January news from MDEM
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building ambitious and resilient museums in the east midlands

News: January 2021

I’m not sure ‘Happy New Year’ is the appropriate phrase, but wishing you all a healthy and better year in 2021.

Being back in lockdown has so many challenges again for you all, so at MDEM we are trying to offer flexible and relevant support to museums struggling to plan reopening / activity going forward and all the issues that raises.  The pandemic has certainly forced MDEM into fast-tracking new ways of working by providing networking meetings, support and training online.  Much of this has worked incredibly effectively and no doubt will continue when we return to some kind of normality.  Certainly, it seems many museums find it easier to access online support such as training / networks, as it reduces time spent travelling and travel costs and of course reduces the environmental impact.  I anticipate that, as a result, MDEM will provide a more blended offer of face-to-face and online support to museums in future.

Looking at what’s coming up, over the next year MDEM will be addressing issues that have been exposed during the pandemic, such as volunteer / trustee recruitment and succession planning, income generation and funding.  We plan to offer our own Recovery Grants again and continue to support museums to apply for funding from national sources.   Sarah and I contributed to a session at the virtual Museums Association (MA) conference in autumn 2019 about the impact of C-19 on the sector using evidence gathered directly from museums in our region as well as responses to the Organisational Heath Check – thanks to those that have completed the Health Check so far.  As a consequence, there has been much interest in the findings from the likes of Dept. Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE), MA and Assoc. of Independent Museums (AIM).  Also, we lobbied ACE and DCMS for a lower threshold for Culture Recovery Funds (CRF) grants, demonstrating that smaller amounts are more relevant for some museums to apply for and still make a significant impact.  The threshold is still too high in my opinion, but I hope many of you will consider applying to CRF 2 before the deadline this month.

All the very best for another tough month and keep in touch. 

Claire Browne, MDEM Manager
Museum Development Updates

MDEM Events

Other Events and Training

Funding News

Sector News

Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities

 Museum Development Updates

MDEM Grants

From 1st April 2021, MDEM will be offering:

Small Grants up to £1500
Claire Browne is happy to discuss applications in advance of submission

Collections Access Grants up to £1000
Please discuss in advance with Anita Hollinshead, Regional Collections Adviser for MDEM –

Museum Recovery Grants – maximum grant limit to be confirmed in March.
Examples of grants awarded this year:

Recovery Grants (in partnership with Art Fund)
Daventry Museum received £9,340 for a revamp of the website, creating more content and improving usability and engagement; includes new searchable museum collection related to themes of museum.  This will reach new and old audiences especially while the museum in closed due to Covid-19.

Small Grants
Royal Crown Derby received £1500 towards purchasing  a digital screen enabling realisation of outreach project and for use in the gallery.

Foxton Canal Museum received £900 to cover ‘ready to open costs’ including PPE and new signage
Bakewell Old House Museum received £1,499 for reopening costs including volunteer training to build confidence for reopening, PPE and creating a safe environment for returning volunteers

Collections Access Grants 
The Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington was awarded £400 for new environmental monitoring equipment to improve collections care

Erewash Museum received a grant of £1000 to help purchase archival storage materials and exhibition panels for their project to identify, scope, catalogue and display the ephemera collection from Stanton Ironworks.

 MDEM Events and Programmes 

Emergency Risk Network Group - Spring Meeting
When: 9th February, 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Join MDEM for the Spring Meeting of the Emergency and Risk Network in the East Midlands.

The agenda will include the launch of our new emergency template; a presentation by Emma Dadson from Harwell on 'How to test your emergency plan' and a discussion/ Q&A session.

Please note this event is now fully booked.

Writing An Emergency Plan - For Small Museums
When: 23rd February, 10am-12noon

This online workshop will provide a practical framework for writing and updating Emergency Plans for smaller museums.

To book your place, please click here. 

Museum Mentors Network - Spring Catch Up
When: 24th February, 10am-12:30pm

A networking and information sharing event for current and potential Museum Mentors in the East Midlands.

To book your place, please click here. 

Other Events and Resources

Events, training and resources from other providers.

AMA Regional Meeting - East Midlands

When: 27th January 3:30pm - 5pm

Join us to share your experiences, questions and ideas about your organisation’s digital offer during the pandemic. We’d like to hear from you what you think has worked, what has not work and how we can learn from each other to encourage our audiences to take part in our future digital offer. We also want to hear what is your experience and how you are moving on from free to paid digital events.

To book your place, please click here. 

Steps to Sustainability information session

When: 28th January 11am - 12 noon

Are you an ambitious, forward thinking, small to medium sized heritage organisation with an income generating idea? Turn it into reality with Steps to Sustainability, the Social Enterprise Academy’s new National Lottery Heritage Fund project which AIM is partnering on. As well as developing key entrepreneurial and commercial skills, the programme will support you and your organisation to shape and develop a new income generation project, for which you will be eligible to unlock funding of up to £10,000.

To book your place, please click here. 

Brexit, Intellectual Property Rights and Heritage: What you need to know

When: 2nd February 10am-11am

The UK’s departure from the European Union will impact on how heritage organisations manage Intellectual Property Rights. Other issues such as the management of orphan works may also be affected.

This webinar will explore the priorities for heritage organisations with regards to the impact of Brexit on the management, protection, and use of Intellectual Property Rights (copyright, trademarks, patents, and database rights). The session will also cover potential changes to the management of orphan works.

To book your place, please click here. 

Bookmark our Events page to keep up-to-date with the latest listings.

Funding News

A selection of funding opportunities...
National Lottery Grants for Heritage
Opening date: 8th February 2021

Beginning 8 February 2021, National Lottery Grants for Heritage will be accepting applications for funding from £100,000-£250,000 and £250,000-£5m will be resumed. These are for projects which demonstrate that they're building long-term environmental sustainability and inclusion into their plans.

Find out more and see all funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund:

ACE National Lottery Project Grants
National Lottery Project Grants supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations. Until April 2021, the fund will focus on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners.

The fund has been reopened with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. Grants range from £1,000 - £100,000

They have prioritised reopening this programme to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible. 

What’s changed?

The supplementary guidance outlines what has changed to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during Covid-19. 

You can watch a video designed to help with Project Grant applications here. 

For more information, please click here.

Other News

News and updates from the East Midlands and beyond...
Arts Council England: Creative Lowdown

The New Year is now well upon us and we’re back with another bumper selection of creative activities and opportunities to break up the monotony of being at home. From inspiration for home schooling, weekly wellbeing sessions through to virtual tours and dance sessions, there is lots to sink your teeth into this week.

Take a look for inspiration from across the cultural sector.

Museums Association: What activities are museums offering for the latest lockdown?

Since the current national lockdown was announced on 4 January, museums have been resilient in adapting to the challenges that the restrictions bring. Museums Journal speaks to organisations across the UK to find out how they are using digital innovation and creative strategies to engage audiences while the doors are shut..

Take a look for inspiration from museums.

These news items only scratch the surface of our Regional News, find the stories we couldn't fit in on our News page and bookmark it to refer back to.

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Jobs, contracts and volunteering opportunities from around the East Midlands...

Video & Digital Content Producer - Derby Museums
Salary: £18,000 (freelance 10 months from March 2021)
Closing date: 31st January, 5pm
Job Type: Part time

Are you a highly experienced, organised and creative video maker that is passionate about engaging audiences and potential customers through digital content?

Derby Museums is looking for a highly organised Video and Digital Content Producer to plan, coordinate and create high quality video and digital content to support the engagement of audiences and promotion of the commercial offerings across Derby Museums.

Please click here for further details and how to apply.

Marketing & Digital Engagement Assistant - Derby Museums
Salary: £18,217 - £20,302 p/a pro rata
Deadline: 31st January 2021
Job Type: Part time (fixed term until March 2022)

Are you passionate about growing audiences for arts and museums? Are you a great communicator full of imaginative ideas? Do you have experience of creating engaging social media campaigns for a range of audiences? Then Derby Museums wants to hear from you!

Derby Museums is looking for an enthusiastic communicator with a creative eye to help us deliver engaging communications as part of a dynamic team in the lead up to the launch of the new Museum of Making at the Silk Mill.

For an informal conversation about the post contact Vicky Washington on

For further details on how to apply, job description & application form please click here

Research Panel - National Lottery Heritage Fund
Salary: Voluntary
Closing date: 31st March 2021

At the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re working to improve how people apply for and manage their funding. To do this, we’re conducting research with a wide range of people to make sure our new designs are inclusive and accessible. Anyone who takes part in our research will be sent a voucher to thank them for their time.

If you would be interested in helping to improve these experiences, please fill in this form to join our research panel or email: if you have any questions or would like to learn more.

Trustees - Metheringham Airfield
Salary: Voluntary
Closing date: 31st January 2021

Metheringham Airfield are looking for potential Trustees who are willing to be actively involved in the Museum’s development, who share their passion and commitment, have an interest in military & aviation history and who have the knowledge and experience to support the work of the Museum.

Applications are welcomed from candidates with the relevant skills and expertise to undertake the role effectively, particularly candidates who have a background in one or more of the following:
Museum/heritage/charity management, marketing, events, education, volunteer management, retail, exhibition design or project management.

Applications of interest, consisting of a C.V. together with a supporting statement (maximum 2 sides of A4) and names of two referees, should be sent by email to

Outreach Officer - Leicester City Council Museums & Galleries Service
Salary: £11,019 - £12,245 per annum
Job type:  Part time, Fixed term (9 months)
Closing date: 31st January 2021

Are you a 'people person' with excellent communication skills who would like to play a key role in supporting the delivery of the museum service community engagement programme?

This is fantastic opportunity for an Outreach Officer to work closely with and support the Community Engagement Officer with the delivery of the service's Community Engagement Programme.

To find out more about this role, click here

Heritage Engagement Officer - Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust
Salary: £10,000 pro rata
Job type:  Part Time, permanent
Closing date: 31st January 2021

With the recent announcement on national television of the £3.45m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund - and match-funding bringing the total to £5m – we are looking for an enthusiastic person to help us deliver the “Taylor’s: saving the last major bellfoundry in Britain” funded project.

With knowledge or experience working with community outreach or the heritage sector you will coordinate our engagement programme, and help manage our heritage assets and museum retail activities. This is a part-time role funded for four years requiring fresh and creative thinking and the ability to engage with a wide range of community and schools groups.

The role will suit you if you are keen to progress your career in the community outreach or heritage sector and you are a friendly and helpful person with some experience delivering community grant funded projects.

For a full role profile and to find out more about our company, please look on our website.

To apply, please send a CV and letter explaining your background/interest in the role to our retained HR provider:

Do you have a job, commission or volunteering opportunity that you would like to advertise? Email Laura with full details and your vacancy could appear on our website and in our next e-newsletter.
From all of us at Museum Development East Midlands - thank you for reading

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