The Board of the SW Museum Development Partnership (SWMDP) agreed its Activity Plan for 2013/2014 at a meeting with Arts Council England (ACE) last week. There is continued provision of a regionwide network of our much valued Museum Development Officers and funding for our indispensable Conservation Development Officer, Helena Jaeschke. The SW Fed continues to receive the commission to provide the Museum Skills Programme and develop the range of communication channels (website, social media platforms, forums, etc) we rely on to stay in touch in this huge region.Other elements of the Plan to look out for are the Small Grant:Big Improvment grant scheme, Audience Focus (a joint project with the Audience Agency), the Museum Improvement Project, the Heritage Volunteer Forum and a project to conserve flags and banners in Devon and Cornwall. Details of two other work streams involving apprenticeships/placements and collections will be available later in the year.
May Update from Arts Council England
An update from Mary Godwin, Museums Relationship Manager for Arts Council England in the south west.
Changes at ACE
ACE is now coming out of its major restructure which has seen significant cuts to our administrative budget and staffing. The former 9 regions have been transformed into 5 areas which are now up and running: South West, South East, London, the Midlands and the North.
In the South West the main effects are that this summer the ACE South West office will move to Bristol and the region has already been extended to include Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. (Museum Development will not be changing boundaries under the current agreement.) I’m therefore doing a lot of work in Hampshire at the moment, getting to know the many museums there.
The museum team nationally has also been reduced, with less capacity centrally, so I and my colleagues in each area are taking on extra work. We’re in the process of recruiting a new national museums lead person who will be based in one of the new areas. They will spend half of their time on museums and the other half as part of the leadership team in their area. We should find out who and where this person will be in the next month or so.
Don't Miss Out!
Small Grant: Big Improvement 2013 opens for applications
Calling all Accredited museums in the South West and those working towards Accreditation: full detatils and application forms for the 2013 round of this grant scheme offered by the SW Museum Development Partnership with funding from Arts Council England are now available. All eligible museums may apply for grants up to £250, those in local authority areas that contribute towards the Museum Development Programme may apply for grants up to £1,000. Read all the terms and conditions and apply for a grant here.
The 2012/2013 round of the scheme saw grants being made to 24 museums, from Axebridge and District Museum to Westonzoyland Pumping Station; for purchases as diverse as a state of the art till to the publication of a guide book This year there's £26,000 to apply for, so check out the full terms and conditions, identify the most appropriate need from your forward plan, talk to your MDO and fill in that application form. The deadlines for submission are 9am Monday 17th June for the £250 band, and 9am Monday 24th June for the £1,000 pot.
South West Museum Skills Programme Develops Skills and Delivers Value for Money – Again!
“Brilliant day, has built my confidence”
“The practical sessions were really good”
“The impact of the day has been huge...now going to tackle long standing issues”
“Access to specialist/ professional information otherwise not available to me.”
The ACE funded South West Museum Skills Programme is delivered throughout the South West by the SW Fed, through a contract with the South West Museum Development Partnership. Evaluation for the 2012-13 programme shows that the programme has had a big impact on skills, confidence, and organisational development by providing training to both staff and volunteers in SW museums.
In total 63 organisations, including the National Trust, benefited from the skills programme. The programme reached a total of 208 delegates. Strikingly, a large proportion – over 25% - were new entrants to the profession (< 6 months in museums) or students on placements. This points to a demand from this part of our workforce for this kind of affordable, high quality, practical training.
Satisfaction levels with individual courses were higher even than last year's impressive satisfaction rates: 64% of delegates gave the course an 'excellent' rating this year. As a result of taking part, 28% of participants intended to join the Federation (50% of participants already had). The programme exceeded the targets set for it by ACE, through the SWMDP, for training places filled, satisfaction ratings and partnerships developed.
Guide Launched to Demonstrate the Value of Your Work
Arts Council England (ACE) has refreshed its advocacy toolkit for the sector. The new toolkit contains updated advice and guidance on how to raise awareness and demonstrate the value of public investment in arts and culture.
The toolkit can be accessed here and includes:
- a series key facts and statistics infographics on: investment; economy, employment and audience which can be shared in social media
- living FAQs on investment and impact which we will continue to add to over time
- advice on the government agenda and how to make our case effectively to local and national politicians to align with their broader objectives