MDNW 2015-18 Programme

Subject to Arts Council England funding for 2015-18, Museum Development North West (MDNW) propose to continue to support all Accredited sites and those working towards Accreditation in the North West, covering Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria primarily targeting those museums not in receipt of major or strategic funding.

For information on out programme for the next three years visit MDNW Progranmme 2015-18 copy

Goal 1: Excellence is thriving and celebrated in museums

Museum Development support

  • Site specific advice and visits
  • Share information and updates through forums and networks
  • Develop relationships with key partners to support regional museums sector e.g. ACE, Major Partner Museums, NWFed, HLF, AIM
  • Museum Development programme informed by information from visits and meetings i.e. continuous informal consultation with the sector


  • Provide the technical support and advice strand of ACE’s Accreditation scheme
  • Provide site specific advice to museums submitting Accreditation returns
  • Support co-ordination of the Museum Mentor scheme
  • Provide training open to all, in conjunction with delivery partners e.g. Collections Trust
  • Provide development opportunities to cohorts of museums based on Areas for Improvement


  • Arrange 2 training days in 2015-16, with support of Money & Medals Network
  • Self-sustaining numismatics network by 2017
  • Specialist post to support collections reviews and activities in at least 4 museums

Historic industrial collections

  • Arrange 3 training days in 2015-16, with support of Industrial Heritage Support Officer at English Heritage
  • Self-sustaining industrial heritage network by 2017
  • Support museums in network to develop collaborative projects
  • Attend and support other related networks such as Stationary Steam Engines Group
  • Support Lancashire County Museums Service as regional leader with Designated collection
  • Work with Whitworth Art Gallery to link regional textile collections with textile machinery

Natural sciences

  • Support activity led by Manchester Museum, Tullie House and National Museums Liverpool
  • “Refloating the Ark” conference 17-18th June 2015, Manchester Museum
  • Collections review and non-specialist curatorial workshops
  • Provide funding for staff to attend other conferences and undertake research visits

Working with artists

  • Support museums to work with artists to reinterpret collections

Workforce development

  • Continue collections training for the non-specialist

Sustainable collections development

  • Collections and the Law – legal status of collections, collections in the digital environment
  • Roll out findings of Manchester Partnership on sustainable collections development to the region

Goal 2: More people experience and are inspired by museums

Audience data development

  • Continue to hold licence for Viewpoint programme and provide opportunity for other museums to buy into the programme under our licence
  • Provide Viewpoint training and support Viewpoint “super-users” in managing technical queries
  • Analyse standard regional benchmarking questions

“Knowing Your Audiences” programme

  • Training in gathering, analysing and using data to complement Viewpoint and other programmes (e.g. Visitor Verdict, Visitor Finder, Metrics etc)
  • Collections interpretation training programme based on Viewpoint data
  • Audiences Insight training programme

Data reporting

  • Continue regional benchmarking survey
  • Collate qualitative data evidence of economic and social value of museums

Cultural tourism

  • Support smaller museums to participate in Cumbria Museum Consortium’s Highlights programme
  • Support digital access initiatives to promote tourism

Health & wellbeing

  • Share Major Partner Museums’ work on health and wellbeing, particularly dementia, volunteering and diversifying audiences

Goal 3: Museums are sustainable, resilient and innovative


  • Support action plans of participants in 2014’s organisational health programme
  • Business management training programme to support Accreditation section 1
  • Developing effective boards programme
  • Annual funding fair
  • Share learning from Cumbria Museum Consortium’s Business Development programme


  • Support action plans of previous participants
  • Produce epublication of case studies from 2014 programme
  • Trial U-values pilot project
  • Support development of Green Museums Northern Network
  • Provide opportunities for museums to develop visitor engagement resources through training and funding
  • Maintain emergency networks

Entrepreneurial development

  • Retail development – open training on retail and branding; cohort of museums attend programme of product development using collections as inspiration
  • Income generation training programme

Goal 4: Leadership and workforce in museums are diverse and highly skilled


  • “Cultural Retreats” emerging leaders programme
  • Expertise of Major Partner Museum staff used in regional training
  • Support Cumbria Museums Consortium’s role in rural museum leadership to engage with and diversify local audiences
  • Work with Major Partner Museums and Higher Education organisations to development placements in smaller museums for HE students
  • Biennial regional conference

Workforce development

  • Programme of workforce development training responding to needs of sector
  • Funding available to support attendance at national/international conferences
  • Work with external partners to develop and complement workforce programmes

Developing volunteers

  • Programme to help organisations support their volunteers
  • “Support Our Skills” soft skills programme for staff and volunteers
  • Create network of volunteer management champions

Organisational resilience

  • Series of Knowledge Sharing Fellowships to retain information within museums

Goal 5: Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness and inspiration of museums

Cultural heritage for children & young people (CYPs)

  • Support Curious Minds in roll out of Arts Award
  • Lead CYP group of existing learning providers to co-ordinate activity
  • Support existing initiatives such as Museums Takeover Day and “Trail Blaze” Saturday Alternatives traineeship programme
  • Support Curious Minds with their young evaluators and young marketing experts programmes

Developing key partnerships

  • Scope potential “game changer” conference
  • Support Curious Minds’ “Vision for a Local Cultural Offer”
  • Support Cumbrian Learning Networks


Sustainable Improvement Fund

Support museum activity to meet all five ACE goals through funding projects that:

  • Involve single museums, networks or partnerships
  • Fit with the museum’s purpose, aims and objectives
  • Where the need for the project is demonstrated
  • Will be a step forward for the museum in it’s offer for visitors or the way in which the museum works
  • Might be a risk for the museum – trialling something for the first time, or new ways of doing things
  • Could be a pilot for a potentially bigger project
  • Could be used to scope out or trial ideas for an application to ACE’s Museum Resilience Fund
  • Might tie into other Museum Development programmes

For further information contact

Museum Development North West, on behalf of the Manchester Partnership and the Cumbria Museums Consortium, is delivering a programme of support for North West museums to March 2018.



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