Consultancy Opportunity: Cumbria Museum Directors’ Group

You are invited to submit a proposal for undertaking the following study for the Cumbria Museum Directors Group (CMDG). A written submission is to be made in accordance with the following brief.

1. Background.

The newly constituted CMDG is a body consisting of the Directors of the 22 accredited museums within Cumbria.

The aim of CMDG is to ‘support and promote the Accredited museums within Cumbria’.

The means by which it proposes to achieve these aims is through collaborative working. In particular, it proposes to focus on:

  • Developing audiences
  • Raising the profile of the museums as custodians of the cultural heritage of Cumbria
  • Influencing regional policy
  • Improving effectiveness by sharing resources
  • Acting as a vehicle for joint strategic funded projects.

The members of the group are currently the directors of:

Armitt Museum & Library The Dock Museum, Barrow The Beacon Museum Brantwood
Cumbria Museum of Military Life Helena Thompson Museum Kendal Museum
Keswick Museum
Lakeland Arts Trust
Penrith & Eden Museum
Quaker Tapestry Museum
Ruskin Museum
Senhouse Roman Museum
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Wordsworth Trust
Millom Discovery Centre
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Museum

English Heritage sites: Furness Abbey Museum, Brougham Castle
National Trust sites: Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hill Top, Townend, Wordsworth House

2. Objectives

As a newly established organisation we would like to identify ways in which we can work together focusing on audiences, stakeholders, funding opportunities and collaborative projects, in order to strengthen our collective voice and better plan for future projects. This project will achieve this by analysing existing data, facilitating consultation between museum directors and summarising the results.

Part 1:

Desk based research will include:

  • A review of other consortia projects (HIDDEN, MOC, CMC etc) and lessons learned relevant to Cumbria
  • review of MDNW regional benchmarking data for Cumbrian museums; Viewpoint data; local (and regional) tourism data and produce a SWOT analysis based on this
  • Gathering ideas for collaborative projects from members in the areas of programming; audience development; income generation; service provision; stakeholder engagement; funding provision etc
  • consideration of whether additional future Cumbria-specific information needs to be collected and collated eg AIM toolkit for assessing economic impact

Part 2:

Facilitated discussions will include:

  • presentation of results from above
  • refining potential collaboration ideas – at least 3 focus group meetings in geographically
  • diverse locations – concluding in one idea which the group would consider taking forward from each of the areas considered

Part 3:

Written PDF report including summary of the results of part 1&2 and description of final list of feasible collaborative projects.

3. Timetable

The work should begin as soon as possible after and is to be completed within three months of the start date.

4. Monitoring and Reporting

The lead member for the project is Elizabeth Kwasnik, Director at Beacon Museum. Regular verbal/email updates should be communicated to her to be agreed on award of the commission.

5. Budget & Payments

A total of £3000 is available inclusive of VAT and expenses.
50% available on completion of research; 50% on receiving final report and presentation.

6. The Proposal

Your proposal should include:
a) Your CV including previous studies undertaken
b) A methodology of how propose to meet the requirements of the brief.
c) A programme indicating key dates for undertaking the various tasks

The lead and another member of the group will shortlist candidates and may interview them if necessary. Other members of the group will have a chance to comment on applications. The lead will appoint the successful candidate.

Your proposal should be returned to Sue Mackay (Curator, Keswick Museum, and Secretary CMDG) at, to arrive no later than 5pm 01.11.16. Interviews will be held if necessary on 11.11.16.


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