South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Blog: Adding value through partnership: The University of Exeter

It’s been three months now since the South West Fed and the University of Exeter signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), so it seems a good time to reflect on what this means for South West Fed members, whom this is for.

For many years now, the South West Fed board have had a strong focus on working in partnership with others, in order to increase opportunities for our membership to connect, learn and be inspired, for the benefit of organisations and their audiences.

After collaborating with the University across several areas since 2016, such as conferences and promoting industry placements, internships and the new International Heritage Management and Consultancy MA, it seemed a natural step to formally sign an MoU.

It is hoped that the South West Fed’s unique regional spread and diverse membership, combined with the University’s research expertise, will result in mutually beneficial activity.

Two areas that we have begun to focus on are:

1. Promoting industry placements and internships. The South West Fed, through its membership reach, is well placed to encourage organisations to think about hosting a student at their organisation, and to reap the benefits of that (we’re even thinking of hosting one ourselves!). For more on how to take the first step, click here.

2. Working with an academic from the Business School to explore and support the sustainable development of our Together for Heritage ambition - bringing the broader heritage sector together – for the benefit of our membership and audiences.

It’s only been three months, but we feel that we are starting to both offer and reap the rewards of this closer partnership. We will keep you updated in regular ebulletin articles and blogs, but if you have an idea to contribute, we’d love to hear it. In the first instance you can email

This blog post was written by Anna Bryant. Anna is currently University of Exeter Relationship Manager for the South West Fed Board, having previously been Chair. She is currently Marketing and Engagement Manager at Volunteer Makers. Previously she managed the Bath Museums partnership and developed the Cardiff Story Museum.
Twitter @annabryantSW