Want to work differently? A grant from the AIM Hallmarks Awards can help you

Now open for applications, the latest round of the  AIM Hallmarks Awards will make grants totalling around £70,000 in England and just over £20,000 in Wales.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Welsh Government, the AIM Hallmarks Awards offer grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

So, what type of project has been previously funded and how can you ensure you are successful? We talked to Catherine Allan, Chair of Trustees and Co Director from Rhayader Museum & Gallery in Wales who were successful in Round 2 to see how the Awards have benefited them – and what tips they could share to help your application.

Rhayader Museum & Gallery

AIM: Hi Catherine, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you explain why you decided to apply for the AIM Hallmarks Awards please?

CA: At Rhayader Museum and Gallery, we had already identified a project we wanted to work on and I felt that it would fit really well within the grant guidelines and would give us the opportunity to do the work. We had already trialled parts of the project – which was about recording local town and county shows – two years ago with volunteers so knew that what we wanted to do would be possible!

AIM: How did it enable you to work in new ways as an organisation?

CA: There were three aspects to this: using volunteers in new ways, using new technology and – especially – developing new kinds of community involvement. Encouraging people to record their community in various ways allows them to use new technology, take ownership of the process, to feel that their way of life is of value. It gives those who are not so skilled more confidence and improved social networks. It has allowed us to re-engage with sections of our community in ways we haven’t been able to do in a while.

AIM: How does the project AIM has funded fit in with your strategic priorities?

CA: Rhayader Museum and Gallery, has a mission statement which includes promoting participation in arts and heritage activity for social and cultural benefit, encouraging skill sharing and learning and using creative projects to celebrate and represent the area’s distinctive voices. We work in partnership with all ages and abilities to foster a sense of place, worth and confidence. As well as the project fitting in with the mission statement aims, it also fitted in with our aim as a museum, of growing our audience.

AIM: What did you apply to the AIM Hallmarks Awards to fund?

CA: We are a rural area and have four small agricultural shows around small town of Rhayader (population around 2,000.) Rhayader also has a large summer Carnival. Although some of the same people go to and take part in the Carnival, the events are very different in feel and content.

Carnival is a town celebration with a procession, a crowning of the Carnival Queen, visits from other towns with their floats and princesses and lots of people dressing up. Many different organisations take part and visitors come from far and wide. There is food and drink and live music all day coming from the local pubs and the streets are busy from late morning to evening.

The shows are much quieter and are the way the farming community and their families celebrate. Outsiders do come to them but they tend to be very local to the show fields or family members who have left the area. They feature events such as stock judging, handicraft and produce tent, duck and horse racing, pet shows etc. The bar is often a horse box.

It struck me that they also had a much more fragile feel. The shows are only just recovering from the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. Foot and mouth is an ever-present danger, and with proposed changes in EU membership and farm subsidies, I felt we should be doing what we could to record a way of celebrating that might change substantially or even be lost. Recording both projects would also involve doing oral histories and collecting historic documents and photographs where possible.

There will also be film and written records for people to look at in the museum. Our geographic footprint will be improved as more visitors are able to access aspects of these events they may not have before. The project will allow people who would not normally be inclined to go into a museum to do so, or to access our work in different ways. Overall, the project will reflect back the community to itself and allow it to value how unique it is.

AIM: What was the AIM Hallmarks Awards application process like for you?

CA: My colleague, Krysia Bass, and myself both found the process of applying for a grant was much more straight forward than many. I am not a trained fundraiser and found it quite manageable.

AIM: That’s good to hear Catherine – so what advice or tips would you give to other organisations applying for an AIM Hallmarks Award in Round 3?

CA: I would say that the most important thing is to find a project you feel passionate about. If you don’t really care…why should anyone else? The second thing is obvious – make sure that what you want to do fits with AIM’s criteria. And lastly, have all the fairly tedious but necessary information and statistics about your organisation to hand.

AIM: We are looking forward to seeing how this unique project develops Catherine – so what do you think the legacy of the AIM Hallmarks Award will be for the museum and your community?

CA: I would say that the main legacies for our community will be that participants will be positively affected by the process of recording the shows. People will be able to look at what we produce and remember their experiences. Their children will be able to look back in time and see and hear significant people in their locality.

I hope we will benefit from a raised profile and good will. We will also be able to capture a way of life for future generations to learn from and enjoy finding out about. As we are a largely volunteer run organisation. I anticipate that people will see the value in our work and come forward to help us in the way they did when we were set up as a community arts organisation and community museum.

AIM: Thanks for your time Catherine. Finally, what would you say to encourage other AIM members to apply for an AIM Hallmarks Award?

CA: I would encourage people to go for the award. You will find the process easier than most. It will help you realise a project you feel passionate about or will help you to develop one. That in turn will allow you to revisit and re-evaluate who you are and what you do.

Application information for the AIM Hallmarks Awards

Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017 – but how could you use an award in your museum?

The AIM Hallmarks Awards can be used by successful applicants in two distinct ways:

*To fund an organisational review: This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply for this funding for support in planning future development

*To contribute to a project that supports applicant organisations to behave or develop differently: Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the AIM Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards have already helped AIM members in England and Wales to review their organisational health or to develop new ways of working and we strongly encourage potential applicants to discuss their ideas with AIM’s Assistant Director, Helen Wilkinson, before applying.

You can contact Helen by email: helenw@aim-museums.co.uk or by phone on: 0771 966 7102

All information about the AIM Hallmarks Awards including guidance notes and application form can be found on the AIM Hallmarks Awards page.

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March AIM Member Trustee Vacancies

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.


Charles Dickens Museum (London)

We are looking for up to four new members for the Board, with the ability to think strategically, to review management reports and financial information, to assess and manage risk, and to develop sound forward plans to ensure an exciting and sustainable future for the Museum. Significant experience in at least one of the following areas:

Finance: applicants with accountancy qualifications would be particularly welcome.

Museum collections and curatorial matters.

Retail: helping the Museum to maximise income from its shop, online sales, and café.

Social inclusion: connecting Dickens’s work and writings on social deprivation with modern day issues

Contact details for applicants to find out more:  Cindy Sughrue, Director, Charles Dickens Museum


Further Information http://dickensmuseum.com/pages/vacancies-at-the-dickens-museum

Museum Website http://dickensmuseum.com

Number of vacancies: 4 meetings per annum/time commitment: 6 meetings and one Away Day

Daytime or evening meetings: afternoon/evening

Closing date: 24 April 2017


Wiltshire Museum (Devizes)

The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has outstanding collections of national and local importance. Run by a charity founded in 1853 we are examining exciting new opportunities and are seeking new trustees to help shape our future. We are particularly interested in hearing from you if you have skills or experience in marketing, audience development, developing projects or assisting with fundraising. However, if you have other skills that you can offer, then please do get in touch.

Contact details for applicants to find out more: www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/news/index.php?Action=8&id=194&page=0

Museum Website www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

Number of vacancies: 2 Number of meetings per annum/time commitment: 5 Daytime or evening meetings: Evening

Closing date: 7 April


Cogges Heritage Trust (Oxfordshire)

We are looking for someone who: is willing to challenge, brings new ideas and new perceptions to Cogges • has a youthful approach, irrespective of their age • demonstrates entrepreneurial qualities All Trustees must be able to exhibit: • integrity • a commitment to the organisation and its objectives • an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship • a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as a trustee. This includes attending several Board Meetings per year alongside Committee Meetings. A trustee also undertakes tasks linked to projects which are borne out of the Board and Committee Meetings • strategic vision • good, independent judgement • an ability to think creatively • willingness to speak their mind • an ability to work effectively as a member of a team

Museum Website http://www.cogges.org.uk/

Number of Vacancies 2 Number of Meetings 12 Mainly evenings

Contact Details for applicants to find out more:

Richard Munro munro@clara.co.uk Potential trustees are also invited to attend the Private View of Cogges’ Artist in Residence on 31st March 6pm to 8pm

Closing Date

30th April 2017


Pen Museum (Birmingham)

Interest in and commitment to the heritage of the Steel Pen Trade and Birmingham more widely • A readiness and ability to play a role in fundraising/development activities • Fair, impartial and open to new ideas Skills • The ability to think creatively and strategically, demonstrating good judgment and analytical ability • Good communication, team-working, and interpersonal skills, demonstrating tact, diplomacy and the ability to build and manage strong relationships and networks • An ability to command respect among local, regional and national stakeholders – acting as an ambassador for the Association. We are looking to recruit new Trustees to join our established board to help steer the organisation through its next exciting phase. We would like to hear from people with strong backgrounds in leadership and development.

Museum Website http://penmuseum.org.uk/

Contact Details Nigel Evans nigel.evans@penmuseum.org.uk

Number of Vacancies 4 Number of Meetings 6 meetings around 2 hours each in the Evening

Closing Date

01 May 2017

view into the melon ground

Image: Courtesy of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust


Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust (Birmingham area)

A Trustee/Hon. Treasurer to maintain an overview of the financial affairs and to prepare for annual audits. We need accountant level support, especially to drive through the transition to more modern software and systems integrated with our growing café, retail and membership/volunteer base. We are a very small charity with minimal staff but loyal volunteers – who ably manage day to day transactions and management, but need help to go ‘cloudwards’. 4 trustee meetings per year, but more time likely to be needed to effect the change.”

Website http://castlebromwichhallgardens.org.uk/

Contact Details

Genmanagercbhgt@gmail.com and Simon Cleaver, Chair of Trustees sjcleaver52@gmail.com

Number of Vacancies 1 Number of Meetings 4 and preparation of accounts etc. Evening Meetings

Closing Date

Open until position filled


Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust (Somerset)

The Trust is looking for new Trustees too continue and to build upon the work the that has been ongoing for the past 50 years; that of keeping alive the history and importance of the Somerset and Dorset Railway through preservation, custodianship, display and interpretation of material evidence. We are seeking a new generation of Trustees to assist in developing the Trust for the future. All applicants are welcome; we are particularly interested in hearing from those with experience in the following: Development Planning (preferably with some knowledge of HLF funding), Forward Planning, Management of Volunteers (Including Recruitment) and Publicity/Press.

Website http://www.sdrt.org/

Number of Vacancies 4 Number of Meetings 6 Board Daytime Meetings

Contact Details

chairman@sdrt.org Godfrey Baker Tel. 01308 424630 Chairman-Godfrey Baker

Closing Date



Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections (Hampshire)

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.

Website http://www.gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk/

Number of Vacancies 1 Number of Meetings 8 daytime meetings plus occasional visits

Contact Details Chairman of Trustees, Dr Rosemary Irwin  Emmail: rosemaryshirwin@gmail.com

Closing Date



Coldharbour Mill Trust (Devon)

We’re looking to recruit trustees with experience and expertise primarily in business/finance management, marketing/PR/events management, fund-raising/income generation, heritage management/museum development, building project management. Also in retail, catering, law, textile production/engineering, education. Established 1982 in an 18th century former spinning mill, this small independent museum relies chiefly on donations, grants and self-generated income from admissions and events. Our USP is that visitors see yarn and textile production on vintage machinery, also the factory’s original power sources. A recent substantive HLF grant kick-started an ambitious long-term Development Plan, aiming to establish our Museum as premier textile heritage centre in SW UK.

Website https://www.coldharbourmill.org.uk/

Number of Vacancies 4 Number of Meetings

12 daytime midweek board meetings approx 2 hours, plus committee/working party meetings as required

Contact Details

For more information or to register interest, please contact Mrs S G Wasfi, Board Secretary, c/o the address given above, or email: sgwasfi@btinternet.com

Closing Date



Consultants Appointed for Diversifying Museum Visitors Project

Julie Aldridge Associates with Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis have been appointed to undertake a ground breaking project that will help museums to increase the diversity of their visitors.

The key focus of the project will be on providing tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change in their organisations to achieve this. It will focus on how to attract more people to a museum’s core offer, rather than engaging with them through special projects, which are increasingly challenging to sustain in the current financial climate. The consultants will be working directly with museums, using co-production techniques, to investigate the challenges and develop ways of helping museums make the progress they want to in this area.

The project is being led by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM). The project steering group includes AIM and four other organisations who are funding the project – Arts Council England, the Museums Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Northern Ireland – as well as the Museums Association and people working in museums that have specialised in this area. The project will cover museums of all types, across the whole UK.

Black Country Living Museum

Image: Courtesy of Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director of AIM, said “There has been a huge amount of interest in this project already. By attracting new audiences, museums better fulfil their missions and increase their sustainability, so it is an extremely important area on which to focus. AIM’s 2016 research into the impact of admission charges, ‘Taking Charge’, showed that free admission is not enough to attract more diverse visitors by itself. We know that lots of museums, whether free-entry or charging for admission, are very committed to diversifying their visitors, but it often seems hard to achieve. This project will look at why that is and how some museums have overcome those challenges.”

Julie Aldridge Associates with Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis were appointed from a very strong field, after an open call for proposals. Julie Aldridge commented, “We’re delighted to be appointed to work on this significant and timely programme.  We’ve come together as a trio of consultants to combine experience – across visitor development, diversity and inclusion, research, and producing resources and development programmes – to support and enable museums to achieve their ambitions.”

“We were particularly interested in taking part due to the co-creation emphasis that the steering group suggested for this work.  We believe this approach is vital to creating something that works well for a broad mix of museums and helps overcome both internal and external barriers.  We will shortly be announcing opportunities to get involved in the project and will be looking for people interested in exploring it with us, to share knowledge, inspire ideas, and to try out, test, and help shape the development of a practical toolkit designed to support people to make a significant impact in diversifying museum visitors.”

The results of the research are expected to be launched in the Autumn.


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Participants In Round 2 Of The AIM Leaders And Enablers Programme Announced

We are delighted to announce the participants in Round 2 of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme. Both programmes aim to equip participants to help museums prosper using the AIM Hallmarks and the programmes 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. Participants on the Leaders programme are either museum directors or senior managers, while the Enablers are museum development staff and consultants.

Both groups will take part in a series of Residential learning events over the coming months, with the opportunity to support each other through Action Learning sets. 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.

The programmes have been supported by Arts Council England with additional funding support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and AIM. AIM would like to congratulate all successful candidates taking part in both programmes.

Beamish Museum 1900s Town

Participants from across the UK are taking part in the 2017 AIM Leaders and Enablers Programme (Photo credit: Beamish Museum)

The participants are:


Anthony Hayes – Volunteer and Operations Manager, the Pen Museum

Chris Price – General Manager and Director, North York Moors Railway

Celyn Gurden-Williams – Head of People Development, Beamish Living Museum of the North

Ernestos Karydis – Manager, Arundel Museum

Margaret Harrison – Collections Manager, Canal and River Trust

Miranda Rowlands – Shared Enterprise Project Officer, Norfolk Museums Service

Rebecca Nash – Director, Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive

Sarah Bardwell – General Director, Britten-Pears Foundation

Tonia Collett – Museum Manager, the Tudor House Museum

Vicky Hope-Walker – Project Manager, National Paralympic Heritage Trust

Victoria Rogers – Museum Manager, Cardiff Story Museum

Wesley Salton – Head of Development, London Transport Museum


 Working in Museum Development:

 Bryony Robbins – Museum Development Officer, Cornwall Museums Partnership

Claire Walsh – Hertfordshire Museum Development Officer

Liz Denton – Museum Development Yorkshire

Lynn Podmore – Museum Development, Conwy

Lynsey Jones – Museum Development North West

Rachel Bellamy – Community Heritage and Museums Development Officer for Somerset

 And working independently:

 Claire Turner – independent consultant

Dana Andrew – independent consultant

Fiona Marshall – independent consultant

Jenny Williams – from Take the Space creative agency

Mairead O’Rourke – independent consultant

Kate Elliott – DBA consulting

Rachel Souhami – independent consultant


ACE AIM EF Logos for HM LE

Opportunity to take part on AIM Leaders

Unfortunately, one of our participants on the Leaders programme has had to withdraw because of unforeseen personal circumstances, so we have the possibility of a last-minute place for a leader from an Accredited museum, in either England, Scotland or Wales. If you are interested, please contact Helen Wilkinson, helenw@aim-museums.co.uk as soon as possible for further information.


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

Launch Of A New Peer Learning Network – The Happy Museum Affiliate Scheme

Since 2011 the Happy Museum Project has been bringing together thinking around sustainability and wellbeing. The project has explored how these, together, offer an approach to creating more sustainable and resilient museums and communities. The project worked with a growing number of individuals and museums through funded commissions, peer learning, open workshops and the creation and sharing of a suite of tools and resources.


In late 2014 the project published a 5-year Plan outlining a programme of activity at the completion of they intend to disband.  A key element of this programme, the new Affiliate Scheme, offers the opportunity for a wider network of individuals and organisations to connect with, and contribute to, the development of Happy Museum thinking and practice. It will create a peer learning network which will:

*Work with a positive frame for practical action which puts societal wellbeing at its heart

*Form a supportive and collaborative group in which to share practice and build learning

*Encourage exploration of the particular role of museums and culture in addressing the big issues – such as climate change and social justice

*Connect with relevant thinkers in fields such as economics, ecology and psychology

*Provide the opportunity to experiment, innovate, reflect, connect and play


Affiliates may be cultural organisations as well as museums. They may be departments. They may be individuals working with or in a museum/cultural organisation.

“The [Affiliate Scheme] understands that museums are well-placed to open up wider societal conversations about difficult and challenging topics and should model this by developing resilience in their own staff and communities…it acknowledges that investment in people is key!” Kate Forde, Senior Curator, Wellcome Trust

The scheme will be underpinned by the principles of give and gain developed by Project Phakama in ground-breaking work in South Africa. Through this process ‘learning becomes two-way; everyone has something they can give to the project and everyone has something to gain. And through this interchange of skills, knowledge, information and ideas, everyone becomes both student and teacher.’

The aim is to keep the scheme light touch and financially, organisationally and individually sustainable, taking ideas from the sharing and gift economy (how about museum B&B where host organisations offer accommodation to visiting peers?) and open source learning – including online and social media alongside face-to-face gatherings.

Read more about the scheme and how to submit an Expression of Interest by the deadline of Wednesday 7 December.  Please direct any queries to Hilary Jennings at happymuseumproject@gmail.com



Increase Your Knowledge And Skills In 2017 With AIM

If you are looking to increase your professional knowledge and skills to enable you and the museums that you lead or support to flourish in 2017, then make sure you apply for the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme which is now open for applications.

You might be a Museum Director who wants to build a supportive network of peers facing similar challenges – or to share ideas – or perhaps you are a Museum Development Officer or Consultant looking to extend your range of tools to resolve dilemmas and address complex issues. Whatever your role, the range of practical tools, ongoing support and new networks will inspire you with new ideas and enhance your confidence.

The AIM Hallmarks Learning Programme has been developed to address the needs of those who lead or support museums and is delivered on behalf of AIM by Ruth Lesirge and Hilary Barnard: highly experienced consultants with a strong track record of supporting chief executives from across the voluntary sector.


The learning programme is delivered over a series of short residentials to make it as easy as possible to fit in around work and personal commitments and participants in Round 1 commented that they appreciated the flexibility of the programme.

Each residential features expert guest speakers; usually one from the museum sector and one from the broader voluntary sector to offer a rich range of perspectives and we will be announcing our 2017 schedule of speakers very soon.

There are 12 places on each of the programmes for people working in or for museums in England, supported by Arts Council England. There are 2 places for museum leaders working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, supported by AIM. If you work in a museum development role in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and are interested in the Enablers programme, please contact us to discuss the possibility of a self-funded place.


Round 2 of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme is now open for applications with a closing date of 9 January 2016 and further information including the benefits of participating, scheduled dates for the residential and costs and eligibility are available to download below and from the AIM website:

Leaders – Programme Outline: Leaders – Programme Outline PDF

Enablers – Programme Outline: Enablers – Programme Outline PDF

Full information on the AIM website: AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme


Autumn Statement Brings Good News For Sector

AIM is delighted by today’s announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that the new museums and galleries tax relief will be expanded to include permanent exhibitions.

The new tax relief, which starts in April 2017, was originally only intended to be available for temporary and touring exhibitions.

However, AIM initiated a campaign to include permanent exhibitions in the relief, arguing that the majority of museums would not have been able to benefit from a scheme limited to temporary and touring exhibitions.

The campaign was given strong support by colleagues across the museum sector and we know that its success is down to the fact that the sector presented such a strong and united argument. AIM is very grateful to everyone in museums and support organisations who supported the campaign, writing to their MPs and responding to the consultation.


Image: Exhibition at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

The rates of relief will be set at 20% for non-touring exhibitions and 25% for touring exhibitions. The relief will be capped at £500,000 of qualifying expenditure per exhibition, meaning that museums will be able to claim up to a maximum of £80,000 of relief for a non-touring exhibition or £100,000 if it is toured (as with all the creative sector tax reliefs, relief is available on a maximum of 80% of qualifying expenditure).

The relief will be available from 1 April 2017 and will initially expire in 2022, although there will be scope for its extension.

The government plans to publish a response to the consultation shortly, which will contain more detailed information on the proposed definitions, while draft legislation will also be published for comment in December.

The Autumn Statement also included funding for cultural and heritage projects including a grant to restore Wentworth Woodhouse, a historic house in South Yorkshire.

For full details see: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-2016



AIM Survey 2016: Please Tell Us What You Think

We are thinking about how AIM can better help heritage organisations prosper in the next few years and we’d really like to know what you think. We’ve put together a survey to help you share your views with us and we’d be grateful if you would take five or ten minutes to complete it.

You are welcome to complete the survey even if you are not an AIM member.

Survey link: AIM Membership Survey 2016

Last time we asked you to complete a survey like this (in 2014) we were thrilled at the response and it made a big difference to what we do. The results were used by AIM Council to help develop our planning for 2015-18 and helped us create the Hallmarks of Prospering Museums.

It also helped us to secure the £900,000 investment from Arts Council England and funds from the Welsh Government, which are being used now through our Hallmarks programmes of leadership development, grants and governance support. Most of all – it helps us understand your challenges and how we can do more to help you. 


The survey is primarily designed for people working in or supporting heritage organisations, so some of the questions may not be relevant if you are a supplier or consultant member (and thank you again to those of our suppliers and consultants who completed our survey for you last year.)

Please consider sharing this link with colleagues in the museum and heritage sector.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to let us know what you think. We will share the results with you in the February Bulletin and on the AIM blog.

If you have thoughts that don’t fit in the survey, please email me as well at tamalie@aim-museums.co.uk 

Tamalie Newbery

Executive Director (AIM)


Your Chance To Shine – Enter the Museums + Heritage Awards 2017

The Museums + Heritage Awards 2017 are now open for entry. Now in their 15th year these prestigious awards give all organisations, regardless of size and budget, the chance to be recognised and to be celebrated for the quality of their work.

Back for its second year is the free to enter Volunteer(s) of the Year Award in partnership with AIM and sponsored by BDRC Continental. This award is a fantastic opportunity to give your volunteers the recognition they deserve and has a very simple and free entry process.


Deadline for entries is 1st February 2017 and once the deadline has passed the hundreds of entries will be whittled down to a shortlist by the esteemed panel of judges made up of seven sector leading lights.

With 11 categories, the awards generate very public recognition for the winners and shortlistees and have been instrumental in helping many to secure funding and support from key stakeholders. Award winners have also enjoyed recognition both locally and further afield as the awards increasingly gain an international profile.

The categories for the 2017 Awards include:

Temporary or Touring Exhibition

Educational Initiative sponsored by schoolzone

Project on a Limited Budget

Innovation sponsored by The Hub

Marketing Campaign sponsored by Volunteer Makers

Trading & Enterprise supported by ACE

Permanent Exhibition sponsored by Martello Media

International Award

Restoration or Conservation

Fundraisers of the Year


The winners are announced at a glittering ceremony, where more than 300 industry professionals gather at the historic staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue in the heart of London to find out who has triumphed. As Anna Preedy, Awards Director, says “These awards really count as they are a direct endorsement by senior industry colleagues whose opinions matter”.

Hall of Fame, Entry Information and Entry Form can all be found on http://awards.museumsandheritage.com/

Deadline for entries – Monday 1 February 2017

Winner’s ceremony – Wednesday 17 May 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London