GMMG - Greater Manchester Museums Group 

I am pleased to include in our blog a brief outline of the projects and work the GMMG have been working on. We look forward to featuring more stories from the group.

Our Connected History: Funding from the Arts Council Strategic Support Fund has beensecured to deliver the  Connected History Project; bringing the GMMG’s  rich and diverse collections together online to tell the story of their shared heritage. All photography work will be completed by the end of December.  Film maker Chris Roberts from Lets Go Global  was appointed to work with staff to film 16 films of artists/local historians/curators talking about Connected History objects.

 The GMMG has also launched the first phase of their website in November.  The website has been made with a mobile first approach and the site is fully responsive – adjusts to screen sizes for PC, tablets and mobile devices.  Our Connected History is to launch in early March 2014.

The GMMG shared learning with the wider museum sector by having a stall at the MA conference in Liverpool. The event was a huge success and the group was overwhelmed by the number of people with requests for advice and support from the sector on collaborative working models and best practice.

The GMMG have also been working on staff surveys and sample visitor surveys. Survey findings will be analysed and reported.  Repeat surveys are be conducted in the summer.

 Open Source Talent: Funding from Museums Development North West has also been secured to invest in training staff as identified through Audit Skills. The programme will deliver a Leadership Development Programme for 16 members of staff across GMMG. The first two days of the programme have been delivered and they covered leadership styles and personal responses to them; personality type; understanding the context and environment; power and influence.  Feedback from staff from the first two days in November 2013 has been really positive.  Subsequent training days are being tailored following feedback.

A one-day group session with a focus on change, creativity and risk will take place on 9th December 2013. A one-day group session, focusing on leading others, including coaching skills and setting personal goals and development plans will take place on 31st March 2014.  Each participant will also get a one to one mentoring session between Jan- Feb 2014.

There has also been a programme for Front of House training with participants meeting at Ordsall Hall last September to share information about their jobs and museums. Following this all staff visited 2 other Greater Manchester museums in October and a final feedback sharing session took place at Smithills Hall in November 2013.  FOH staff have been cascading their training back to other staff in their museums and thinking of new ways of working.

 Other training includes social Media and photography training.

One of the most well known projects of the group has been Towards Modernity: Three Centuries of British Art which toured in six museum venues in China between Nov 2012-Oct 2013, attracted over one million visitors. Regional Chinese media coverage has reached over 90 million viewers.  The artworks returned to the UK in October 2013 and The One Show, BBC came to film the return of artworks and interview Tony Trehy of Bury Art Museum. The group is working on a full evaluation report of the tour following feedback from the partners in China.

As part of the SSF funding for 2014/15 the GMMG will also explore commissioning some research into the economic impact the tour has had on the region. Following on from this success GMMG are working on future proposals to tour to China and Japan.  Research into the South East Asian and American markets has also been conducted by two interns at Bury Museum.