Posts Tagged ‘Museum Funding’

NEWS: Lancashire Museums Last Chance

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Earlier this year Lancashire County Council (LCC) announced a call out to interested third parties seeking to submit detail business plans to take over any of the five museums they could no longer afford to run. The decision was taken following budget cuts which meant the LCC could no longer afford to fund the museums. Its  financial strategy report, published towards the end of last year, concluded that over the five years from 2016-17 to 2020-21 the council needed to make savings of £262m on top of those previously agreed.

Numerous potentially viable business plans were received for the Judges’ Lodgings Museum in Lancaster, the Maritime Museum in Fleetwood, the Museum of Lancashire in Preston, Queen Street Mill Textile Museum in Burnley and Helmshore Mills Textile Museum in Rossendale.   Plans from four organisations which have applied to take over the five museums were most recently discussed at a cabinet meeting on 8 September. , the meeting decided which of the museums will be transferred to third parties.

Although very little detail was announced following the meeting, the LCC did confirm that all five museums would close to the public on 30 September 2016, while negotiations continue with the four organisations. It is expected that the approved transfers will be made by the end of December this year. Councillor Marcus Johnstone, the cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, explained:

“This is extremely good news for the future of these museums. There is obviously still a lot of work to do but it is very encouraging to see such robust and well-thought-through business plans.  In an ideal world we would not have been forced into this position but as we no longer have the funding to keep these cultural resources open we can at least do a thorough job to ensure that they have a sustainable future.”

With proper care and maintenance plans having been put in place to ensure each of the venues in question are looked after, preserved properly, and kept safe and secure, the intention is that negotiations can be concluded as soon as possible with a view to the transfers being made by 31 December 2016.

NEWS: People History Museum Receives Museum Resilience Fund Grant

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Banners section - Main Gallery Two @ People's History Museum 2

Banners section – Main Gallery Two @ People’s History Museum

 

As Arts Council England announces the successful applicants of its second round of Museum Resilience Funding, organisations across the North West have been celebrating success.  John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at Arts Council England explained:

‘The focus of our investment approach for museums in 2015 – 2018 is on building a more resilient sector.  The Museum Resilience Fund is a key part of that, providing vital support to museums right across the country.’

One of the North West’s successful recipients is Manchester’s Peoples History Museum who have been awarded £273,600 to undertake their project, Builders and Dreamers: the future of ideas worth fighting for, which will transform the museum over the next 18 months with the ambition of becoming a cultural centre for Manchester, the North West and the UK; a space where people debate and discuss the key ideas and issues facing society today. Katy Ashton, Director explained PHM’s delight at being granted the funding to undertake such an ambitious project:

‘The funding will enable us to strengthen the museum and add capacity in key areas which will make a real difference to the museum’s future.  By supporting the museum with this funding, the Arts Council is helping us to achieve our big ambitions as the national museum of democracy and home of ideas worth fighting for.

There are some extremely important anniversaries on the horizon for our museum to champion and lead, with a programme of activity on LGBT+ rights planned for 2017 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, the centenary of women first getting the right to vote in 2018 and the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in 2019.  These are all huge opportunities for the museum and for our partners and audiences and we’re very excited to now have the additional support that comes with this grant.’

The Museum Resilience Fund is investing £30 million during 2015 – 2018 to focus on any gaps or development opportunities for excellent museums of all sizes.  To find out more about the fund and its recipients so far, Click Here

NEWS: Arts Council Unveils Museum Funding Shake Up

Friday, August 5th, 2016

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Image Courtesy: The Atkinson

“Major Partner Museums scrapped but new opportunities open up”

Major Partner Museums and other ringfenced museum funding streams are to be abolished in a radical shake-up announced today by Arts Council England (ACE).

From 2018 onwards, all arts council funding for museums in England will be integrated into the existing National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), Grants for the Arts and strategic funding programmes. The changes come after a survey conducted by the research consultancy ComRes with 1,000 stakeholders found widespread support for the proposals in the culture sector.

ACE plans to introduce three funding bands for NPO applicants: grants between £40,000-£250,000; grants between £250,000-£1m; and grants of more than £1m. Less administrative burden will be placed on those applying for smaller grants, and the length of funding settlements will increase from three to four years.

The NPO programme will also include a new category, Sector Support Organisations, which will be available to organisations that offer support services to the sector rather than producing arts and culture themselves.

To read the full article originally published on Museums Journal, Click Here

NEWS: Culture Warrington Launches New Membership Scheme

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

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Local Warrington man Roger Hunt, a member of the World Cup-winning England team in 1966, signs up as the first patron of our new membership scheme, with Culture Warrington’s board chair Maureen Banner.  Image Courtesy: Culture Warrington.

The team at Culture Warrington have always been dedicated to making the town a thriving centre of activity and work tirelessly to promote its heritage, arts and entertainment offer.  With lots of exciting future plans to further improve this offer including a new Heritage Hub which will explore the town’s rich history, and a new gallery bringing the best of the contemporary arts to Warrington there are exciting times ahead for the team and its audiences old and new.

Even with all of this activity happening, Culture Warrington has still found the time to launch a brand new Membership Scheme.  To find out more about what this new scheme will offer audiences and bring to Warrington, our News Editor Emma Sumner spoke to Michelle Hill, Culture Warrington’s Collections and Archive Manager to find out more:

Emma Sumner: How did the idea of Culture Warrington running a membership scheme come about?  Was this something your audience asked for or something that you decided to set up as a source of income generation?

Michelle Hill: The main impetus for the set-up of the scheme was the museum being awarded a Catalyst grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The aim of the project was to look at making the organisation more sustainable, business-like and resilient following transfer from local authority management in 2012.

There were two main strands of the project with one aim – to increase our support base.  One part of the Catalyst project focused on launching a revamped Culture Warrington volunteer scheme and the other part was to look at formulating a fundraising strategy through sponsorship, philanthropy and developing a membership scheme.   We also wanted to reiterate that Culture Warrington is a charity and because of this there is now an increased emphasis on us raising our own funds and looking for financial support in a variety of ways.

ES:  What does a Culture Warrington membership give those who subscribe?

MH: At present, new members will get:

  • A six-monthly newsletter packed with news, information, exclusive interviews and blogs from across Culture Warrington
  • Priority booking for selected events – Be the first to book tickets at Pyramid and Parr Hall before they go on sale to the general public
  • Invitations to exclusive members-only events across Culture Warrington from exhibition previews to behind the scenes tours and opportunities to ‘meet the curator’
  • Access to discounted tickets and special offers to selected shows and events at Pyramid and Parr Hall
  • Save money on ticket purchases for events at Pyramid and Parr Hall with no booking fees
  • Membership badge
  • An additional free gift (a Culture Warrington shopper)

ES:  Since you launched, have you had a good response to the scheme and what has been the uptake?

MH: We launched it on 1 July and to date (27 July) we have had more than 20 members sign up.  There is a marketing plan in place to raise awareness of the scheme and a working group has been set up to monitor and further develop the scheme.

ES:  Does Culture Warrington have any future plans to develop the scheme further and if so how do you see it developing?

MH:  Yes we would like to develop family and corporate membership offers.  We decided to start with a couple of membership categories (single and double membership) to see how things go and then we can reflect on progress, examine member feedback and then look at developing the scheme further.  We would aim to review the benefits the scheme offers on an annual basis.

ES: What would your advice be to any other North West organisations who might want to look into setting up their own membership schemes?

MH: Set up a working group of staff representing different parts of the organisation and speak to  staff at all levels about suggestions and ideas that have been put forward.  Do your research into what other schemes are out there locally and their pricing structure; don’t overprice your scheme.  Ask your visitors what they would like to see from a scheme in terms of potential benefits and this should give you a steer.  Keep an eye on the benefits offered so you are not giving away more than the income you generate.  Have a dedicated person/team of people to meet regularly after the scheme has launched to keep it high on people’s agendas.  As with all projects once they have launched, it’s easy to let things drift as staff move onto other projects.

It was very useful for us to have an external consultant Marilyn Scott (director of the Lightbox in Woking) who has extensive experience in this area to guide us but obviously not everyone has the funds to do this. In which case it would be useful to get out and about and speak with people in other organisations that have set up schemes and get their advice about what has or hasn’t worked for them.

To find out more about the scheme or to become a member, Click Here