Grants For AIM Conference From The Federation Of Museums & Art Galleries Of Wales

The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries of Wales is offering grants under its Training and Conference Grant programme to enable museum staff (paid or volunteers) in Wales to attend the Association of Independent Museum 2017 Conference.

The 2017 AIM Conference will be held at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, from 24 – 26 June; details here: AIM National Conference 2017


AIM National Conference an ideal opportunity to mix with other staff and volunteers from independent museums

*Grants are available up to 90% of cost per person to contribute towards conference fees, travel, the conference dinner and two nights’ accommodation.

*First come first served (limited funding available)

*Priority to independent museums, and museum mentors / museum development officers

*Not normally more than 2 per museum (in addition to a museum mentor)

*Early bird discounts on conference fees for AIM members before 28 April. The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries of Wales expect you to apply for these rates.

This is an ideal opportunity to mix with other staff and volunteers in independent museums. It is a very friendly conference, and focuses on practical issues presented by people who have done it. Those who went in previous years found it very useful.

Note: other Federation Grant eligibility rules apply. The application form can be downloaded here:


Please direct any queries to John Marjoram, Federation Development Officer at: 




BAfM – The Robert Logan Award 2017

This Award is open to candidates under 30 years old working in The Heritage Sector and offers a prize of £500 in memory of Robert Logan, BAfM Chairman 1994-1998.

Robert Logan was a former Chairman of The British Association of Friends of Museums (BAfM) who while in office, was killed in a climbing accident. He was particularly interested in promoting and encouraging young people in The Heritage Sector and it was with these ideals in mind that this award was set up. This Award is open to candidates under 30 working in The Heritage Sector.


Winner of the 2015 BAFM Robert Logan Award was Jasmine Farram of Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. Jasmine’s project gave local teens the opportunity to take part in part in ‘selfie’ workshops run by Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery as part of an outreach opportunity to secondary schools in the borough.

Who can apply?

Applicants should be engaged on a project which fulfills the following criteria:

*Made an outstanding contribution to your Museum or Institute

*Improved the Museum experience

*Attracted a wider audience


2015 winner Jasmine Farram, pictured with Award Administrator Anne Stobo and BAFM Chairman Bernard Rostron

How to apply?

Please submit an outline of your project, a maximum of 200 words by 1 May 2017

The project must have started after August 2015 and can be current

A full submission of approximately 1,500 words, should be submitted to the Administrator by the 1st August 2017

The Award will be presented at The Annual BAfM Conference which will this year be in London on 30 September 2017 where the winner will be the guest of BAfM and have the opportunity of meeting delegates from Museum Friends Groups and professionals from all over the UK

Further details, including an entry form, are available on the BAfM website:

BAfM – The Robert Logan Award 2017

Or download an application form here:





Still Time To Enter The Museums + Heritage Awards – Volunteers Of The Year Award

To celebrate the work of volunteers across the heritage sector, AIM has once again partnered with the Museums + Heritage Awards for the Volunteers of the Year Award 2017. Sponsored by BDRC Continental, nominations for the award will close at midnight on 1 February 2017.


A great night at the Museum + Heritage Awards 2016 – could it be you this year? (Photo credit: Simon Callaghan Photography)

Designed to be a real boon for those who work so hard to make a difference, this category is free of charge to enter and is open to all museums, galleries gardens, landscapes and heritage visitor attractions across the UK.

“It was total shock to win,” said Den Baker, a Volunteer at the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum who scooped the Volunteers of the Year Award 2016. “We knew nothing about this Awards system before we were nominated and sitting in the audience on the night and hearing that we had won was just amazing!”

Bobby Ogogo, from Horniman Museum & Gardens who was the winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 said: “Thank you, thank you so much, it is such a privilege.”

If you would like to nominate your volunteers, please visit the following link for all information:

Still Time To Enter: Museums + Heritage Volunteers Of The Year Award

Nominations for the award will close at midnight on 1 February 2017.

The Museums Association Salary Survey 2017

The Museums Association has a long track record of publishing salary guidelines for the sector. Incomes Data Research are an independent specialist pay research organisation, working on behalf of The Museums Association to update and analyse this work.

Your participation in this survey will be hugely valuable. By completing the survey, you will help to create a clear and accurate benchmarking tool which can be used by museums and museum employees across the UK.


Who should fill in this survey?

The relevant person in your museum with a good oversight of pay and benefits. In larger museums, this is likely to be a member of the Human Resources or Finance department.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is 5pm Friday 10th February, and the results will be freely available on The Museums Association website in the spring.

How to complete this survey?

To participate please follow the link below. You will be able to save and edit your responses until the survey closes. The survey is also available as a PDF which can be downloaded below.

Survey online: The Museums Association Salary Survey 2017

Survey PDF: museums-survey

All information collected in the survey will be treated as confidential and in line with the Data Protection Act. No museum will be named in the analysis, so you can be assured that your responses will remain anonymous.

If you have any questions, please contact Claire de Bond on 01702 330651 or


Consultant/s Sought For Groundbreaking Diversifying Museum Visitors Project

Increasing the diversity of their visitors is one of the aims of many museums. It directly relates to the core purpose of museums, as well as offering the opportunity to support museums’ sustainability. Whilst there have been previous studies in the museum and related sectors, progress towards this goal has been limited for the majority of museums.

We are seeking a consultant or consultants to undertake a UK-wide project, the purpose of which is to help museums to increase the diversity of their core visitors. The key focus of the project is on providing tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change in their organisations to achieve this.


We expect the project to include a review of existing literature, examination of case studies and production of guidance, toolkits, frameworks or other types of support, which should be co-produced with a range of different types of museums. Consultants are also asked to make recommendations about actions that sector support organisations should take and about rolling out the outcomes of this project, as well as long-term evaluation.

The project is led by the Association of Independent Museums, in partnership with Arts Council England, Museums Association, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Northern Ireland and Welsh Government. There is a budget of up to £25,000. The work is to be completed by Autumn 2017.

Consultants or consortia interested in applying should download the Invitation to Tender below:

Invitation to Tender Diversifying Museum Visitors

Proposals should be submitted to by 5pm on 16 Feb 2017


AIM Member Trustee Vacancies & Roles Sought

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

Trustee Role Wanted: London and SE area

An AIM member who currently works as a Head of Operations for a nationally recognised historic building is seeking a Trustee role based up to one hours travel distance from London. They are seeking a role in a historic property and have extensive experience in general and retail management in two major blue -chip retailers, as Head of Visitor Services and Operations looking after a team of up to 170 staff and managing a site with over 600,000 visitors per year. Experience in project management, HR management, Change delivery, Programme management, Visitor/ Customer Service. In addition, hold an MA in Heritage Management. They can be available for daytime and evening meetings. If you would like to be put in contact with this person, please email:


The Hockey Museum – Woking, Surrey

The current board of six Trustees is looking to expand and recruit new Trustees who will bring with them one or more of the following skills sets: Professional museums’ experience to assist with museum development and exhibiting. Business acumen with demonstrable marketing/fundraising led commercial achievements.

Further information on the role: AIM Trustee Adverts

Museum Website: The Hockey Museum – Woking, Surrey

If you would like any further information, please contact Katie Dodd, Chair of Board of Trustees

Please email your expression of interest with a CV to Evelyn Somerville .


South Kerrier Heritage Trust (Helston Museum) – Helston, Cornwall

Helston Museum is a local history museum, which has been serving the town of Helston and the Lizard District since 1949. The museum is managed by South Kerrier Heritage Trust, (Charity Number 1151834). Following retirements from the Board we are recruiting new Trustees. Our Trustees have important responsibilities, and we are looking for people with the vision to help us realise our future development plans.

Further information on the role: AIM Trustee Adverts

Museum Website: Helston Museum

To find out more about the museum and the role, or for an informal chat, please contact Judith Haycock, Chair of Trustees on 01326 563870 or email


Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Royal Warwickshire) – Warwick

We are looking for a Treasurer to manage and to operate the Museum’s single account. The role would suit somebody with good organisational skills, common sense and good IT knowledge (especially Excel). No formal accountancy, bookkeeping skills or experience of Sage required. Join us and play an important role in this small independent charity.

Further information on the role: AIM Trustee Adverts

Museum Website: Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum

For more information (a role description is available) or for an informal chat please contact: John Rice, Chairman of the Trustees – Tel: 01926 859291 Email: Stephanie Bennett, Curator – Tel: 01926 491653 Email:


Glencoe Folk Museum – Glencoe

Trustees are expected to attend meetings in Glencoe on a regular basis, as a minimum. Ability to communicate regularly by email is essential. Trustees supporting and overseeing museum work and projects is encouraged. All applications will be considered on their merits. However, priority will be given to applicants illustrating experience in the following areas: finance; legal; HR; retail; marketing; project management; volunteer management; museum collections management; exhibitions; and learning.

Further information on the role: AIM Trustee Adverts

Museum Website: Glencoe Folk Museum

For more information, or to discuss your application, please contact: Emma Halford-Forbes Curatorial Advisor & Trustee, Glencoe Folk Museum Email: Phone: 07751238872


The Stained Glass Museum – Ely

The Stained Glass Museum (1169842) is currently recruiting Trustees to join its governing board. This is a voluntary role. We are looking especially for individuals with professional experience in any of the following areas:  finance, development, business, HR/legal, education, marketing, retail.

Further information on the role: AIM Trustee Adverts

Museum Website: The Stained Glass Museum

To find out more about the Museum, the roles and responsibilities of its Trustees, or for an informal chat, please contact: the Museum Curator, Dr Jasmine Allen,, tel: 01353 660355. or Chairman of the Board, Dr Jeffrey West,


Dean Heritage Centre – Gloucestershire

A Trustee will need to demonstrate: time and energy to devote to the Dean Heritage Centre, strong personal commitment to Dean Heritage Centre and the charitable aims of the Dean Heritage Museum Trust, high levels of personal credibility and leadership, skills, knowledge and experience that would positively benefit the Trust, in particular, fundraising, charity finance and charity governance, links to relevant networks e.g. business, professional, governmental. A minimum commitment of time averaging two hours per month will needed.  Trust Board meetings will be held monthly, generally held in the evenings between 6-8pm.

Website: Dean Heritage Centre

To apply, please submit an expression of interest outlining how you fit the person specification and why you are interested in being considered to be a Trustee of Dean Heritage Centre.  Expressions of interest can be submitted electronically to by Friday 10th February.  Invitations to meet the Board will take place on Saturday 4th March.


What Does Access Mean To You? Take Part In Disabled Access Day 2017

In an ideal world, Disabled Access Day would technically be every day; society would be step-free and barrier-free for everyone, all the time. But we are not there yet and until a day of total inclusion arrives, Disabled Access Day showcases what can really be done when we strive for that reality.

Museums have always proactively led by example and the team at Disabled Access Day would like independent museums and heritage sites to become involved this year. Disabled Access Day 2017 will take place 10 – 12 March and there are many ways to join in.


Tennis at Leeds Museum for Disabled Access Day

The idea for Disabled Access Day came from Paul Ralph, a powerchair user who lives in Edinburgh and it was the outcome of his going along to a ‘try it out’ day at his local bus company. He had the chance to explore a stationary bus – a great opportunity for him to try something new. Chatting with friends afterwards, he thought it would be great to have similar opportunities and experiences available for disabled people happening across the UK all at the same time, but without the same amount of pressure that can often surround accessibility today.

Now three years on, Disabled Access Day keeps growing with over 1,000 venues doing something and more than 10,000 disabled people and their friends getting involved in the spirit of ‘you and somewhere new’ so here are just a few tips to make your museum access day a roaring success!


Disabled Access Day keeps growing with over 1,000 venues doing something and more than 10,000 disabled people and their friends getting involved!

*Use your space

Do you have a great exhibition space that could be used by local access groups or disability awareness organisations for Disabled Access Day? Perhaps you have brilliantly trained staff who could lead audio described tours, or connections with an interpreter for BSL tours. Whatever your strengths may be in terms of access and inclusion, use them and make sure you encourage visitors to provide feedback on their day. A good list of handy resources for the event can be found here: Disabled Access Day Resources

*Don’t be scared of self-promotion!

If you are putting on a great event for Disabled Access Day, don’t forget to let everyone know about it. Museums and galleries are well-known for often providing great accessibility and facilities to disabled visitors, but often they don’t shout enough about it. You can also post an event listing on Euan’s Guide. More info in this click: Disabled Access Day Event Listings


Disabled Access Day 2017 will take place 10 – 12 March and there are many ways to become involved

*Tell everyone

Use your social media platforms and include the hashtag #AccessDay and you can follow news about the event on Twitter here: @Access_Day. Contact local magazines and newspapers, local disability groups or even any well-known disabled people living in your area -they might just be happy to push out the event to their followers, or even join you on the day.

*Take a look at some case studies for ideas

Still looking for advice, tips and inspiration for Disabled Access Day 2017? Head over to the Disabled Access Day Case Studies page, where plenty of stories have been told Disabled Access Day Case Studies

*Need advice?

The team at Disabled Access Day can be contacted by email at: Other ways of contacting them can be found here: Contact or email team members directly here meet the team







AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers programme – further speakers confirmed

With the application deadline fast approaching for the next round of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers programmes, we are delighted to be able to confirm more of our speakers. One of the programmes’ distinctive strengths is that they bring new insights, from the charity sector and beyond, to help people who lead and support museums think differently about the challenges we all face and we’re looking forward to a strong line up of speakers in the new round of the programme.

John Thompson is the Chief Executive, St Martin of Tours, a leading provider of community forensic mental health services in London. He also chairs the board of Wandsworth and Westminster Mind. Speaking to the Leaders programme in Round 1, he spoke about turning an organisation round by redefining the charity’s core purpose and focusing on doing one thing really well, and stopping other areas of service delivery. John helped the Leaders think through the reality of implementing a strategy which saved a failing organisation and delivered great public benefit but also necessitated some very difficult decisions and was personally extremely arduous. Although John’s world is very different to ours, the Leaders programme participants found his insights very powerful.

We’re also delighted to confirm Steve Wyler, who brings experience of supporting community-led organisations, as the former CEO of Locality and Martin Stott, who chairs the William Morris Society as well as having a distinguished career in local government. For more on our other speakers, including Janet Barnes and Sarah O’Grady, see last week’s blog.

The application deadline is Monday 16 January at 9am and full details of the programmes and how to apply are at If you want to discuss your application or find out more about whether the programmes are for you, please call Helen Wilkinson on 0771 966 7102, and Helen is happy to take calls over the Christmas and New Year break.

Further Update On Museums And Galleries Tax Relief

Following the Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that the government had listened to the campaign initiated by AIM and supported widely by museums and sector organisations, and was extending the Museums and Galleries tax relief to permanent exhibitions, the government has now published more information about how the new tax relief will operate, including some more changes:

the-joseph-wright-gallery-the-museum-and-art-gallery-derby-credit-derby-museums-trustPhoto: The Joseph Wright Gallery, the Museum and Art Gallery, Derby. Credit – Derby Museums Trust

*The relief will also be open to libraries, archives, historic houses and other organisations, such as sculpture parks, as long as the exhibitions are put on by qualifying institutions.

*Exhibitions not held in eligible museums or galleries can qualify providing they are put on by eligible institutions.

*Exhibitions must be open to the general public

*A fee can be charged

*Institutions can raise other sponsorship towards costs.

*The relief will be on the main costs of creating and producing an exhibition

*Sales of related merchandise will be allowed providing the exhibition’s main purpose is not specifically to advertise particular goods and services for sale.

*In addition to the institution that originates an exhibition each museum or gallery hosting it will also be able to claim for qualifying costs.

*Off-site storage costs for up to four months between touring venues will be eligible for relief.

*Indirect expenditure such as marketing and educational programmes as well as direct acquisition costs will be ineligible, as will daily running costs, such as security.

*De-installation costs will not be eligible for exhibitions open for longer than a year.

*Live performances will be excluded.

*As most institutions already keep detailed financial records of individual exhibitions the need for additional accounting should be limited.

The new relief, which starts on 1 April 2017 and will provide up to £80,000 of relief for exhibitions at a single venue and £100,000 for those that tour. Some museums expressed concern that they would not be able to claim relief if they do not pay corporation tax, but although the relief is part of the corporation tax system, the Government has confirmed that museums and galleries do not need to pay corporation tax to claim it. They do need to be within the scope of corporation tax, however, which includes charitable companies, wholly owned subsidiary companies of museums and galleries, and CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations). It is completely separate from VAT.

AIM will continue to update our members in the coming months on Museums and Galleries Tax Relief via the AIM Bulletin, website and social media.

Further reading: Museums and galleries tax relief consultation

Helping To Shape Museums Now And In The Future: The AIM Hallmarks Leaders And Enablers Programme

The AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programmes – now recruiting to their second round – aim to combine insight from museum practitioners with new perspectives from the broader charities sector. This combination offers fresh ways to think about the challenges museums face, and applications are welcome from those that lead or support museums until Monday 16 January at 9am

Programme speakers include Sarah O’Grady, who helped participants in Round 1 of the Leaders programme think through some of the challenges of organisational change, and she will be working again with participants in Round 2. Sarah brings experience of dealing with a very challenging, politically charged change process, having been chair of Amnesty UK during a difficult time for the organisation, taking over when the previous chair resigned suddenly in 2013. Round 1 participants appreciated her candour and willingness to share her experiences of what it feels like to guide an organisation through difficult change and we’re sure that our new programme participants will also enjoy the chance to talk to her about her experiences at Amnesty.

From the museum sector, Janet Barnes, former Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, shared insights from her time at York in Round 1 of the Programmes, reflecting honestly on things she wished she had done differently, as well as the work that gave her most satisfaction and the approaches that helped the organisation move forward and change. Janet has spent 37 years in the museums and galleries sector with experience in both the public and charity sectors successfully leading three organisations through major constitutional change. Governance, implementing cultural change within creative organisations and fundraising are areas of particular interest to Janet and she will be working again with participants on Round 2.


The AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programmes – now recruiting to their second round – aim to combine insight from museum practitioners with new perspectives from the broader charities sector

Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge, our programme facilitators, both bring a wealth of senior management and governance experience, and are constantly on the lookout for interesting examples and case studies which will get debate and discussion flowing. Participants in Round 1 have looked in detail at the lessons that can be learnt from the experiences of organisations ranging from Kids’ Company to the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. A session on innovation used the experiences of the Team GB cycling team to explore the theory of marginal gains – small focused improvements which, cumulatively, produce the winning performance. The approach is inspired by Kaizen, the Japanese concept of small but continuous improvement which helped the country to rebuild its car industry after World War II, and it has lessons for museum leaders in how to improve without enforcing dramatic change.

“A lot of the voices around innovation are powerful advocates for radical innovation,” says Barnard, “and radical innovation, by which we understand something brand new or a new way of delivering something like services, has its place but in percentage terms the amount of innovation which will fall in that category is actually quite small. Kaizen is about taking small steps of improvement…the notion that you take a small step then breathe a huge sigh because you won’t now have to do anything for a long time is not what we are talking about with incremental. It is the ability to be continually moving things on.”

All this combines with the practical, hands-on current knowledge of many of AIM’s Council members, including our Chair Richard Evans, Director of Beamish Living Museum of the North, to offer a rich and challenging programme which will provide useful tools and fresh perspectives to help participants shape museums for years to come.

For more information on the Leaders and Enablers Programmes, see the AIM website: AIM Hallmarks Learning but hurry, the closing date is Monday 16 January 2017 at 9am.