The Welsh VisitorVerdict Forum Fforwm VisitorVerdict Cymru

This is a bilingual message / Neges ddwyieithog yw hon

Customer feedback is vital for museums, heritage sites and visitor attractions as it enables them to improve the visitor experience, grow audiences and boost income streams. But gaining important visitor feedback on tight budgets and with limited time and resources can be tricky: this is where VisitorVerdict can help Welsh museums and visitor attractions.

In partnership with the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and Welsh Government, VisitorVerdict will be hosting an inaugural forum for all Welsh visitor attractions on Wednesday 16th November at Wrexham Museum. The event will bring alive the world of visitor research and benchmark evaluation, inspiring you to weave it into the heart of your operation.

VisitorVerdict can support Welsh museums and heritage sites by informing them about their audiences and can help to address the lack of data about museum audiences as highlighted in the ‘Expert Review of Local Museum Provision in Wales 2015’. VisitorVerdict provides information about who visits, why they are there, what they do on their visit and how many local residents, schools and groups visit. Visitor attractions outside of the heritage sector are also able to access the bilingual VisitorVerdict benchmarking service and are welcome to attend this event.

In addition, Welsh Government have provided funding of £150 for the each of the first ten newly signed up Welsh museums that reach one hundred completed VisitorVerdict surveys. Your museum must be a member of AIM to be eligible and accredited or registered with the Welsh Government as being eligible to apply for accreditation.

Attend the event for:

*Analysis of 2016 visitor trends

*Top tips for data collection

*Live interaction with the web reporting

*Feedback from other attractions that use the service

Attendance includes a free lunch. Invitations are for maximum of two people per organisation.

“VisitorVerdict has been a bit of an eye opener. We have begun to really appreciate the depth built into the system that allows us to address our visitor challenges and experiences from a range of angles and perspectives.” Lucinda Middleton, Richard and Ann Mayou – Fund Curator at MOMA MACHYNLLETH

Further information and how to book: The Welsh VisitorVerdict Forum


 Fforwm VisitorVerdict Cymru

Mae adborth cwsmeriaid yn hanfodol i amgueddfeydd, safleoedd treftadaeth ac atyniadau ymwelwyr gan ei fod yn eu galluogi i wella profiad yr ymwelydd, tyfu cynulleidfaoedd a chynyddu ffrydau incwm. Ond gall gasglu adborth pwysig gan ymwelwyr gyda chyllidebau tynn a gydag amser ac adnoddau cyfyngedig fod yn anodd: dyma pryd y gall VisitorVerdict fod o gymorth i amgueddfeydd Cymru ac atyniadau ymwelwyr.

Mewn partneriaeth â Chymdeithas yr Amgueddfeydd Annibynnol (AIM) a Llywodraeth Cymru, bydd VisitorVerdict yn cynnal fforwm cychwynnol i atyniadau ymwelwyr Cymru i gyd ar Ddydd Mercher 16eg Tachwedd yn Amgueddfa Wrecsam. Bydd y digwyddiad yn dod â’r byd ymchwil ymwelwyr a gwerthuso meincnodi yn fyw, gan eich ysbrydoli i’w plethu i galon eich gweithrediad.

Gall Visitor Verdict fod o gymorth i amgueddfeydd a safloedd treftadaeth Cymru drwy eu hysbysu am eu cynulleidfaoedd, a helpu i fynd i’r afael â’r diffyg data am gynulleidfaoedd amgueddfa fel a amlygir yn ‘Yr Adolygiad Arbenigol o Ddarpariaeth Amgueddfeydd Lleol yn Nghymru 2015’.

Mae Visitor Verdict yn darparu gwybodaeth am bwy sydd yn ymweld, pam eu bod yno, beth maent yn ei wneud yn ystod eu hymweliad a faint o breswylwyr, ysgolion a grwpiau lleol sydd yn ymweld. Mae atyniadau ymwelwyr y tu allan i’r sector treftadaeth hefyd yn gallu cael mynediad i’r gwasanaeth meincnodi dwyieithog Visitor Verdict, ac mae croeso iddynt fynychu’r digwyddiad hwn.

Yn ogystal, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi darparu cyllid o £150 i bob un o’r deg amgueddfa cyntaf yng Nghymru i arwyddo i fyny o’r newydd, sydd yn llwyddo cyrraedd cant o arolygon Visitor Verdict wedi eu cwblhau. Rhaid i’ch amgueddfa fod yn aelod o AIM i fod yn gymwys ac wedi’i hachredu neu ei chofrestu gyda Llywodraeth Cymru fel bod yn gymwys ar gyfer achrediad.  Mynychwch y digwyddiad ar gyfer:

*Dadansoddiad o dueddiadau ymwelwd 2016

*Sïon sicr ar gyfer casglu data

*Rhyngweithio byw gydag adrodd ar y we

*Adborth gan atyniadau eraill sydd yn defnyddio’r gwasanaeth

Mae mynychu yn cynnwys cinio di-dâl. Mae’r gwahoddiadau ar gyfer dau berson ar y mwyaf o bob sefydliad.

“Mae VisitorVerdict yn agor eich llygaid. Rydym wedi dechrau gwerthfawrogi dyfnder y system sydd yn ein caniatau i fynd i’r afael â heriau a phrofiadau ein ymwelwyr o amrywiaeth o onglau a safbwyntiau.” Lucinda Middleton, Richard ac Ann Mayou – Curadur Cronfa Amgueddfa Gelf Fodern MACHYNLLETH

Rhagor o wybodaeth a sut i archebu lle: Fforwm VisitorVerdict Cymru



Update On Exhibition Tax Relief – Still Time To Call For All Museums To Benefit

AIM met with HM Treasury and HMRC last week to urge them to open the exhibition tax relief up to all museums, so that the public can benefit from better exhibitions at their local museum, wherever they live in the UK. The current proposals mean only a handful of museums will benefit, with the bulk of the relief claimed going to the nationals in London, whose temporary exhibitions often cost more than new exhibitions for a whole museum in the regions.

There is still time for this relief to be extended to all exhibitions, which would then save all museums 20% of the costs of creating and installing all new exhibitions, whether they are temporary, touring or part of the core visitor-offer for that museum. At a time when funding for new exhibitions is becoming increasingly difficult to find, this could be a vital life-line, enabling museums to ensure their core exhibitions meet the public’s growing expectations and deliver fantastic experiences. It couldn’t be more needed.

AIM members are urged to email the consultation team at HM Treasury and to copy in AIM using the email addresses below, to point out the benefits to the people visiting their museum of making all exhibitions eligible, especially if they don’t or can’t do temporary exhibitions, for instance because of not having space for them. Unless they hear from museums across the UK they will not be convinced that this is what the sector wants. Emails should be sent to:

 And also:

 Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director, AIM at:

 The deadline is 28th October 2016. This policy will apply to the whole UK.


 Photo: Courtesy of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Photographer: Hannah Rose

During AIM’s meeting at HM Treasury, AIM’s Chair, Richard Evans and Executive Director, Tamalie Newbery, were able to explain why temporary exhibitions are only used by a minority of museums and how the public’s core experience of museums is in long-term exhibitions, and therefore this is where investment through tax relief should be available.

They were also able to reassure officials that including all exhibitions in the tax relief would not result in complications in the guidance as the current proposed guidance works equally well for exhibitions of any length. Museums are easily able to separate exhibition costs from those of wider capital projects (they are usually separately tendered and funders require this degree of separation in reporting) and there is clarity about the opening dates (after which the tax relief would not apply) for long-term exhibitions, just as for short ones.

They have also been able to share figures with HM Treasury and HMRC based on data about HLF funded projects, which shows that including all exhibitions would be likely to add a very small amount to the total annual tax relief claim, when compared with the amounts claimed by other creative industry tax reliefs.

Some AIM members have been concerned that because the mechanism for the relief is corporation tax, they will not be eligible. Tamalie Newbery has been reassuring them: “Charities can still benefit from the tax relief even if they do not pay corporation tax. The mechanism for achieving this has been tested through the orchestra and theatre tax relief which is often claimed by charities. Claims are often made through an associated trading company but can be made by the main charity if it is a limited company or similar. AIM will be offering guidance to members when the tax relief starts in April next year.”

AIM has been working closely with Museums Association, NMDC and others to persuade the government of the need to open this up to all exhibitions. Please add your voice now by emailing Treasury using the email address above, by emailing Tamalie Newbery and if possible, writing to your MP.

How Will The Changes To The Arts Council England Investment Portfolio Benefit The Sector? We Talk To John Orna-Ornstein

Last week,  Arts Council England announced budgets for its 2018 to 2022 investment period, alongside sector guidance for applying to its National Portfolio. This follows on from an announcement by Arts Council England in July about changes to the way it will approach its investment from 2018, and for the first time,  museums and libraries will be part of the Arts Council’s investment portfolio. The application portal for the National Portfolio will open on 26 October 2016.

This is good news for AIM members in England, so we sat down with John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums and East of England for Arts Council England, to find out more about the changes and what AIM members should be aware of when applying.


“We are keen to receive strong applications for funding from independent museums across the country” says John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums and East of England for Arts Council England

AIM: Why is the inclusion of museums and libraries in the ACE investment portfolio such good news for the sector John?

John: We have decided to integrate our funding for museums, libraries and arts organisations from 2018 onwards. We have just issued guidance for National Portfolio Funding, as well as information about Grants for Arts and Culture and our strategic funds.

The changes will allow the Arts Council to make the most strategic decisions about how to invest in culture and the arts in different places and they will encourage partnership between museums, libraries and arts organisations. For museums, they open up significant new sources of funding at a time of challenge.

AIM: John, why should independent museums apply for National Portfolio Funding 2018-22 and Grants for Arts and Culture?

John: The majority of museums are independent. Arts Council England aims to make great art and culture available to everyone; independent museums are a vital part of this. We are keen to receive strong applications for funding from independent museums across the country.

AIM: What should museums consider when deciding whether National Portfolio Funding 2018-22 or Grants for the Arts and Culture would be better for them – or can they apply for both?

John: They cannot apply for both – which is currently the case for NPOs. National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) will receive four years of regular funding. NPOs will be strong, dynamic organisations that are strategically important in providing a great cultural and diverse offer. This source of funding will only be available for a relatively small proportion of museums. Grants for Arts and Culture will be broadly accessible to Accredited museums, other than NPOs. It will fund a wide range of projects and activities, for sums of between £1,000 and £100,000.

AIM: Do you have any advice for AIM members considering applying for either NPO or G4AC funding?

John: These are new sources of funding and will be unfamiliar to many museums. The most important thing is to look carefully at the guidance on our website. After that, talk to one of the Arts Council team before thinking about an application. A conversation with an Arts Council England relationship manager is mandatory for new NPO applicants.

AIM: The first of ACE’s five goals is Excellence: what does excellence mean for museums in the context of the NPO funding… and is it different than for the arts?

John: Excellence is about a high quality product that engages a diverse audience. There are lots of common characteristics across museums and arts organisations, but a clear difference is around collections. We’d expect museum NPOs to have a strong collection that is well managed and supported, with dynamic plans to share that collection with audiences.

AIM:  What are you personally most looking forward to about having museums and libraries included in the ACE investment portfolio in the years ahead?

John: That’s a great question…I’m really excited about the new opportunity. I’m looking forward to being able to provide more support to museums and libraries doing great work in every part of England. I’m looking forward to more partnerships between the wonderful arts organisations we already fund and museums or libraries that we haven’t worked with before. And I’m looking forward to seeing arts and culture flourish despite the current economic challenge, partly because of effective investment from Arts Council England.

For further information please visit: Arts Council England’s “ambitious” 2018-22 investment emphasises geography and diversity

AIM would like to thank: John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums and East of England for Arts Council England and Eleanor Hutchins, Head of Media, Arts Council England.




What’s Needed Next? One Month On From The AIM Evaluating The Evidence Report On Admission Charging

Nearly a month after AIM launched its new Success Guide –  Successfully Setting Admission Policy and Pricing – and the research behind it (jointly commissioned with Arts Council England and the Welsh Government), we’ve been speaking to AIM’s Vice Chair, Matthew Tanner, about how the research has been received and what next steps are needed to help museums; including further research to support museums to attract more diverse visitors.


AIM’s Vice Chair, Matthew Tanner

AIM: Matthew, you introduced this research at the launch event in Cardiff on 8 September and you are speaking about it at the Visitor Attractions Conference in London this week. Why do you think it is so important for museums to have evidence to support their decisions about whether to charge for admission or not?

Matthew Tanner: Whether to charge or not to charge for admission is a question that many people want to see addressed – so AIM has looked in detail at the problem in this research report. There is a wealth of practical information in the report to help any museum considering making changes to its admissions policy – helping us all understand on a rational basis the impact of our decisions. The truth is until now, there has been too little hard evidence in terms of the impact of charging for admission, which has led to people sometimes taking entrenched positions based on politics and emotion, rather than on data and analysis.

AIM seeks an evidence based contribution to this issue, so that it can support museums with all or any charging models. What this report does is to provide evidence and offer a fresh start, moving us past a debate which had become rather sterile. For the landscape is much more complicated than is often acknowledged. The research showed 37% of independent museums have free entry policies and 37% of local authority museums charge.

We wanted to make sure that the overall tone of the work is equally inclusive of both museums that charge and that don’t. We avoid a tone that ‘justifies’ charging museums, but it is useful to highlight some of the presumptions people sometimes make unthinkingly.

AIM: One of the findings, which has surprised some people, is that there is little difference in the socio-economic background, or in other diversity characteristics, between the visitors to free-entry museums and those that charge admission. Why is this important to recognise?

Matthew Tanner: It has been an old and lazy habit to assume that some museums are entirely free, and that’s always good, and some are not – and that is not so good. We know it’s much more complex, and that simplistic view simply cannot stand any longer.

For example, AIM Visitor Verdict shows AB social grades clearly account for the highest individual group – 60% for paid admission and 62% for free admission museums. Whereas, for the UK as a whole these groups accounted for 22% of the population. Conversely, the proportions of visitors falling within the C2 and DE groups (25% for paid admission museums and 20% for free admission museums), were much lower than the national picture, where close to 47% of people are in these groups[1].

At AIM National Conference in Edinburgh this year, Sir Peter Luff called for a greater mix and diversity of visitors – we need to now to respond and move the conversation on and away from ‘charging museums being inaccessible’ or ‘free ones being full of visitors from diverse backgrounds’. Whether a museum charges or not has little or no effect on the diversity of its audience – other factors are much more important. Some museums moving from charging to free do report increases in visitors, particularly from local people, but note this should not be confused with diversity – there is no change in the overall diversity of visitors in those situations[2].


AIM’s Vice Chair, Matthew Tanner, with Jonathan Durnin and Dr Stephen Connolly from DC Research at the launch of the admissions report on 8 September

AIM: So what do we know about why few people from the C2, D and E socio-economic grades visit museums?

Matthew Tanner: One of the significant findings of the National Survey for Wales is in relation to barriers to entry to museums for Welsh residents. The survey asked respondents to indicate the reasons why they did not visit a museum, and found that the cost of visiting was one of the lowest given reasons, with just 3% expressing this as a reason for not visiting. The most common reasons were a lack of interest (31%) and difficulty in finding the time to visit (30%).  A further 19% indicated that it had never occurred to them to visit a museum in any case.

There are of course museums that are the exception to this pattern around social mix of visitors – e.g. Beamish and the Black Country Living Museum, achieving a social mix and diversity of visitor that reflects their community, but these are not distinguished by whether they charge for admissions or not, and this broad pattern needs to be acknowledged.

AIM: If it is not being free or charging that is creating the barriers to a more diverse audience… then what is it? And how can we overcome it?

Matthew Tanner: Wouldn’t we all like to know? Well yes we would. So I took the opportunity of the launch of the report last month, to call on Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government to commission vital new research into understanding the real cultural and practical barriers that prevent real reach and diversity in our audiences, and enable us to overcome these barriers. ACE, HLF and others should be encouraged to research beneath the waves around the diversity iceberg so that we can all benefit.

Reaching out to all, whether we need to charge or need to be free, is a common aim – we need to understand in common how we can best reach that target. I am pleased to say that this call for further research has already been heeded by others in the sector and AIM is putting together a group to work on commissioning this next vital piece of research.

AIM would like to hear from any museums that have a diverse mix of visitors and would be willing to be considered as case studies in any future research. Please contact

To access the Success Guide and all reports associated with this research, please visit: Evaluating the Evidence The Impact of Charging or Not for Admissions on Museums

  1. AIM Report section 3.7 & passim
  2. AIM Report passim



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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