MDNW 2018-22 Programme

Museum Development North West Programme 2018-22

Programme eligibility
Museum Development North West (MDNW) is funded by Arts Council England (ACE) to provide support for museums that are fully Accredited or officially working towards Accreditation (as evidenced by a ‘T’ number). National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) and national museums cannot receive funding directly from the MDNW programme.

 Changes to MDNW programme

  • From April 2018 the funding lead for the MDNW programme will be the University of Manchester rather than Manchester City Council
  • Our blog will be reviewed to make sure it is still up to date with information readily accessible
  • Places on our workshops will not always be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to staff and volunteers from Accredited museums and those officially working towards Accreditation which are not National Portfolio Organisations or national museums
  • If the drop-out rate for attendance at workshops does not improve in 2018-19 we will consider introducing a charge for delegates who book a place and do not attend, bringing us in line with some other Museum Development providers
  • A new logo will be used from April 2018. Different colour ways will make it easier to see into which ACE goal different strands of the programme fit
  • By May 2018 we will be GDPR compliant; this will affect how we collect and use data, especially from running workshops
  • More of the MDNW programme than before will be delivered in partnership with organisations inside and outside of the museum sector, and beyond the North West region, rather than directly by MDNW staff


Goal 1 – Excellence is thriving and celebrated in museums
Excellence around care and support of collections

  • Launch collections health check tool
  • Run two more collections care & management programmes, revised from the 2014 version
  • New programmes of support for ethnography, geology, botany and entomology, acquisitions & disposals and the law
  • Continue relationship with the Money & Medals Network, including a medals training day in 2018
  • Continue to support the industrial heritage network
  • Continue to work with Collections Trust on the Banishing Backlogs programme and other collections support
  • Identify Creative Case For Diversity case studies involving collections
  • Pilot ‘Re:collection’ sustainable collections project
  • Continue to work with Culture24 on digital collections work

Encouraging national loans

  • Continue to support museums in their ability to borrow national loans through:
  • brokering and supporting partnerships with national museums
  • signposting to funding opportunities e.g. Art Fund Weston Loan programme
  • helping museums to improve environmental conditions through collections programmes

Accreditation support

  • Continue to provide Accreditation technical support
  • Work with Museum Development Yorkshire (MDY) and Museum Development North East (MDNE) on joint support for Accreditation mentors
  • 100% of museums with a return due will be offered support
  • Use Areas for Improvement to target museums to take part in development programmes


Goal 2 – More people experience and are inspired by museums
Region-wide audience data development

  • Support museums in using at least one form of audience data collection by signposting to current systems, arrange training for the most popular systems
  • Incorporate an audience data collection marketplace within our annual funding fair to showcase different systems
  • Work with Audience Agency to help museums understand Audience Finder
  • Audience development programme to support strategic audience development and marketing plans
  • Support six organisations from the industrial heritage network with local audience engagement projects

Cultural tourism

  • Continue supporting cultural tourism projects which encourage museums to work together
  • Introduce a new strategic strand of cultural tourism funding for museums creating new high-level strategic partnerships e.g. place-making agenda
  • Continue to support museums at risk of flooding through signposting to external funding available to make improvements to flood resilience
  • Contribute to Cumbria Museums Consortium’s conference in June 2018 on rural leadership
  • Work with Link4Life and Rochdale Borough Council on the next phase to bring Dippy to Rochdale
  • Promote opportunities for North West museums to get involved in the Great Exhibition of the North

Health & wellbeing

  • Deliver an Age Friendly Accessibility programme for a cohort of museums using the new ACE-supported Age Friendly Standards as a framework
  • Subject to funding work alongside Paintings in Hospitals to deliver a touring exhibition of museum objects and artist workshops
  • Improve visitor services in museums – provide, with MDY & MDNE, an ‘In Our Customers’ Shoes’ programme to develop visitor services teams and improve customer experience
  • Support museums to develop and implement equality action plans


Goal 3 – Museums are sustainable, resilient and innovative
Sustainable Improvement Fund

  • Continue to allocate SIF each year as a core part of the MDNW programme
  • Review the criteria for SIF to take into account ACE’s revised National Lottery Project Grants (formerly Grants for the Arts) and HLF’s funding programmes, particularly Resilience Funding, to ensure there is no overlap
  • Whilst we carry out our review, in 2018-19 run a revised version of SIF, to provide funding for museums to achieve objectives around sustainability, audience development and collections

Organisational resilience

  • Run an organisational resilience pilot programme
  • Support good governance, signposting the work of AIM and collaborating with it where appropriate
  • Provide bespoke support for new and emerging groups
  • Continue to run funding fair annually, revising it for 2018 onwards
  • From 2019, implement a national business diagnostic tool developed by the Museum Development Network (MDN) and ACE
  • Continue to support the Retail Development Network


  • MDN will continue to be represented on the Museum Support Organisation Alliance. This is made up of Museum Development teams, Sector Support Organisations (SSO) and other groups that provide training/support to museums
  • MDNW will continue to work with ACE-funded SSOs to enhance programmes and support for North West museums
  • Work with existing and new museum NPOs, Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) and national museums to draw in expertise for skills sharing programmes
  • Culture Now will continue to deliver events and networking opportunities across the country

Environmental sustainability

  • Offer Carbon Literacy training across region, supported by regional trainers
  • Bring in additional income by delivering Carbon Literacy out of the region
  • MDNW will become one of the first Carbon Literate Training Organisations
  • Work with Manchester Museum to pilot it as a Carbon Literacy Centre
  • Begin to measure impact of events on our carbon footprint
  • Promote Julie’s Bicycle Industry Green tools and Museums’ Environmental Framework to support environmental sustainability
  • Host a university placement student to support museums to carry out energy audits and calculate carbon footprints to help them develop strategies to improve environmental credentials
  • New café development programme to look at developing a sustainable café offer in museums

Impact and evaluation

  • Continue with the benchmarking survey but outsource to national model administered by South West Museum Development
  • Benchmarking survey will become an annual survey
  • Feedback forms for workshops will follow the nationally agreed Museum Development format
  • Development programmes will be targeted at museums with relevant Areas for Improvement
  • Progress from participating in development programmes will be measured through learning needs analysis and evaluation forms
  • We will develop a template for museums to provide case studies and final reports from grant-funded activity
  • Our programme of activity is aligned with ACE nationally agreed SMART objectives against Museum Development delivery


Goal 4 – Leadership and workforce in museums are diverse and highly skilled
Open training programme

  • Continue to run an annual workshop programme open to all staff and volunteers at Accredited museums and those officially working towards Accreditation
  • Review the systems we use to run events to ensure people from Accredited museums and those officially working towards Accreditation are prioritised in booking places at our events
  • Continue to fund places at regional, national and international conferences
  • Run a responsive training strand to address current and emerging issues in the sector
  • The Museums Basics programme will return to support museum staff and volunteers with essential skills development

Closed training programmes

  • Our Emerging Leaders programme will be supplemented by new programmes – New to the Sector, Middle Management and Succession Planning

 Volunteer development and support

  • We are committed to the continued participation in the Pink Pass scheme with MDY and MDNE
  • We will also continue to support the North West Volunteer Managers’ Network


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

  • Support more museums to engage with LCEPs
  • Work with Kids in Museums to promote their manifesto
  • Work with Curious Minds and the Cumbria Museum Consortium to promote the development of a sustainable offer for children and young people
  • Carry out a Family Friendly mystery shopper programme
  • Continue our support of the SMILE network
  • Continue to work with the Girls’ Network to provide mentors and inspirational spaces
  • We will run a sector fair with MDY, MDNE and other appropriate partners for students as a showcase to careers in the sector














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