About Us


Museum Development North West (MDNW) exists to support Accredited museums across the North West and those working towards Accreditation. The programme is managed by the Manchester Partnership and Cumbria Museums Consortium. Our work is funded by Arts Council England and responds to its ten-year strategy Great Art and Culture for Everyone.

Priority for support will be given to the museums that are not National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), National museums, National Trust or English Heritage managed sites. There is a diverse museum ecology that spreads from rural and coastal areas to dense urban areas. The region holds incredible collections that reflect specific social, economic, industrial and cultural life of the region.

MDNW is part of the Museum Development Network (MDN), a voluntary network of Museum Development providers that exist to support the development of a stronger and more resilient museum sector across the UK. MDN believes in creating a thriving museum sector – raising standards, driving excellence, enabling and supporting people working in museums. www.museumdevelopmentnetwork.org

The Museum Development North West team

  • Alex Bird, Museum Development Officer (Workforce and Skills) – alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk 07748 932680
  • Lynsey Jones, Museum Development Officer South  – lynsey.jones@manchester.ac.uk 07748 147240
  • Kaye Hardyman, Museum Development Officer North –  kaye.hardyman@manchester.ac.uk 07748 147151
  • Alison Criddle, Museum Carbon Literacy Officer – alison.criddle@manchester.ac.uk 07767 675188
  • Bria Cotton, Programme Assistant – bria.cotton@manchester.ac.uk 07500 760294
  • Emma Chaplin, Accreditation Adviser – emma@emmachaplin.co.uk

The significant roles of MDNW are to:

  • Assess real priorities for the sector
  • Identify barriers that prevent raising performance of the sector
  • Build capacity and resources for those museums that can attain excellence in meeting the particular and diverse needs of the community they serve
  • Provide regional leadership and act as “first responders”

This is achieved through:

  • Identifying where to direct support through knowledge of the sector
  • Building trust and personal relationships through face-to-face meetings, such as site visits, with key personnel
  • Targeting funding, resources and governance development in ways that set “staging posts” for museums to improve their offer

MDNW Vision

Our vision is a strong, agile and diverse museum sector in the North West, which is embedded in local culture and responds to local community needs as well as supporting cultural tourism to benefit local economies and engagement with collective histories.

MDNW Mission Statement

Through promoting excellence, innovation, partnerships and organisational sustainability we enable museums to be resilient in challenging times.

MDNW Values

  • Help museums to support themselves
  • Be even handed and fair
  • Make good use of public funding
  • Be a catalyst for change
  • Be for the benefit of end users and visitors
  • Strive for excellence in everything that we do
  • Lead by example
  • Supportive, collaborative, passionate about museums and inclusive

 MDNW Strategic Aims

Working to support ACE 5 goals and our governing NPO leadership goals our aims are to:

  • Provide high quality services to support a sustainable sector where museums are resilient and the role of regional support is no longer required
  • Support the development of a skilled, flexible and diverse workforce that is motivated to respond to improving social impact and have an entrepreneurial mind-set
  • Support the retention of specialist skills and knowledge and promote better collaboration of knowledge and ideas
  • Have a national reputation as a responsive sector development organisation with a good track record for delivering strong programmes and working in partnership with others
  • Listen and respond to museums, to keep them connected with each other and to provide the space for them away from day to day operational tasks to reflect and plan

Organisational Structure

The team is managed by the Manchester Partnership (MP) and Cumbria Museums Consortium (CMC). Monthly meetings are held and alternated between MP and CMC MD leads and an annual meeting is held with all Partnership and Consortia Directors. The MDNW team produces quarterly reports for the Oversight group and for ACE Relationship Manager (RM). An annual report is also produced and disseminated to ACE RM and NPOs.

MDNW are also part of the national Museum Development Network, which exists to ensure greater collaboration of Museum Development work across the UK. Together we liaise with other Sector Support Organisations, funding bodies and strategic partnerships to deliver quality and good value for money programmes to support the museums sector.

Sector Support Organisations (SSOs)

MDNW actively engage with other Sector Support Organisations that receive funding from ACE. This partnership working ensures the greatest value for money for ACE investment through the development of collaborative programmes that are relevant and meet the needs of museums.

MDNW 2018-22 Programme

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). For full details and eligibility click here.

Follow us on twitter @MuseumDevNW

MDNW Policies

MDNW Equality Action Plan 2018-22 (updated November 2021)

MDNW Sustainability Strategy 2018-22

MDNW Privacy Policy

MDNW Service Charter 2018-22


Posting jobs on the MDNW blog

To read copies of our annual reports and projects we have funded through our Sustainable Improvement Fund, please see our publications tab.


Arts Council Logo

5 Replies to “About Us”

  1. I would like to post a tender opportunity, could you advise me how I do this and whether it is free, thanks Sarah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: