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building ambitious and resilient museums in the east midlands

News: November 2020

As we write this months newsletter, England is entering lockdown 2.0. We want to extend our support to all of you effected by this both professionally and personally. Below is a reminder of support for museums when in a lockdown period, as well as a round up of current training and funding opportunities in the sector.

The MDEM team are still available, so please do get in touch!
Museum Development Updates

MDEM Events

Other Events and Training

Funding News

Sector News

Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities

Museum Development Updates


Lockdown 2.0 - Information for Museums

As you'll be aware lockdown 2.0 starts today. All museums and galleries will have to close until at least Wednesday 2nd December, when the lockdown is set to be reviewed. Although some parks can remain open. You can get an overview of the national restrictions on the government website. 

The furlough scheme will now be extended until March 2021. To be eligible for this extension, employees must have been on the payroll by 30th October, but they do not need to have been furloughed before that date. The furlough scheme will close when England comes out of lockdown, and will then be replaced by the Job Support Scheme.

The government has also announced that businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for Business Grants of up to £3,000 per month, dependent on their rateable value. Further information about this support can be found here.

Resources for Museums

To find an up-to-date list of resources to support museums with lockdown including those created by the Museum development Network, visit the Association of Independent Museums website. 

MDEM created a Site Visit Checklist to support museums undertaking limited sight visits whilst shut due to lockdown restrictions. You can find this resource on the Collections Trust website. 

If you would like any specific support or advice in dealing with your museums current position then please contact the MDEM team. 

Emergency Planning and Covid

MDEM alongside members of the Emergency and Risk Network have been working hard to develop a new Emergency Plan template which encompasses pandemics and is able to respond to the current Covid 19 situation.

The plan will be officially launched in January 2021 alongside a suite of training and resources, but we have made it available to download early due to the new lockdown restrictions.

You can download the plan template and appendices below: You can find all of our Emergency Planning Resources on our website. 

 MDEM Events and Programmes 


Caring for Photographs: Agents of deterioration and handling
When: 10th November 9:30am - 12 noon

Have you every wondered why your photographs fall apart and what you can do to reduce this? This is the on-line course for you. We will look at the ten agents of deterioration as they affect photographic material, going through the simple steps that you can take to reduce their effects and examining handling in detail.

By the end of the session you will understand how the ten agents of deterioration cause photographs to degrade, be able to implement simple steps to slow down how quickly your photographs fall apart and be able to handle your photographic material with confidence. Bring your questions about your photographic collections because your interaction is positively encouraged.

To book your place, please click here.

PR Demystified 
When: 24th November 10:30am - 12:30pm

PR can seem mysterious to some and unattainable to others, as most organisations don’t have a dedicated PR expert on the team. In this session, you’ll gain an understanding of the power of PR and what simple things you can do to raise your profile.

You’ll look at:

  • How to work with the media; what makes a story and why your story should be covered.
  • The process of getting media attention - the purpose of a good press release and what it should cover.
  • And you’ll explore the kind of content press and media want from you, key timings, and how to build relationships with local press.

What will you gain?

  • Understanding what PR can do for you
  • Skills in writing an excellent press release
  • Guidance on how to work with local press

To book your place, please click here. 

Understanding Google Analytics
When: 8th December,  10:30am - 12:30pm

In this session you’ll gain an understanding of the basics of Google Analytics. You’ll work through the dashboard; understanding how to personalise it so that you can report on what you need.

You’ll look at what the data tells you and how to respond to it, paying particular attention to how you can measure your website activity since the lockdown period began in March.

What will you gain?

  • An understanding of what Google Analytics can tell you – how it translates audience behaviour on your website
  • Insight into how to respond to the data
  • Practical guidance on setting up a dashboard

To book your place, please click here.

Object Labelling and Marking an Introduction
When: 20th January,  10:30am - 12:30pm

This bitesize online session will introduce the basic principles of object labelling and marking, including materials and techniques used for different types of objects. We will also briefly discuss how marking and labelling is linked to the Spectrum 5.0 collections management standard.

There is some preparation for this session:

The session is for:

Those new to the principles of safe object marking and labelling or in need of a refreshers of the basics.

To book your place, please click here.

Other Events and Resources

Events, training and resources from other providers.
Seasons for Exchange
When: Now until 13th November
Cost: Free

Explore the programme for Season for Ex-Change, 3 weeks of online events for artists and arts professionals about climate action and climate justice, from 26 October – 13 November, including: 

  • Conversations with artists such as Zena Edwards, Ama Josephine Budge, Selina Thompson 
  • Discussions on the future of fashion, museums and sustainable cities
  • Workshops on climate justice in arts programming, ethical fundraising and producing sustainable events
  • Artist performances and interventions  
All events will be captioned and/or BSL interpreted.

Thriving Communities Launch Event 
When: 10th November
Cost: Free

Join the National Academy for Social Prescribing to launch their new Thriving Communities programme, which will celebrate and support the work of local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups across the country who are supporting communities most impacted by COVID19. The event, which will take place at 12 noon on 10 November 2020, will bring together local groups and organisations to recognise and share their work to support people through COVID19, embrace new ways of involving citizens, simple acts of kindness, and community action which helps people to build on their strengths and community assets. Register your place today.

Decolonising Natural Science Collections
When: 19th November
Cost: Free to members

The Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) is holding a one-day online conference exploring decolonisation work with natural science collections. Over the course of the day, there will be a range of short talks covering case studies, practical suggestions and views from the sector and beyond. There will be opportunities for live Q&A.

Registration details and the full programme can be found here:

Culture Geek Virtual Conference
When: 20th November
Cost: From £48

Since 2012, we’ve been bringing together the people who are at the forefront of digital transformation in museums, galleries, theatres, festivals, publishing and film.

Our events are packed with real actionable advice, giving you the knowledge you need to make more impact with your work.

This year we’ll be bringing the conference direct to your computer. Watch the talks live and then return to them with online access for 12 months.

Arts Marketing Festival
When: 1st - 2nd December
Cost: Various - and we have some bursaries available for East Midlands museums.
We’re excited to bring you a new kind of event. The AMA Arts Marketing Festival is built to be experienced entirely online, together; a space to reflect on challenges, recognise success, and process a year unlike any other.

Together we will be looking at where we are and how we move forward — in our roles and as a sector.

Key events shaping our work are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, and the climate crisis. We’ll be addressing these issues and more as we bring you together with peers, speakers, and interactive opportunities to learn, reflect, move forward positively with confidence.

For more information, 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
Applications Open: 25th November 

From 25th November, National Lottery Grants for Heritage will resume accepting applications for project grants from £3,000-£10,000 and £10,000-£100,000. They are looking for projects with emphasis on organisational resilience and inclusion.

Beginning 8 February 2021, 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 Reopened
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.

We're reopened the fund with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. Grants range from £1,000 - £100,000

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

What’s changed?

Our 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...
Trustees Week

This week is trustees week 2020 and we'd firstly like to thank all of the brilliant trustees to help keep independent museums in the region going.

We wanted to sign post you to some great resources that have been made available: You can find more information about the week and a roundup of resources on the Trustee Week website.
Vocaleyes Launch Museum and Heritage Access 2020 Report

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Museum and Heritage Access 2020 Survey report.

From March to June 2020, together with our friends Stagetext and Autism in Museums, we ran a survey of museum and heritage site visitors who are also users of access facilities, resources and events. Though the UK had just gone into lockdown and museums and heritage sites around the country closed to the public, the survey asked people to reflect on visits to venues that they had made in the previous 12 months. As museums and heritage sites are re-opening in a changed world, the survey report now presents an important benchmark against which we can measure ourselves in the coming months and years.

Because we believe that despite the huge challenges ahead, the museum and heritage sectors have an opportunity to re-build in a more inclusive and visitor-focused way. Nearly all respondents to the survey stated that they would like to visit museums and heritage sites more regularly, and the top three things selected as enablers for this were: more access information (online and available via phone or email enquiry), more accessible events (audio-described, captioned, signed, relaxed or autism-friendly) and better staff awareness, through training, CPD opportunities and above all, good leadership. None of these areas involve capital or major investment, and are all achievable with creativity and collaboration. There are opportunities to share collections in new ways, and include visitors far beyond the museum walls. As we recover and reopen, let’s not leave anyone behind.

To find the full report and more information, please click here. 

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...

Project Manager - Leicester City Council
Salary: £16,117 - £17,364 (fixed term post 18 months - 18 hours per week)
Closing date: 22nd November 

Are you a confident Project Manager who would like work closely with stakeholders and colleagues within the Arts, Museums, Festivals and Events service and play a key role in developing the new community gallery space at the city's flagship Leicester Museum & Art Gallery?

This is an exciting time to join Leicester Museums & Galleries as a new strategic vision is now in place and several significant capital projects are in the pipeline. Although Leicester is already full of world class art and culture, the city council is committed to growth and the vision is to create experiences that make Leicester truly special.

Based at the Town Hall, you will work to develop the gallery telling the stories of Leicester's communities in the recent past at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, taking part in activities across the City, such as public and stakeholder engagement meetings as well as attending project team meetings.

For an informal discussion, or further information regarding this job please contact David Orton by email to or call 0116 4543528.

Curator - John Bunyan Museum & Library, Bedford
Salary: £27,000 - parental leave cover
Closing date: 12th November 

We are seeking to appoint a curator from January 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter to:
- manage the museum, it's collection and team of volunteers;
- work on planned projects; plan and arrange exhibitions, displays and events planned for 2021;
- develop on-line resources;
- build on the current high standards;
- develop the services offered to the wide range of visitors;
- and seek to expand the range of audiences and number of visitors.

[This post could be a job share divided into a Collections and Museums Officer and a Projects and Engagement Officer.]

This is a temporary one year appointment to cover for maternity leave.

For an Information Pack and Application Form, contact:
Mrs C A Protheroe (Chairperson John Bunyan Museum & Library),
Tel: 01234 378806
or email

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

We'll be back soon with more Museum Development East Midlands news.

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