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

News: March 2021

Welcome to this month’s MDEM newsletter. After the Government’s announcement on the 22 February, many museums will be planning to reopen from 17 May and some even earlier where they have outside venues. We will continue to support you with grants, information and advice towards planning your reopening so get in touch if you have any queries/ specific needs and keep an eye on the MDEM website.  At MDEM we are finalising plans for our programme delivery from April and aim to focus on areas of need highlighted by the pandemic.  This includes income generation, volunteer development, trustee succession planning, new ways to interpret collections, reviewing collections and their relevance, as well as focusing on collections care – particularly protecting against pests!  Anita Hollinshead, MDEM regional collections adviser, will be setting up a regional pests network where anyone can join the conversation about preventing and tackling pests; particularly relevant where issues have arisen due to collections being out of sight during the various lockdowns.  The pandemic has certainly impacted museum volunteers and we intend to focus on volunteer recruitment, skills, diversification and retention this coming year.  I’ll be representing Museum Development at a national meeting this month to discuss the impact of Covid on volunteering across all types of museums, so I hope this will lead to some positive action. MDEM is conducting a short survey this week about the volunteer situation at regional heritage/ museum sites – this will not only inform our volunteer development support but will give us evidence of issues on the ground to inform advocacy.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete it!

Claire Browne, Manager, MDEM
Museum Development Updates

MDEM Events

Other Events and Training

Funding News

Sector News

Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities

 Museum Development Updates

MDEM Volunteering Survey 2021 – Museum Responses Needed

Volunteering in museums has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and the needs of museums in our region have evolved. As such we want to ask your organisation to complete a short survey which seeks to gather information about volunteering at all types of museums including those run wholly by volunteers or those with paid staff alongside a volunteer workforce.  This will help MDEM understand how to shape our development programmes from April 2021 so that support can best respond to sector needs across the region.

This short survey is designed to explore how your museum’s volunteering practice has changed over the last 12 months and focus on what kind of support you need to help build organisational resilience in this area. We welcome responses from all types of museums in the region.

Please complete the survey by clicking here:  

The deadline is the 12th March. All responses will remain anonymous in any reporting, and survey results will be published in April 2021.
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 


East Midlands Museum Accreditation Q & A 
When: 2nd March, 10am - 11am
This online Q and A session will provide an update on the planned re-opening of the Accreditation scheme in April 2021 and what this means for the museums within the scheme or wanting to join. There will be plenty of opportunity for museums to ask questions at the event and you are also able to submit them in advance as part of your booking.


Unlocking Our Sound Heritage: Preserving and Using Your Sound Collections
When: 9th March, 10am - 12:30pm
This online workshop will provide an introductory overview for managing sound archives and providing public access. This course is run by the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH) Midlands Hub team and It focusses on what you can do to preserve and use the sound recordings sitting in your museum.


Accreditation and Collections: Policies, Plans and Procedures Part 1
When: 8th April 10:30am - 12noon
Confused about the difference between documentation policy, procedures and planning? In this bitesize session Sarah Brown, Outreach Officer for Collections Trust, will go through the Accreditation requirements for documentation policy (5.1) and the Spectrum primary procedures (5.2) including Documentation planning, signposting to further guidance and examples online. There will opportunities to ask questions throughout.

Accreditation and Collections: Policies, Plans and Procedures Part 2 
When: 15th April 10:30am - 12noon
This session will be led by Anita Hollinshead, Regional Collections Advisor for MDEM, and will look at the Accreditation requirements for a collections development policy, collections care and conservation policy and collections care and conservation plan. There will be handy tips for what to include in your plan and a look at how Benchmarks in Collections Care can be used to inform your planning.

Other Events and Resources

Events, training and resources from other providers.

East Midlands Heritage Volunteering Group
Preparing for the future of volunteer management after COVID-19

When: 26th March 9.45am - 11.45am on Zoom FREE

What are the implications for volunteering as we transition out of ‘lockdown’ from Covid-19?  What might this mean for how we have to change our approach to volunteer engagement? This session will help you find some answers and consider what you need to do to succeed at volunteer engagement in our changed world.

This session is run by the East Midland’s Heritage Volunteering Group, a peer networking forum. It provides an opportunity for colleagues to come together to explore, share, champion and promote best practice in volunteering and volunteer management within our sector. We feed into the national Heritage Volunteering Group.

We do welcome new members and if you would like to dip your toes in, then consider joining us on this training session delivered by Rob Jackson.

For more information or to book on, please contact Amanda on

South West/East Midlands event: Medals in Museum Collections (Part Two)

When: 26th February 10am - 2pm

This event focuses on military medals, documentation, storage and display of museum medal collections and is being hosted by Somerset Museums Service. Attendance is FREE, and the event is open to anyone working or volunteering with museum numismatic collections. Full details attached. Booking is essential - to book a place, please email stating your name and the institution you will be representing.

Miner 2 Major Training Programme - For Nottinghamshire Organisations

The programme aims to support organisations within the nature, heritage and tourism sectors to develop their product to enable visitors to the county to stay longer and spend more while preserving what we have for future generations.

The Miner2Major scheme is funded to work with organisations based or active in the Sherwood Forest area, but as we are running this training in partnership and online we are able to offer the opportunity to a wider audience.

Getting started with FundraisingWhen: 30th March

Introduction to Crowd FundingWhen: 6th April

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...
British Museum Seeks Local Partners

Where we are... is a new UK-wide national programme for young people aged 16–24 that co-designs and co-delivers meaningful local projects in arts and culture. 

Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation(Opens in new window) and covering costs for all involved, the programme aims to engage young people who are under-served in the museum sector.

How it works

Running from 2021–2025, Where we are... will be delivered through a collaborative partnership between the British Museum, a local museum (or cultural organisation), a third sector organisation (charity, community group, social enterprise etc.) and young people.

The programme is currently looking for local museums to apply to become a Key Partner. You can visit their website for more information.

'#MyLocalMuseum’ Campaign - Call to Action

Running until Tuesday 30th March 2021

Towards the end of last year, museums in the North of Cumbria developed a small social media campaign to stay connected to local audiences during lockdown. They generated content and cross promoted content from other museums involved using the hashtag ‘#My Local Museum’.

There was an ambition to run a similar campaign but this time countywide on broad themes that all museums could get involved in.

The aims of the campaign are to:

  • Keep existing visitors engaged with their local museum
  • Promotion to engage new audiences
  • Help museums and local communities to keep connected
  • An opportunity to promote digital content museums may have developed

It would be great to get as many museums involved as possible. Please do take a look at their website for the list of themes they'll be using and more information on how to get involved. 

Royal Crown Derby's 'The Pattern of Life' project

The Pattern of Life project explores what Royal Crown Derby means to the Gypsy, Romany and Traveller people who collect it.

Click below to hear from Patricia in Scotland, who explains that she was inspired to start her collection by admiring her Mother-in-Law's collection:

How did your collection start? Tell us your story at - the first 60 submissions will be entered into a draw and two people will win a lovely Imari Butterfly.

Covid 19 Recovery Grants Report

In response to the pandemic during 2020, Museum Development UK* and The Art Fund worked in partnership to distribute recovery funding to museums across the UK.

The priority was to support the recovery phase of small to medium sized museums. These museums are often located in areas of low cultural engagement, are the main cultural offer in a locality, or based in urban areas with niche collections and specific cultural offers outside large city institutions.

In the East Midlands, Art Fund’s contribution was combined with funding from Museum Development East Midlands totalling £50,000.  During 2020, MDEM funded 7 projects benefitting 10 museums across the region with grants from £2,408 to £10,000.  The majority of grants funded new digital engagement projects as well as development of a museum’s retail offer to increase income levels, and new interpretation methods ready for reopening.
The investment programme supported organisational resilience and helped museums to reopen safely and effectively, to meet audience needs and expectations and to develop a sustainable offer for the future.  MDEM will again be offering grants to support recovery and reopening from April 2021 but the details have yet to be confirmed.  Keep an eye on the MDEM website for up to date information.
Projects are still ongoing, but this quantitative evaluation report shows the scope of awards and grant distribution across the UK.
*Museum Development UK (MDUK) brings together Museum Development providers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and allows for a shared understanding of the national picture. MDUK is a network of all national Museum Development providers and practitioners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its overarching goal is to support diverse, inclusive and innovative museums that welcome people from all backgrounds. Together it creates a thriving museum sector by raising standards, driving excellence and supporting people working in 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...

Youth Panel Members (age 16-25) - Kids in Museums
Closing date: 12th March, 5pm
Job Type: Volunteer

Kids in Museums wants to recruit two members to join its Youth Panel. Youth Panel members help Kids in Museums shape future projects and feed into Trustee meetings via our two Young Trustees (aged 18-25), as well as leading their own projects and participating in Kids in Museums activities, such as Takeover Day. This is an opportunity to give young people a voice in an organisation that is committed to making museums and heritage sites better for all children, young people and their families.

To apply for the role, please complete the application form and email to Alison Bowyer, Executive Director, with the subject line 'Youth Panel application' by 5pm on 12 March 2021:

Please click here for further details.

Curator - Crich Tramway Village
Salary: £25,500
Deadline: 9th March 2021
Job Type: Full time, permanent

Crich Tramway Village is the home of the National Tramway Museum, an Accredited Museum with a Designated collection.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, experienced person to join our management team, as our Curator. The successful candidate will manage the curatorial department, including two other members of staff and several volunteers, and will be responsible for collection based work and the care and preservation of our tramcar fleet and associated materials.

Ideally the successful candidate will have experience in collection management techniques, conservation and knowledge of transport collections or a related large-object management field.

To obtain further details and an application form

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.

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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