Category: AIM

AIM Funding News

Now Open: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017

The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme, supported through the generosity of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is now open for applications. The scheme is intended to help medium and smaller sized AIM members to improve their medium and long term sustainability. To be eligible, museums must have an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year.

This scheme, which began in 2006, has so far supported 216 projects with over £831,700 of grants. The wide range of applicants demonstrates the importance of sustainability issues to AIM members. There will be only two more rounds before this scheme ends, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your sustainability with a grant from us.

The round for 2017 is now open with a closing date of 3 July at 5pm. Find out more: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017



New AIM Biffa Award Funded Exhibitions Will Tell The Stories Of Historic Figures From Engineering And Science

AIM Biffa Award have just announced the first round of projects to be supported by the ‘History Makers – People who shaped our world’ programme. Sharing a fund of £170,000, each project will tell the story of their chosen historical figure and how their work and achievements have shaped the world we live in today.

Funded by Biffa Award with support from the Landfill Communities Fund, the programme is funding AIM member museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures. The successful projects in Round 1, with exhibitions opening in 2018, will focus on the work of historic figures from engineering and science. They are:

‘Digging Deeper’ at the London Transport Museum; ‘The Father of Modern Forensics’ at The National Justice Museum in Nottingham and ‘Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold’ at The Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre in Bristol. Find out more: AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme

AIM Hallmarks Awards – deadline for applications 15th May 2017

Now open for applications, the latest round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards will make grants totalling around £70,000 in England.

Funded by Arts Council England, the AIM Hallmarks Awards offer grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles of the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards can be used by successful applicants in two distinct ways:

  • To fund an organisational review. This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply for this funding for support in planning future development
  • To contribute to a project that supports applicant organisations to behave or develop differently. Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the AIM Hallmarks can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with AIM’s Assistant Director, Helen Wilkinson, before applying. You can contact Helen by email, helenw@aim-museums.co.uk or by phone, 07719 667102.

All information about the AIM Hallmarks Awards can be found at https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/aim-hallmarks/. Below is a case study from Brantwood Trust in Cumbria, which received funding in the last round of awards.

Brantwood Trust, awarded £7,842

The AIM Hallmarks grant has given Brantwood the opportunity to actively maximise access to the museum’s collection, under the Collections Hallmark. Brantwood was successful in receiving a grant to research and present Ruskin’s powerful messages through our unique collection.

The purpose of our Radical Ruskin project is to link Ruskin’s radical ideas with items in the collection, and present our research through short videos uploaded to our website. The funding covers extra staff time, research materials, the purchasing of Modes Complete and video equipment; all of which will enable us to give the collection an online presence which without extra resources would not have been possible.

The project will enable Brantwood to establish an improved approach to recording information about our collection and communicating this to the visitor; and support future developments in the museum’s approach to interpretation, exhibitions and attracting new audiences. Helen Wilkinson, the AIM Assistant Director, was very helpful when we spoke regarding our project. I would encourage anyone considering a project to contact Helen and submit an application.

Jenny Slater, Brantwood Trust

_I6A9984© Simon Critchley 2017

AIM Conference 2017 Bursaries

Museum Development North West are pleased to announce that there are a two bursaries for this year’s AIM Conference at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham on 22nd– 24th June.
2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference will provide a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of our members.Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

If you would like a free place then you need to tell us that you will:

  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

How to apply

These two opportunities are open to museum professionals in the North West, except members of staff of Major Partner Museums and National Museums and the bursaries will cover travel and accommodation. Please send an expression of interest stating how you and your organisation will benefit from what is to Alex Bird by 5PM Monday 15th May.

Please note that the bursaries only cover the conference on Thursday and Friday only and not the paid-for social events.

For more information contact Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer – 07748 932680

Diversifying Museum Visitors

Within an increasingly diverse society how might UK museums grow attendance and engagement?

How do we move beyond talk to action in increasing diversity, inclusion and equity to start to make real and lasting change in the museums sector?

Diversifying Museum Visitors is a ground breaking project designed to help museums increase the diversity of their visitors. 

The key focus of the project will be on providing tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change.  The sector has been talking about diversity for so long. Diversifying Museum Visitors provides a great opportunity to address and breakdown barriers.  To help people take a first step and then the next, to make a meaningful, lasting, real change.

                What are the factors for success?

                What practical steps can museums take to improve visitor diversity?

                What do we need to change and influence both internally and externally?

The literature and practice review (underway at the moment) is highlighting that there is a complex interplay of factors which affect diversity and inclusion within museums.  The project team will therefore consider all of the protected characteristics, but will place a particular emphasis on socio-economics as a key, cross-cutting influence on engagement.

The project steering group is led by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) together with the Museums Association and four other organisations who are funding the project – Arts Council England, the Museums Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Northern Ireland. 

Get involved

AIM has appointed a trio of consultants – Julie Aldridge, Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis – to lead on this project and they are now looking for people across the UK museums sector to get involved.

Help us to make a difference by informing the creation of a suite of tools and guidance that works well for a broad mix of museums (of different types, size, geographical locations etc.)

Deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm, Friday 5th May 2017

Register your interest to share your experience as part of a pioneers group

Register your interest to explore the ideas further with a group of other museums

Register your interest to find out more about future stages of the project

AIM Conference 2017 Bursaries

Museum Development North West are pleased to announce that there are a two bursaries for this year’s AIM Conference at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham on 22nd– 24th June.

2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference will provide a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of our members.

Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

If you would like a free place then you need to tell us that you will:

  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

How to apply

These two opportunities are open to museum professionals in the North West, except members of staff of Major Partner Museums and National Museums and the bursaries will cover travel and accommodation. Please send an expression of interest stating how you and your organisation will benefit from what is to Alex Bird by 5PM Monday 8th May.

Please note that the bursaries only cover the conference on Thursday and Friday only and not the paid-for social events.

For more information contact Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer – 07748 932680

Invitation To All Chairs Of Museums And Heritage Organisations

If you are a Chair of an independent museum or heritage site, AIM cordially invites you to a lunch event for the Chairs of Trustees of independent museums. The lunch is on Thursday 22 June at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham from 11am to 1.30pm and we are delighted that we will be joined by guest speaker, Alan Lovell CBE, Chair of The Mary Rose Trust. There is no charge to attend the lunch as it has been sponsored by Development Partners  as part of their overall sponsorship of the AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme.If you would like to attend, please email: helenf@aim-museums.co.uk

AIM Hallmarks Awards: Final Round Now Open For Applications

The third and final round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017. Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Welsh Government, all work funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award must be demonstrably central to an applicant museum’s organisational development and closely linked to the museum’s strategic plan. If you are considering making an application to the final round of the Hallmarks Awards, guidance notes to support your application are available here AIM Hallmarks Awards

News from AIM

AIM Launches Collection Care Audit Scheme For Smaller Museums

AIM has just launched a new scheme in partnership with Icon to enable small museums to undertake a basic, professional collections care audit. The audits will be carried out by an accredited conservator to help smaller AIM members (museums with up to 20,000 visitors a year) identify key issues and priorities for their museum.

Funded by the Pilgrim Trust, the scheme will support museums to care for their collections more effectively and efficiently in the long-term, to meet the standards required for Accreditation and will give museums the option to undertake an audit before making a full application to the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme. Applications are now open with a closing date of 31 March. Further information: AIM Collections Care Audit Scheme

Coming To Conference? Early Bird Tickets On Sale Now

This year, tickets for AIM National Conference can be purchased quickly and easily online via the AIM National Conference Eventbrite page and all conference information can be found on the AIM National Conference 2017 website.

Conference will be held at The Historic Dockyard Chatham from 22- 24 June and the theme this year is ‘40 years of Leading Independents’ in recognition of AIM’s fortieth anniversary and the success of the independent sector and AIM members over the past four decades.

There are new additions to the conference schedule for 2017 including study tours of our host with walks through the Historic Dockyard looking at a range of subjects including filming, interpreting industrial heritage, catering, retail and capital projects and Conference will also include the annual trade exhibition showcasing products and services.

Please note that the special Early Bird rate will end on 28 April – so don’t miss out on saving your museum money by booking early. AIM National Conference 2017 website.

Could You Contribute To AIM Conference? 

We are looking for case studies to include in AIM Conference. Have your trustees used the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums? Does your museum have an interesting story to tell about how it has survived and thrived over the past thirty or forty years? Are you a small organisation with an innovative approach to income generation? Have you used AIM’s Success Guide on setting admission policy and pricing? If you have something interesting to share on one of these topics, please email tamalie@aim-museums.co.uk . 

Grants For Attending AIM National Conference 2017

AIM is offering members the opportunity to apply for an AIM Training Grant to attend conference. The deadline for AIM training grant applications is 17 April and applications up and until that date will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. Please be aware that the fund is limited and early applications are recommended. AIM Training Grants.

For Welsh museums, The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries of Wales is offering grants under its Training and Conference Grant programme to enable museum staff (paid or volunteers) in Wales to attend. For more information, visit: Grants For AIM Conference From The Federation Of Museums & Art Galleries Of Wales

Trustee Event: Succession Planning

AIM is pleased to be working with SHARED Enterprise to repeat our trustee seminar on reviewing your board for succession planning for trustees in and around the East of England. Led by Joy Allen of Leading Governance, the event runs on 28th February at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Museum managers are welcome to attend with Trustees.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Runs 28 February, Cambridge. Trustee event: Succession Planning

Booking Opens For AIM National Conference 2017

From AIM:

This year, AIM National Conference will be held at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham from 22 – 24 June and booking is now open. This year, tickets can be purchased online via the AIM National Conference Eventbrite page and all conference information can be found on the AIM National Conference 2017 website.

Please note that the special Early Bird rate will end on 28 April – so don’t miss out on saving your museum money by booking early. 2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference will provide a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of our members.

New for this year are study tours of our host with walks through the Historic Dockyard looking at a range of subjects including filming, interpreting industrial heritage, catering, retail and capital projects and Conference will also include the annual trade exhibition showcasing products and services. The schedule and speaker list will be updated continuously in the coming months, so please keep checking the AIM Bulletin, AIM social media and AIM National Conference 2017 website AIM National Conference 2017 website.

AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes 30 September

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 30 September 2016.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.

Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email: justeen@aim-museums.co.uk