New Museums Workforce Research Report Highlights Sector Skills Gaps

What attitudes, behaviours and skills are needed to ensure a thriving workforce in the museum and heritage sector over the next decade? A research report published earlier this week has found that professional and personal development should be a priority for the sector and that better resources are needed to enable this to happen. A summary of this report can be found here: Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.

The Museums Workforce Research was commissioned by Arts Council England, together with the Association of Independent Museums, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Museums Association. The research included evidence based on 2000 online survey responses, interviews and consultations carried out by BOP Consulting with the Museum Consultancy and has highlighted 30 recommendations that focus on recruitment, skills and CPD, organisational and sector development.

AIM has welcomed this research, in particular the need for better business skills to support income generation. AIM members already excel at increasing their own income in a way that complements rather than conflicts with their core purpose and  AIM Success Guides such as Successful Retailing for Smaller Museums and Successful Business Planning can help strengthen skills in this area. The research also highlighted the need for development opportunities for boards and trustees. AIM has recognised the need for support for trustees’ development for some time, and we are able to offer opportunities in this area through the AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme.


 Image: courtesy of Brooklands Museum

Other research recommendations that particularly reflect needs in the independent museum sector include:

Recruitment campaigns which aim to give a fuller picture of what it is like to work in museums

*Museums and sector bodies should develop recruitment campaigns that promote the sector as a place to work. This could involve developing messages that give insight into what it is like to work in museums, and the broad range of skills and “personal qualities” needed. (Recommendation 4)

More funding opportunities for skills development, especially digital and business skills

*Sector bodies should create funding opportunities to support skills and knowledge development throughout the sector. Key areas for development include: • developing and applying digital skills • developing further business, management and leadership skills (Recommendation 12)

Encouraging workforce diversity in its broadest sense

*Sector bodies and employers should ensure that initiatives and approaches to diversify the workforce encompass the broadest definition of diversity, and are tailored to reflect regional and local needs (Recommendation 28)

Tamalie Newbery, AIM Executive Director said: “This research offers really useful signposts for future development of the museum workforce. We know that organisations can only be changed through the people who work in them – developing existing staff, trustees and volunteers and bringing in new talent. We are looking forward to working with all our partners in taking the recommendations forward.”

Download the summary report:

Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.

Download the full report:

Full Report:  Character Matters attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum workforce.








New Giving To Heritage Training Schedule For 2016-17

Giving to Heritage is The Heritage Alliance’s exciting training programme for fundraisers in the  heritage sector in England. Please see below for the new schedule of training available from GTH.

(M) indicates a Masterclass. These workshops are suitable for more experienced fundraisers and delegates as well as those who have already attended the same workshop subject earlier in the GTH programme.

GTH new

How and When to Apply for Social Investment Funds –  NEW

27 September 2016, London, Stephens House & Gardens

1 November 2016, Manchester, International Anthony Burgess Centre

2 February 2017, Bristol, SS Great Britain

May 2017, Birmingham

June 2017, London


How To Set Up a Community Shares Project –  NEW

9 December 2016, The Theatres Trust, London

April 2017, Manchester


Structuring Your Heritage Organisation for Fundraising – NEW

8 December 2016, London, The Theatres Trust

June 2017, Manchester, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House


Crowdfunding for Heritage Organisations and Utilising Your Networks for Fundraising – NEW

4 October 2016, London, Stephens House & Gardens

7 February 2017, Manchester, International Anthony Burgess Centre


Measuring, Communicating & Sharing the Impact of Heritage Organisations to Funders – NEW

19 October 2016, London, Kelmscott House

18 May 2017, Bath, Museum of Bath at Work


Creating a Case for Support for Your Heritage Organisation                                    

27 June 2016, London, The Theatres Trust

23 February 2017, Newcastle, Live Theatre


Heritage Fundraising Planning: Putting Your Strategy Into Action

15 September 2016, York, National Railway Museum

22 November 2016, Bristol, SS Great Britain (M)

1 February 2017, Birmingham, The Coffin Works (M)

15 March 2017, Telford, Ironbridge Gorge Museums

23 June 2017, London, The Theatres Trust (M)


Understanding Fundraising: The Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees in Heritage Organisations

14 September 2016, Birmingham, The Coffin Works

27 April 2017, Bristol, SS Great Britain


Legacy Fundraising for Heritage Organisations

1 July 2016, Museum of Bath at Work

26 January 2017, Cambridge University (M)

9 May 2017, London, Kelmscott House (M)


Major Donor Fundraising for Heritage Organisations                                                                

21 June 2016, Manchester, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

3 November 2016, London, The Theatres Trust

7 December 2016, Manchester, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House (M)

9 March 2017, Oxford Castle (M)


Securing Support for Your Heritage Organisation from Grant-Making Trusts & Foundations

10 November 2016, Coventry Transport Museum

18 January 2017, London, Kelmscott House


Digital & Social Media for Heritage Organisations

6 October 2017, Leeds, Thackray Medical Museum

5 April 2017, Derby Museum


Corporate Partnerships for Heritage Organisations

21 June 2016, London, Kelmscott House

2 December 2016, Woking, The Lightbox (M)

2 March 2017, London, The Theatres Trust (M)

June 2017, Birmingham, The Coffin Works (M)


HLF sponsorship of the GTH programme means that the Heritage Alliance can offer workshops at the highly – subsidised rate of £20 per person. There are 12 to 15 places available at each workshop. Booking is available at

In-house workshops are also available for organisations who would like a GTH training subject delivered exclusively for them.


September Trustee Vacancies At AIM Member Museums

Can you spare some time to become a Trustee at an AIM member organisation? If so, the following AIM members would love to hear from you.


York Museums Trust

Number of Vacancies: 2

Number of Meetings: 7

Daytime or Evening Meetings? Mostly evenings

Skills / Experience / Expectations York Museums Trust (YMT) is an independent charity which manages York Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, York Art Gallery and York St Mary’s on behalf of the City of York Council which owns the buildings and their designated collections. Since its formation in 2002 YMT has developed into an innovative, energetic and successful organisation responding creatively and positively to a demanding and fast changing environment. The YMT Board led by Professor Sir John Lawton is strong with a broad range of skills and backgrounds. Due to planned retirements, there is a need to recruit new Trustees to join the Board from November 2016. Applications are particularly welcomed from well-connected individuals experienced in some or all of the following sectors: museums (especially collections management and capital projects), finance, digital, fundraising, diversity, and community development / education. Whatever your background, you will have experience of working at a senior level in organisations undergoing change and have an interest in our core areas of activity.

Contact Details More information on the role and York Museums Trust is available here:

York Museums Trust

Closing Date: 30 September 2016


Photo: ©York Museums Trust



Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections

Number of Vacancies: 1

Number of Meetings: 8 plus occasional visits

Daytime or Evening Meetings? Daytime

Skills / Experience / Expectations Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections is a go-ahead and innovative independent museum in Selborne, north east Hampshire. We were founded by a member of the Oates family to commemorate the 18th century naturalist Gilbert White, and Captain Lawrence Oates, the polar explorer, and Frank Oates, who explored in Southern Africa and central America in the late nineteenth century. We offer exhibitions on all three men, and in addition White’s garden, restored to its 18th century designs, and a Field Studies Centre visited by 4000 school children a year. Current visitor numbers are 22,000 and these are expected to grow considerably over the next few years. With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund we will shortly start the delivery of a £3m project to improve the museum’s facilities and interpretation, and to promote resilience and sustainability for the foreseeable future. We have excellent staff and a committed, specialist and energetic group of trustees. A chartered accountant is sought by Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections to join the trustees with particular responsibility for the oversight of management accounting and the annual final report and accounts. You would be joining a high quality and friendly group of trustees and ideally would need to live within 30 miles of Selborne (postcode GU34 3JH). There are four trustee meetings a year, and four meetings of the Executive and Finance Committee which examines the organisation’s work and finances in detail every quarter. We have excellent staff, including two Co-Directors and a strong accounting team. Our charity business structure is currently being reorganised to reflect modern requirements This role would suit a recently-retired or self-employed individual seeking to join a strong team at the start of a very interesting time.

Contact Details Chairman of Trustees Dr Rosemary Irwin:

Closing Date: ongoing


Photo: © Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections

Framework Knitters’ Museum

Number of Vacancies: 5

Number of Meetings: 6

Daytime or Evening Meetings: Evening

Skills / Experience / Expectations:

We are looking for Trustees who have skills and experience in business management, marketing, HR, education, finance, law or ICT. Overall we are interested in individuals who can think strategically, be ambitious, and see the big picture. We meet bi-monthly and offer a full induction to the role. We have working groups for specific tasks, which Trustees may be involved with too. Our plans for expansion of exhibition space, retail and catering are well developed, so this is a truly exciting time to join us. If you’re not sure it’s for you, ring us for a friendly, no commitment chat.

Contact Details: Debbie Read on 07711 118398, or 0116 2701222.

Website: Framework Knitters Museum

Twitter: @FrameKnitter

Closing Date: 01/12/2016

Framework Knitters

Photo: © Framework Knitters’ Museum


Society for Museum Archaeology survey – Are Museums Running Out of Space …?

Are Museums Running out of space, stuff…and time? Historic England and the Society for Museum Archaeology need your help. The Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA) is the subject specialist network for museum archaeology in the UK and is looking for museums’ help with a survey.

This year the SMA has partnered with Historic England to conduct a survey aimed at identifying all museums in England that have archaeology collections, and to establish which are continuing to collect archives from archaeological projects. They are also looking at the level of archaeological expertise present in museums, and they aim to find out how much space is left in museum stores for archaeology.

If your museum holds any archaeology at all, even if it’s just a scattering of surface finds or a box of pottery sherds, they want to hear from you. Please follow the link below. The survey uses Survey Monkey, and has been designed to take no longer than 10 minutes.

This is a cause which they have been looking at for some time – an SMA report published in 2012 identified over 9000 un-deposited archives in England alone. However, the impact of austerity since 2012 is currently unknown. A number of organisations are all working to find sustainable and positive solutions to the problem. The project will support this collaborative approach, from funder to fieldworker to museum, by providing valuable and accurate data on which future responses to the crisis can be based.

The survey will be repeated each year for three years, with the findings presented towards the end of each year and a final report due in 2018. It is hoped that the intelligence gathered will inform discussions on the future of archaeological archive provision in England at a time when there is growing uncertainty over the role of museums and the ways they are resourced.


Screen Shot of all survey respondents mapped on Google maps. The Blue Icon represents museums who have given forwarded their collecting policies, red those who have yet to do so

The SMA is entirely membership run – all members of the committee volunteer their time to help run the society for its members. With almost 250 members across the UK and abroad they are one of the largest SSN’s in the UK.

The survey is led by team of three SMA committee members, and they are supported by team of 7 regional reps around England providing local knowledge and expertise. At the time of writing they have had 140 respondents, but they hope to reach 200 by the end of September.

Any questions or comments please contact Nick Booth, SMA Membership Secretary / Head of Collections at the ss Great Britain on

Arts And Heritage Sector Explores Potential Of Matched Crowdfunding

Individuals and organisations with ideas for new projects in the arts and heritage sectors are encouraged to register their interest in an innovative new crowdfunding programme set to launch on September 14 2016.

The initiative will see a series of specially selected crowdfunded projects be given up to £10,000 – or 25% of their total target amount received in donations – in matched funding.

According to Nesta research, crowdfunding has grown exponentially in the UK in recent years, with the market now being worth nearly £400 million a year. Matched crowdfunding is increasingly popular: a proportion of money pledged by the crowd is then matched by an organisation, but until now there has been little research into the relative advantages and disadvantages of this method of fundraising.

This pilot scheme, outlined in the government’s Culture White Paper, is the result of a partnership between UK innovation foundation Nesta, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Crowdfunder, the UK crowdfunding platform, will be launching dedicated arts and heritage campaigns as a part of the programme. The platform will also manage the distribution of the partner funds into eligible projects.


The campaigns break down into two key sectors:

One will be backed by £125,000 from ACE and will award match funding to eligible individuals looking to launch arts projects in England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.

The other will be backed by £125,000 from HLF and will provide funding to selected organisations planning projects in the heritage sector in Scotland, North-West and South West England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.

Not only will the initiative benefit a variety of projects, but it will also test the effectiveness of matched crowdfunding as an innovative way of funding arts and heritage projects.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “UK arts and heritage are admired around the world. Continued public funding and private investment has a vital role to play in ensuring these sectors continue to thrive. I’m delighted that this innovative crowdfunding pilot will explore exciting new ways to support private investment and develop sustainable fundraising models across the country.”

Organisations or individuals with proposals for projects to be submitted to one of the funding streams should submit their ideas HERE.

To Charge Or Not To Charge? AIM Launches Admissions Charging Research

AIM has just published new research to help museums understand the impact of charging for admission, or not, on all aspects of operating a successful museum. The revealing results dispel some myths that persist around this issue and will enable museums to make evidence-based decisions in this sometimes contentious area – but one that is vital to museums’ future sustainability. The research report is accompanied by a practical guide that museums can use to help them make decisions about whether an admission charge is right for their museum and if so, what price they should set.

AIM commissioned the study, ‘Taking Charge: evaluating the evidence’, and its accompanying guide for people running museums ‘Successfully Setting Admissions Policy and Pricing’ from DC Research, in partnership with Arts Council England and the Welsh Government.  It was launched this morning in Cardiff. The aim of the research was to understand the experience of museums that have moved from free admission to charging, or vice versa, or to hybrid models, and to investigate pricing strategies and their impact on visitor numbers, diversity, income, visitor satisfaction, and reputation and relationships.

The report and practical guide are now available to download from the AIM website or from the bottom of this page in English and the latter also in Welsh

To Charge Or Not To Charge? AIM Launches Admissions Charging Research


Photo ©The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Key findings from the research included:

*A large proportion of independent museums provide free admission, and a large proportion of local authority museums charge, so there is no ‘typical’ charging or free-entry museum.

*What a museum charges has no effect on the diversity of its audience – both charging and free-entry museums have similar demographic profiles for their visitors.

*Spend in shops and cafes, as well as donations from visitors, are more impacted by other factors than whether a museum charges for admission or not.

The research is very timely as an increasing number of museums are thinking about introducing admission charges, in response to reductions in local authority funding. However, it also has valuable information for museums considering introducing free admission and for those that already have an admission charge. The research showed there was usually little impact in terms of visitor number or diversity when prices were increased and a wide range of charging structures, some very innovative, are highlighted.

AIM Chair, Richard Evans said: “I warmly welcome this important report and hope it will help all of us that work in the sector – guiding us to make much better decisions in the future.  In the experience of many AIM members I know its key findings will ring true. There is a wealth of practical information in the report to help anyone considering making changes to their admission policy – helping us understand much better the impact of our decisions.  Those museums that do not charge have highlighted the importance of this policy to their local stakeholders and funders, for example.  Those museums that do charge benefit from longer visitor dwell time and often a higher visitor spend in shops and cafes.”

The research included a review of previous literature on the subject, a sector-wide survey of museums across the UK, visits to 20 case study museums and one-to-one consultations with key museum stakeholders.

“Crucially, the report highlights that the diversity of a museum’s audience is not affected by any decision to charge entry or allow free access.  This is really important because museums that charge are sometimes seen as providing less benefit to the public than those that allow free entry.  Cost is sometimes understood to be a barrier to access – but the research highlights that this is not the case,” said Richard Evans, AIM Chair.

A series of documents relating to this research is available to download below.

Practical guidance for museums is available in the new AIM Success Guide: Successfully Setting Admissions Policy and Pricing


Gosod Polisi a Phrisio Mynediadau yn Llwyddiannus

Executive Summary: Taking Charge – Evaluating the Evidence:  The Impact of Charging or Not for Admissions on Museums  

Final Report: Taking Charge – Evaluating the Evidence:  The Impact of Charging or Not for Admissions on Museums   

Summary Report For Wales

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Museums Need To Act To Ensure The Exhibition Tax Relief Benefits Everyone

The government is proposing a major new way of investing in museums and galleries, through an exhibition tax relief. But the current proposals will exclude hundreds of museums across the UK by limiting the tax relief to temporary and touring exhibitions. We are urging AIM members to respond to the government’s consultation to ensure that the tax relief is fair and that every member of the public, whether their local museum has temporary exhibitions or not, has the potential to benefit.

The government’s recent support for museums is extremely welcome: a number of individual museums have benefited from grants from libor fines and most recently, in 2016 Budget, it was announced that the 20% tax relief already available to the film industry, orchestras, theatres and others, would be extended to museums and galleries for exhibitions.

This is very positive, but there is a sting in the tail. The proposal is that the tax relief will only apply to touring and temporary exhibitions (defined as open to the public for less than a year), meaning hundreds of museums across the country won’t benefit because they have no space for temporary exhibitions. Additionally, this does not recognise that the core product of museums is high quality interpretation with a typical life-span longer than a year – as it is these the majority of the public visit, this is where the government’s investment needs to be made to be most effective.


Photo: ©The Lightbox, Woking

Ever since the idea of this tax relief was first mooted last year, AIM has been working behind the scenes to help HM Treasury to understand why applying the relief only to short-duration exhibitions will be unfair and limit the government’s ability to achieve its aims through the tax relief. However, the proposals which are now out for consultation still only include temporary and touring exhibitions.

Your help is needed to ensure that this tax relief can benefit all museums and galleries, and achieve the government’s objective of ensuring everyone in the country has access to high quality, creative, museum experiences. Tax credits for other industries were substantially modified as a result of the consultation responses, so it is really important that the government hears from as many museums and galleries as possible about how the tax relief will help them deliver better experiences to the public but the importance of not putting an artificial time-frame on the duration of exhibitions. More help with points you might want to include will be available on the AIM website soon.

The consultation document is published here:

The deadline for responses is 28 October 2016.

In the meantime, AIM is collecting evidence for our response on behalf of independent museums and galleries, so please contact Tamalie Newbery via email:

With any thoughts, comments or examples. Please also send us copies of any responses you make to the consultation or letters you write to your MP.

Helping Museums To Prosper And Thrive: Round Two Of The AIM Hallmarks Awards Now Open

The second round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 7 October. The awards are supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the Welsh Government and the grants will be available in sums of between £5,000 and £15,000.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards have been developed to support museums and heritage sites to develop their work using the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums which helps to identify what it is about how successful heritage organisations work that enables them to prosper and thrive.

If you are considering applying for a grant in the second round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards, support is available to help you make a successful application. The upcoming AIM Hallmarks in Wales event  in Cardiff on 8 September is free to book for all AIM members across England and Wales and will offer hints and advice to museums considering applying for funding through the AIM Hallmarks Awards.

But how have museums that were successfully awarded funding in the first round of the awards benefitted from their grants – and what top tips can they share to ensure that your application is successful? We sat down with Pru Chambers, the Marketing Manager at The Lightbox in Woking, to find out how the AIM Hallmarks Awards have made a positive difference.

Young Curators Pop Art Workshop

The AIM Hallmarks Awards have helped The Lightbox to successfully engage with millennials (Photo: ©The Lightbox)

AIM: Hi Pru, can you explain why you decided to apply for the AIM Hallmarks Awards please?

PC: We were motivated to apply for an AIM Hallmarks Award following a strategic review that identified the need to ensure sustainability by maximising on our commercial ventures such as events and purchases in our Shop and Café.

One of our most popular income-generating events are regular monthly comedy nights, ‘Joke in the Box,’ which since being introduced in 2015 have proved very popular. The demographic that attend this event we found to be different to those that tend to visit an exhibition, which for The Lightbox is predominantly those with young families and those over the age of 55. In contrast, comedy nights are attended by a wide range of ages, including millennials which we classify as those aged 18-34.

Research into the demographics of the local area showed that a significant proportion of the population fall into the millennial bracket, and yet we struggle to engage them as visitors for anything other than the comedy nights. We were therefore motivated to apply for a Hallmarks award to conduct research into what other events would best attract the millennial audience and investigate which marketing channels and approaches would be most likely to raise awareness about our programme.

AIM: How did you find the AIM Hallmarks Awards application process Pru?

PC: The application process for the award was straightforward, with clear guidance notes available on how to complete the application form which was available to download via the AIM website. Support was also offered in person by a member of the AIM team throughout the application in process.

Pru Chambers Warhol and the World of Pop exhibition

“Being awarded the grant has also made us able to take action on the areas of need highlighted in our strategy review” says Pru Chambers, Marketing Manager at The Lightbox (Photo: ©The Lightbox)

AIM: What is it about these awards that you think will really help make your museum prosper in the future?

PC: This award should really help our gallery and museum to prosper and thrive by helping to widen our audience reach, increasing our audience spend per visitor, which will consequently help to ensure our long-term sustainability. By being awarded funds to conduct in-depth audience research this will intelligently inform our future programming and we will be able to follow up with a targeted marketing campaign to raise awareness amongst millennials in the local area.

AIM: How has being awarded a grant from the AIM Hallmarks Awards positively impacted on the Lightbox so far?

PC: The Hallmark award is already impacting positively on the organisation as we recruited a millennial to help expand our social media channels by introducing Instagram which is quickly gaining followers. We also recruited an agency to conduct both qualitative and quantitative millennials research. For the focus groups and questionnaires, the agency needed stimulus ideas which resulted in a brain-storming session on events and price-points that was very positive. Being awarded the grant has also made us able to take action on the areas of need highlighted in the strategy review with a thorough and well-funded research and action plan which is excellent for the morale of the organisation.

AIM: How has the AIM Hallmarks Award helped The Lightbox’s strategic priorities Pru?

PC: The AIM award has helped our strategic priorities as we identified a need to expand our offerings and raise awareness amongst the millennial audience which we know is one of the largest segments of people living locally.

Our priority is to engage the widest possible audience in activities that generate income such as through events and spend in our Café, Shop or Venue Hire. We know from previous research that 18-34 year olds are likely to spend once they do visit us, particularly at events where there is an option to purchase food and drinks. The challenge has always been to create the right events and generate enough awareness to get this group to attend, and to keep attending, and thanks to the Hallmarks fund we are able to invest money into vital research and marketing.

AIM: That’s such good news Pru – do you have any tips for applicants in this second round of the awards?

PC: To apply for a project that gives the opportunity to really help your organisation prosper and thrive, whether that be defined as increase an in visitors, increase in awareness, widening the programme or supporting a particular project that will have a really positive impact on staff and sustainability.

Find out more about the AIM Hallmarks Awards and top tips for your application at the free Hallmarks in Wales event 8 September

 Hallmarks in Wales

Guidance and application forms for the AIM Hallmarks Awards can be downloaded by visiting:

 AIM Hallmarks Awards

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Dates For Your Diary – Upcoming AIM Events

We have created this at a glance guide to all upcoming AIM events so you can see what events are right for you, and also how to book. If you need any other information about these AIM events, please email:

8 September 2016 – Cardiff

AIM Wales Events – UK Launch of AIM Admissions Research Report and AIM Hallmarks in Wales

UK Launch of AIM Admissions Research Report (morning session)

This morning event will launch the official report containing vital research into the impact of charging for admissions on museums and heritage sites, including results from the recent admissions survey. Attendees will receive copies of the summarised report before enjoying a buffet lunch.

AIM Hallmarks in Wales (afternoon session)

Attendees are invited to lunch followed by an afternoon session exploring the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums. Guest speakers will reflect on their own leadership approaches and organisational development in light of the Hallmarks and there will be more information about the AIM Hallmarks programme. Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, AIM members in Wales are now eligible to apply for grants via the AIM Hallmarks Awards.

Attendees are welcome to attend either or both events with a buffet lunch included.

Further information and booking: AIM Wales Events  

castle BlackJoin AIM in Wales on 8 Sept for the UK launch of the admissions research and the launch of the AIM Hallmarks in Wales

Wednesday 28 September – Birmingham

Monday 14 November – London

Reviewing Your Board For Succession Planning

Led by Joy Allen of Leading Governance, this seminar is for any board which needs to recruit new trustees or broaden its range of skills, this interactive workshop will provide practical tips for board succession planning, including how to conduct a useful skills audit and recruitment methods in practice.

Further information and booking: Reviewing Your Board For Succession Planning

Trustees 5Reviewing Your Board For Succession Planning will help any board that needs to recruit new Trustees – join us in Birmingham or London

Tuesday 4 October – London

Delivering Excellent Heritage Projects: Free AIM Biffa Award Seminar

If you are about to start a new capital heritage project or want to deliver a successful interpretation project, this seminar at the London Transport Museum will inspire you and give you the confidence you need. Museums and heritage sites embarking on a major development project will gain invaluable top tips on how to manage processes and planning, how to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities and how to manage communications and relationships with key stakeholders and volunteers.

Further information and booking: Delivering Excellent Heritage Projects

Cromford_Mills_-_General_001Museums and heritage sites embarking on a major development project will gain invaluable top tips at our Biffa Award funded seminar in London

19 October – London

Engaging Board Meetings

Led by Anne Murch and Gaby Porter, this workshop is for anyone who has ever felt that their board could be engaging with big, exciting questions as well as the routine oversight of their organisation. It will aim to answer questions such as “How do we engage board members in creative conversations and invite them to contribute their ideas with enthusiasm?” as well as enabling boards to ensure they bring their attention to what matters most for the organisation.

Further information and booking: Engaging Board Meetings

Trustees  new (2)

This workshop is for anyone who has ever felt that their board could be engaging with big, exciting questions as well as the routine oversight of their organisation


AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes 30 September

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 30 September 2016.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.

Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email:

We like to showcase examples of successful applicants, so that anyone thinking of applying can see the type of conservation work that AIM has previously funded. The following is a report from the American Museum in Britain in Bath, who were awarded £5000 awarded for the purchase of an ELTEK environmental monitoring system.

 USA museum

The American Museum opened in 1961 and is the only museum of American decorative and folk art outside the United States. Housed within a Georgian manor house and a modern exhibition gallery, the museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and countryside.

As part of our mission to conserve and protect our objects, we monitor the environmental conditions throughout the whole Museum, including storage spaces.  Our old system consisted of five mechanical thermohygrographs.  They took a long time to manually calibrate and change their paper charts. They were also bulky and needed to be readily accessible for maintenance, which meant they couldn’t easily be used inside display cases.

We investigated many replacement monitoring systems, from standalone loggers such as the famous TinyTags to fully integrated systems with alarms and flood detection capabilities.  We also consulted other museums to learn from their experiences.  A wireless system was clearly an advantage and the principal reason for our decision to buy the Eltek system was its robust wireless communication – over a large museum site, the communications must work reliably and accurately.

The installed system is living up to our expectations and we are very grateful to AIM.  Thirteen Eltek GD10 sensors are spread throughout three floors and two buildings.  They feed data back to the base station and we have instant access to environmental information over our computer network.

Coupled with the lengthy battery life of the units, this has already meant a huge reduction in the time required to attend to each logging location.  That saving in curatorial time means we can have more loggers than before and, as a result, monitor much more of the museum. Most importantly, this new system is providing us with much better data about the conditions in the Museum, which, in turn, is providing us with the opportunity to pursue national loans.

Kate Hebert

Chief Curator, American Museum in Britain