A FREE conference to help build resilience

Part of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s Major Partner Museum (MPM) and
Museum Development (MD) programmes.

Thursday 17 March 10.00am – 4.30pm and

Friday 18 March 10.00am – 4.00pm

Registration and refreshments will be available from 9.30am on both days. 

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, Shropshire, TF8 7DQ



Come along to the beautiful Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire for a two day conference to network with museum colleagues, hear from speakers with a wealth of experience and participate in forward thinking workshops.

We have put together a packed, informative and interesting agenda for the two days and hope that you can attend both. However if your time is limited you may choose to come for just one day; unless you are in receipt of a bursary.



We are delighted to be able to offer 20 bursaries of £50 each towards travel costs. To gain the most from the conference, recipients must attend for the full two days and the cost of overnight accommodation on Thursday 17 March is also included in addition to the travel bursary. 

To apply for a bursary, simply complete the application form and return to no later than 5pm on Tuesday 16 February.


DAY ONE: Plenary Sessions


What’s going on in the world of fundraising - what do you need to know?
Learn about the key challenges, changes and opportunities in successfully accessing funding from a range of different organisations. 
Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research at DSC (Directory of Social Change)  

How can Grants for the Arts support your museum? 
With awards from £1,000 to £100,000 to support arts related activities, hear all about the opportunities to develop arts activities within your museum. 
Wendy Parry, Relationship Manager at Arts Council England 

Top Tips for writing grant applications.
Learn the dos and don’ts when submitting fundraising applications, in an informative and interactive group session.
Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research at DSC (Directory of Social Change)  


How diverse are museums?
What will the results of the Equality and Diversity Needs Assessment survey, commissioned by West Midlands Museum Development tell us? What are the benefits to museums in developing a diverse workforce?
Alyson Malach, Equality and Diversity UK

Open to all?
Discover some practical tips and guidance to understanding how inclusive your museum is to those with a range of access needs including, physical, sensory and cognitive.
Ann Johnson, Managing Director of Wave-length social marketing CIC

Faith in Birmingham.
Hear how Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery engaged with local faith communities within the city and how this has inspired a new exhibition.
Adam Jaffer, Curator of World Cultures

Q & A session

And our last session of the day...

Commercialising Collections:

Protection is the best policy.
Gain insight into the importance of protecting your IP (intellectual property) and ensuring you understand the principles of copyright. 
Kevin Gosling, CEO the Collections Trust

The rocky road to licensing.
Helping you to avoid the pitfalls, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will share the challenges and opportunities they experienced when licencing their collection.
Sue Croxford, Head of Retail  

Q & A session




Developing an Entrepreneurial Independent Trust

Tony Butler Executive Director at Derby Museums will share his experiences in moving from Local Authority to independent Trust. What are the key skills and attributes needed to make this change; what do you need to do differently?


The Art of Creative Thinking

Author Rod Judkins from St Martin’s College of Art will take you through this session to investigate creative thinking methods which you can take back to your museum. If you’ve ever suffered from a lack of ideas, constantly shifting trends or been expected to achieve wonders on a meagre budget, this session is for you.


Open the window of fantasy to know what reality can bring.

Raul D. Arellano


Fundraising Surgeries

This is your opportunity to sit down for a one to one session with
Wendy Parry, Relationship Manager at Arts Council England
and Denise Lillya, Research Manager for DSC (Directory of Social Change) and author of
‘The Guide to UK Corporate Giving’.
Explore funding streams available to your museum from a variety of sources.


DAY TWO: Plenary Sessions

The Road to Resilience

Helping your museum to prosper.
Launched in June 2015, the AIM 'Hallmarks of Prospering Museums' is a framework which helps identify what makes successful heritage organisations prosper and thrive. AIM hopes that the eight Hallmarks will be used by museums to start a “creative conversation which will help museums in developing their work.”
Helen Wilkinson Assistant Director AIM

Super Top Ten.
Have you ever wondered how to be ‘entrepreneurial’? This session will give you a ‘head start as a cultural entrepreneur’ based on practical experience.
Andrew Lovett, CEO Black Country Living Museum

Q & A session

And the last conference session...

Taking a ‘fresh perspective’

Change for change sake?
Learn about best practice strategies for dealing with change; when to implement change and how to motivate and upskill your teams to adapt, develop and thrive in a changing sector.
Wanjiku Nyachae, Independent Organisational, Professional & Personal Development Specialist

Managing change with your eyes open.
Hear about the challenges of managing change; understand the implications and the importance of not underestimating the level of investment required, in time, money and energy.
Gary Hall, CEO Culture Coventry  




Successful Volunteering

Richard Gough, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust will share research into volunteering and take you through successful strategies for engaging corporate volunteers, by linking in to the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. 

We hope that Richard will be joined by a museum colleague to share further research.


Swerving the Shredder

Estelle Neuman, Associate Trainer at DSC (Directory of Social Change). Getting your funding application right is a key ‘win strategy’ of any museum. Estelle will help you review, discuss and start to fine tune and improve on the methods and techniques you have available to develop and submit winning applications.


Ensuring your Event is a Success

Traci Dix Williams, Director of Operations and Stuart Crow, Operations Manager, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Benefit from Traci and Stuart’s experience of running numerous events over many years. This session will give you lots of practical tips for developing an event strategy, measuring success and delivering results.


Please note conference agenda maybe subject to change.


"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change"

Charles Darwin