of workshops. These workshops will be delivered at individual organisations and will be developed by the consultancy based on the findings of the diagnostic reports. This may include:

  • A series of tailored Board development and coaching workshops for the whole Board, based on diagnostics, to develop the collective capabilities
  • Individual development of Board members to address recognised skills gaps
  • Setting up coaching pairs to support Board members and develop key relationships between Board members and also staff
  • Succession Planning

Stage 2: Cross-organisational Workshops

These workshops will bring individual board members from participating organisations together to look at more general governance issues and may cover:

  • Governance and Charity Commission – the legislative background
  • The role of the board – clarifying the roles and relationship of the board and staff
  • Working within the framework of the Museum Association’s Code of Ethics and Accreditation
  • Effective meetings and the role of the chair
  • Financial duties
  • Policy and planning
  • The board as employer
  • Advocacy and fundraising
  • Audience Development
  • Opportunity to share proven success from other boards

Programme Outcomes

The Board Development Programme will help participating Boards to be:

  1. Confident in the execution of its diverse roles, balancing strategic and operational focuses
  2. Resilient in responding to the challenges they face
  3. Self-challenging and self-evaluating of its own practices as well as its organisation, its partners and stakeholders
  4. Able to make tough decisions, resolve challenges and adapt to new situations
  5. Able to embrace and effectively use the experience of a diverse Board membership
  6. In full consensus of the vision and strategic direction of the organisation with high level objectives
  7. High performing Board with distributed leadership and a culture of trust
  8. Able to identify, develop and maintain strong external relationships with partners and stakeholders
  9. Good advocates for their organisation, building reputation and presence

Budget and Time Scale

The programme will start in or after April 2016 and all work and workshops must be completed by March 2017. A final report and evaluation will be expected from the consultancy with information from Individual diagnostics, recommendations and board engagement with workshops and delivery of improvements highlighted. Any sensitive information will not be published by MDNW but key findings will form an end of programme evaluation publication to be made available electronically for the benefit of the wider sector.

The total budget is £15,000 (inclusive of VAT) and is to include all associated expenses.

Proposal to tender

The consultant’s proposal to tender should include:

  • details of the relevant experience and competency possessed by the consultant and any other personnel who will work on the project
  • details of how they will undertake the programme
  • a breakdown of full costs
  • a draft timetable

Details on participating museums will be confirmed by the end of March 2016 and passed on to the successful consultancy.

For further details contact:

Kaye Hardyman, Museum Development Officer North
Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer

Proposals should be sent to Kaye Hardyman, Museum Development Officer, by email only, by 5pm 11th March 2016.

Cheshire Hoards Conference

Museum of Liverpool are hosting a day conference looking at the Cheshire Hoards and their historical context in the Romano-British north west.

The Cheshire Hoards are two groups of Roman Treasure from Cheshire recently reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme and now acquired by Museum of Liverpool and Congleton Museum jointly through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The event, which will take place on Saturday 27 February, will feature speakers from around the UK who will present the two hoards and contextual information about numismatics, Romano-British small finds and north west England through the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

This conference is a free drop-in event, so there is no need to book. For further information, please see here.

The Museum as Method: Collections, Research, Universities

The University of Cambridge Museums will be hosting their ‘The Museum as Method’ conference on Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 March.

This conference, which will take place at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge, will bring together scholars from disciplines interested in material culture and curators from across the arts and sciences, to reflect on both questions of methodology and public policy.

University museums are important centres for research,  where the histories of collections, science, exploration and the humanities come together. Speakers from a wide range of disciplines will be discussing museums as research ‘labs’ and what this means for museums, for universities, for researchers and for funders.

Speakers include colleagues from across the UCM as well as representatives from Arts Council England, the Science Museum and the Hunterian Museum. The conference is a good opportunity for UCM staff to hear from leading figures from the museums and university sector, and to be part of discussions that are very relevant to our museums. under-theorised.

Tickets for the event are £50 (£25 for students) lunch & refreshments will be provided.

For further information, and to book your place, please see here.



Tender Opportunity: Cumbria Museum Consortium

Children and Young People 2016 – 2018

Who we are

The Cumbria Museum Consortium (CMC) is comprised of Tullie House Museum Trust, Lakeland Arts and Wordsworth Trust. Together we are responsible for 6 cultural sites (Tullie House in Carlisle, Abbot Hall and Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry in Kendal, Blackwell House in Bowness-on Windermere, Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and the Windermere Jetty which is due to open in 2017).

The CMC is in receipt of £3M of Arts Council investment (from April 2015 to March 2018). CMC has a responsibility to demonstrate leadership for museums operating in rural areas by delivering innovative programmes that grow our audiences and make us more resilient.

Over the last 12 months, CMC has reviewed its programme of activity and is revising how it delivers provision for children and young people from 1 April 2016. One of our key aspirations is to reach every school aged pupil in Cumbria during this funding period through creating and delivering inspiring programmes for children and young people to increase engagement and participation with our venues and other museums and galleries in Cumbria.

What we are looking for

The CMC wishes to appoint a consultant(s) to work with the three CMC organisations and other museums and galleries in Cumbria to:

  • improve how we communicate the learning offer at the museums and galleries
  • develop and implement a strategy to increase school aged pupil engagement at the venues
  • work with museums and learning providers to increase the number of school aged pupils engaging with Arts Award

The contract will be for one year initially (1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017) with a view to extending it for a further 12 months.

The successful consultant(s) will work with learning leads at the three CMC organisations and other museums in the county, and act as a liaison with the North West’s Bridge organization, Curious Minds. The consultant will develop a programme of activity to raise awareness of museum learning opportunities with schools, leading to increase pupil engagement with museums across the county. They will also help schools achieve their Arts Mark objectives and pupils achieve Arts Award.

The consultant will broker relations between museums, galleries and schools (or other learning providers) to develop sustainable, long term engagement with museums and galleries.

What we want to do (aims / objectives)

The key aims for the contract are as follows:

  1. To improve learning offer for children and young people
  2. To increase and deepen engagement of the school aged children with collections, venues and the landscape.
  3. To raise the profile of the museums and galleries in Cumbria as providers of quality learning experiences for children and young people
  4. To develop relations with schools and improve communications with teachers and learning providers
  5. To improve partnership working with schools and the Bridge organisation in Cumbria.

What we want the successful agency to deliver (objectives and outputs)

The CMC is looking to appoint a consultant(s) to deliver the following objectives:

  1. Map the current learning provision for school aged children at museums, including how this is packaged and communicated to schools.
  2. Identify how teachers / learning providers are currently engaging with the museums and galleries
  3. Work with museum learning leads and Bridge to identify gaps in schools engagement and participants in Arts Mark in particular.
  4. Work with teachers to support development of curriculum-based sessions relevant to museum collections.
  5. Identify ways in which the schools learning ‘offer’ can be more effectively packaged across Accredited museums and galleries in Cumbria and better communicated with schools and relevant learning providers
  6. Develop and broker relationships with schools and learning providers who are Arts Mark ready (or interested in Arts Mark) and actively promote museum and gallery offer, including community engagement element that encourages family-based learning and engagement.
  7. Develop and deliver a strategic programme of activity to increase schools engagement with museums and galleries (coordinating with learning leads and Bridge organisation).
  8. Develop and deliver appropriate training and networking opportunities for museum staff and learning providers, linked to this contract.
  9. Identify key measurable and evaluation framework for the programme.

What we want to achieve (outcomes)

  • Increase in school bookings year on year at museums in Cumbria
  • Increase in families participating in community based activity (ie. Museums at Night, Big Draw etc)
  • Increase in new schools engaging with learning provision at museums (ie schools that have not engaged previously)
  • Improved channels for communication museum offer to schools and learning providers (this might include for example, improved print, website channel etc)
  • Increase number of schools gaining Arts Mark
  • Increase the number of Arts Award recipients


Contract budget for consultant(s):

Year 1 (2016-17): £15,000 + VAT includes consultant time and expenses

Year 2 (2017-18): as above; subject to contract review and renewal

Delivery budget:

Year 1 (2016-17): £6,000 + VAT*

Year 2 (2016-18): as above; subject to contract review and renewal

*Delivery budget will be held by CMC and expenditure will be agreed in advance.

Reporting: Point of contact for the contract is Jennie Pitceathly, CMC Manager


Proposals due: Monday 14 March 2016

Interviews: 29 March 2016

Contract start: April 2016

To apply:

Please send a proposal outlining how you will deliver the contract, submitted electronically by email to Jennie Pitceathly by noon on Monday 14 March 2016.

Proposals should be no longer than 6 sides of A4 and include:

  • Proposal outlining how you would approach the contract
  • Methodology and timescales for year one
  • Relevant experience
  • Proposed use of project budget in year one.
  • CV for the consultant(s), days allocated to the project and daily rates
  • Two referees

Enterprise & Philanthropy Museums Conference

Hampshire Cultural Trust are hosting their ‘Enterprise & Philanthropy’ conference which will focus on the topic of ‘building relationships to fund museums’

This conference, which will take place on Wednesday 2 March at the Museum of London, will share learning from two HLF Catalyst projects about fundraising, philanthropy and commercial income generation in museums.

Speakers include Anne Young, Head of Strategic Planning at HLF, who will discus future funding opportunities, There will also be a presentation by Peter Maple, who has carried out extensive research into philanthropic giving in the UK.

The free conference is open to anybody involved in museum fundraising and income generation. Places are limited, & booking closes on 17 February, so do please book quickly if you would like to attend.

For firther information, & to book your place, please see here

Consultancy Opportunity – Evaluation of MDNW Programme


MDNW wishes to appoint a consultant to work with the team to evaluate the impact of the MDNW programme in 2012-16. This will build on initial evaluation carried out on the impact of the first year of the programme. It will also inform the activity plan for the next two years, future funding applications and future programme models. The evaluation will combine quantitative data provided by MDNW with qualitative data gathered by the consultant through interview with some of our clients and potential clients to develop a narrative to assess our impact. The evaluation must reflect the five Arts Council England goals that help shape our activities.

We are looking for a consultant with proven experience of evaluating cultural organisations, preferably museums. We expect the consultant to show how they will challenge current practice and arrangements so that the evaluation is of real value. The consultant will also demonstrate how they will report back to MDNW in a way that could improve its planning, management and operation and develop in the future.

We will work with the consultant to identify key people and organisations to consult with from the 150 museums we serve. This will include those who have already engaged with us and some of our current non-users.

The fee available for this project is £3,000. All expenses and travel costs are included in the fee. For more information about this opportunity please download our Project Brief. Deadline for proposals is 5pm 19th February 2016 and should be emailed to Kaye Hardyman,


Asset Transfer for Industrial Heritage: A Practical Symposium for Professionals, Community Groups and Volunteers caring for publicly owned Industrial Heritage Sites

Thursday 3rd March
Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Queen Street, Burnley, Lancashire

9.30 am – 4.15 pm

If you are involved in the management of an industrial heritage site in public ownership, or are a local authority professional with responsibility for an industrial heritage site, this free symposium – supported by Historic England and Museum Development North West – is for you.

Many industrial heritage sites in local authority ownership are potentially in line for transfer to community groups/charitable trusts. What should you consider before taking on an industrial heritage site in this way? How does the process work? What are the legal responsibilities, and how can you develop a resilient and sustainable future for your site/organisation in the future?

With speakers from organisations including Historic England, The Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Trust, the programme will include practical ‘how to do it’ presentations and additional case studies collectively examining all aspects of the topic. The day will conclude with a workshop session offering participants the opportunity to explore particular questions and issues they may wish to raise.

During an extended lunch break, there will also be a guided tour of Queen Street Mill (the last surviving mill of its kind to survive complete with its machinery).


9.30 am        Arrival and Coffee

10.00 am
        Welcome and introduction Ian Bapty, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Lynsey Jones & Kaye Hardyman, Museum Development North West

10.15 am         Thinking about Asset Transfer: Possibilities and Pitfalls Ian Bapty, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

10.50 am        Making it Work: Skills, Funding and Community Engagement Michael Guy, Historic England

11.25 am       Making it Work: Experiences of Rescuing Historic Buildings [TBC] Edward Holland, Holland Heritage

12.00 pm        Questions/Discussion

12.15 pm       Lunch and Networking

12.45 pm       Guided tour of Queen Street Mill Philip Butler, Lancashire Council Museums Service

1.30 pm         Reconvene for the afternoon session

1.35 pm         Case Study: The South Tynedale Railway Experience Brian Craven, South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society

2.10 pm        Case Study: Achieving Sustainability at the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust John Hamshere, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust                   

2.45 pm       Questions

2.55 pm       Tea

3.15 pm         Workshop: Achieving Successful Asset Transfer for Industrial Heritage Sites Facilitated by Ian Bapty, Lynsey Jones & Kaye Hardyman

4.00 pm       Conclusions and Summary

4.15 pm       Close

To book a place visit the eventbrite page.

Volunteer Development Programme: Support Our Skills

Throughout 2016/17, on behalf of Museum Development North West, the North West Federation of Museums will be delivering the volunteer programme “Support Our Skills”  NWFed are currently undertaking consultation for this programme. As part of this consultation, they will be hosting a series of three focus groups open to all Volunteers actively working in Museums, Galleries or Heritage Sites across the North West whose input will help to shape the final programme.

These will be taking place at:

Please follow the above links to register your place. as places are very limited NWFed ask that you only book once you are certain you can commit to attending and that if you are suddenly unable to attend, you cancel your booking to allow another Volunteer to take advantage of the space.

If you are unable to attend and would still like to contribute your opinions, please do take part in this ongoing online survey.

2016 Working Internationally Conference

The fourth Working Internationally Conference, organised by NMDC and ICOM UK in partnership with Manchester Museums and Galleries, takes place on Friday 4 March 2016 at The Whitworth at the University of Manchester.

The theme of the conference is Working Internationally in Hard Times and speakers will outline how they have worked internationally to deliver activity which has an impact in four areas: health and well-being, knowledge and innovation, regional development, and developing good cultural and community relationships – all of which are key when museums need to vary their sources of income and funding. Maria Balshaw, Director of The Whitworth, is the keynote speaker.

For more information on the conference programme and to book tickets, please see here. Tickets are £35 and include lunch and refreshments.