Conference - date for your diary

Thursday 17 and Friday 18 March

A full two day conference to help museums build resilience will be hosted by Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT).

Come and participate in interactive workshops and be inspired by interesting and informative speakers.

We are pleased to announce that 20 bursaries of £50 each are available to help towards travel costs with accommodation also being provided in a local hotel.

To apply for a Bursary, please email for an application form.


Commissioned Programmes 2016 Update

It has been a busy time for the team finalising details of the programme of commissioned works. We are now pleased to be able to announce more detail on a wide variety of training programmes available.


Access Audits - how accessible is your museum?

Introductory Workshop Wednesday 3 February

10am to 4pm Bantock House, Wolverhampton

Understand how inclusive your museum is to those in your community with a range of access needs including, physical, sensory and cognitive.

An Access Audit will be undertaken, involving a walk around your site to capture the experience of a visit, including a review of the information and range of activities offered to your visitor. The resulting report will share findings and offer reasonable adjustment recommendations on which changes could have most impact.

Access Audits will be undertaken by Wave-length social marketing CIC who regularly carry out audits, training and service reviews based on the needs of customers with a disability.


This will support Section 3 of the Accreditation Standard: Users and their Experiences.


Broadening Digital Horizons - explore what digital technology can offer your museum

A series of one day events created by John Sear of Museum Games will showcase what can be done for free, little cost, or with a budget, to use your specialist knowledge, collections and spaces in new and interesting ways. These workshops will be useful for museums of all sizes and types.

Effective Use of Free Online Tools and More - Friday 12 February

Introduction to Hardware Including iBeacons, Near Field Technology and More – Wednesday 24 February

Introduction to Analogue and Digital Game Theory -  you will create and play games in this session! – Thursday 3 March

10am - 4pm Birmingham venue TBC

All workshops will provide an introduction to the topic, relevant case studies and hands on practical activities.

John can offer advice on how to get your digital aspirations off the ground including sources of funding along with a short mentoring programme for selected museums.

This will support Section 1: Organisational Health and Section 3: Users and their Experiences of the Accreditation Standard.



'Drive and Celebrate Excellence'


Dealing with Change

Tuesday 23 and Friday 26 Feb

Friday 11 March and a further date TBC

9am -5.30pm, Library of Birmingham

Two intensive one day workshops with Wanjiku Nyachae designed to equip participants with the skills to understand change and drive positive change to improve organisational performance, innovation and development.

Wanjiku has worked in arts and culture for 25 years as a curator, producer, trainer and facilitator, and has over 20 years’ experience of facilitating groups ranging from senior global leaders (Ashridge Business School) to individuals in early recovery from addiction (Summit House, Dudley).

Wanjiku draws creatively from unexpected sources to deliver grounded learning. Encouraging participants to understand how their personal relationships to change and managing change impact organisational change culture.

Having attended both events participants will better understand

  • Their own skills and qualities as change managers or leaders,

  • How to work powerfully with resistance

  • How to co-create resilience

  • How to bring people together in ways that can enable them to co-create new perspectives, solutions and approaches

This will support Section 1: Organisational Health of the Accreditation Standard.


Diverse and Inclusive Workforce & Needs Assessment

A Needs Assessment on diversity within the workforce is being conducted across all museums in the West Midlands region. Museums will be invited to participate in a survey from 22 January.

10 museums will then be invited to participate in a specific Workforce Programme, which will look at practices and improvements across recruitment, retention and staff development. This will take the format of four workshops to be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 2 March
  • Wednesday 9 March
  • Wednesday 16 March
  • Wednesday 23 March

10am -4pm venues TBC

Each museum will receive a full report and suggested action plan. A toolkit will be produced to share best practice amongst the museum sector to help develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce and volunteer base.

This will support Section 1: Organisational Health of the Accreditation Standard.


'Building Resilience'


Stop the Rot

Jane Thompson-Webb (Birmingham Museum Trust)

Tuesday 23 February
10am – 4pm, Whitchurch Heritage Centre

Friday 26 February
10am – 4pm, Leominster Museum

Monday 29 February
10am - 4pm Droitwich Heritage Centre (venue Council Chambers)

A great introduction (or indeed a refresher) for anyone with responsible for the daily care and management of collections.


Integrated Pest Management

Jane Thompson- Webb (Birmingham Museum Trust)

Monday 14 March, 10am-4pm

Royal Regiment Fusiliers Museum, St John's House, Warwick.

Just what is eating your collection and how do you stop it happening? Samples of bugs welcome on the day!


'Inspire the next Generation'


How to use the Arts to Engage Young People with Museums

Tuesday 9 February Rugby Art Gallery and Museum 10am – 4pm and

Wednesday 10 February Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery 10am – 4pm

This looks set to be an inspiring one day touring event looking at how museums could use art and artists to engage young people with their collections.  Artist Leigh de Vries will open the event with her most recent work ‘My Broken Reality’ a video installation with follow up workshops and talks.

Leigh was supported by Grants for the Arts funding working with the Old Market Street Gallery, Rotherham “Exposure – The Broken Reality Tunnel of BDD” worked with groups of young people.   110 young people attended with 80 hours of engagement.  “The success of the delivery of the piece was centred around public engagement and youth outreach programme and this was developed and delivered through participation, dialogue and the immersive experience”.

Other elements of the day are digital engagement, Arts Award and FE discussions around work placement and apprenticeships.

This will support Section 3 of the Accreditation Standard: Users and their Experience.

Mystery Shopper Programme – understand what visitors think and expect

Service Science are leaders in the measurement of customer service quality in the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors. They bring with them over 5,000 tried and tested reliable mystery ‘shoppers’ and work extensively with clients in the Museum and Heritage Sector.

They will:

  • Provide detailed and accurate picture of your service provision based on feedback from a range of target visitor groups

  • Identify strengths and areas for improvements

  • Provide a detailed report with recommendations to help you improve your service

This will be a 5 stage process including an initial review of existing visitor feedback, pilot programme to ensure quality, weekday and weekend visits to each individual site and detailed analysis and reporting.

This will support Section 3 of the Accreditation Standard: Users and their Experiences.


If you have already expressed an interest in any of the events, your Museum Development Officer will be in touch to confirm your participation.

Spaces are still available if you are interested in participating in a specific programme please contact us.

*Full day courses include lunch and refreshments.


Archaeological Rationalisation

It is recognised nationally that there is a need for a more strategic approach to how museums can better understand and use the collections in their care. This piece of work, being conducted by Shane Keller at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT), will support raising the profile of under used archaeological collections in the West Midlands Region and the creation of stronger links between museums holding archaeological material and non-museum bodies. 

Archaeology Collections or Material at your Museum?

"Do you have archaeological collections or material at your museum or stores? If yes, we want to hear from you! We are conducting a programme of research with a view to better understanding the current situation with regards to museum-held archaeological collections in the West Midlands.  If you think that you can help please get in touch for a chat by emailing or calling 01952 435900."

Shane Kelleher, Museum Archaeologist, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and Samantha Paul, Research Fellow in Archaeology, University of Birmingham


Expert Eyes – matching museums with subject specialists

Subject specialists are working directly with museums to support the development of collections knowledge and expertise amongst museum staff in the West Midlands Region. Five museums have been partnered with three different experts with the aim of increasing understanding of specific collections in their care. The subject specialists will,

  • Work on site to share expertise with collections staff about individual items in relation to identity and significance

  • Help with updating documentation

  • Make recommendations on how to develop interpretation and access to these collections for user groups

**closed for applications**

Objects of Significance

This project will celebrate key objects in 2 museum collections in Staffordshire. Each museum will be working with an artist to use the objects as the focus and inspiration for developing interactive donations boxes (one for each museum). These will be designed to engage visitors with collections while at the same time providing the organisations with a method of collecting donations to support their work in caring for the objects in the collections.

**closed for applications**

Orphaned Collections

This is a mapping project to identify Orphaned Collections in Accredited Local Authority collections. It will identify the collections, held by museums, most at risk from a reduction in specialist staff  and recommend potential ways to strengthen their position and to improve their visibility with stakeholders.

  • To identify and map orphaned collections or those considered to be at risk of becoming orphaned in Local Authority Collections across the Region

  • Where possible to identify possible sources of specialist support within the wider region (including East Midlands) and nationally as appropriate.

  • Action planning - to recommend steps to reduce risk, support & strengthen collections and to make them more ‘visible’  



'Opportunity for All'

We have been busy updating with the latest news and events regionally and nationally.  Check out the updated funding pages for the latest news from Arts Council England and Art Fund here.

A big thank you to The Pen Museum, Birmingham and The Leather Museum, Walsall for the fantastic images which are now being featured on our website.  Also to the Kids in Museum Team and Birmingham Back to Backs for their case studies which you can read on our case studies pages.

We want all museums in the region to be represented so please continue to forward case studies and images you would like to be considered to

By forwarding these case studies and images to us you agree to the information being shared with third parties as part of our role to share best practice; published on our website and on any other promotional material.


URGENT - Museum Mentors Needed

We are currently looking for museum mentors to support three museums in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. 

If you are able to provide mentoring support please email 

To find out if you are eligible to become an Arts Council Mentor click here.


Country Signpost Reminder

All museums who have been featured in Country Signpost please contact Editor, Adam Davison on 01743 874098 to update your entries.



If you were one of our successful museums in receipt of a

Small Capital Grant or Small Audience Development Grant

Please don’t forget you need to acknowledge that the funding was received from 

Arts Council England in all publicity.


National News:

Open Now!

Arts Council England: Museum Resilience Fund

At midday on the 14th of January Arts Council England opened their Museum Resilience Fund, all details will be available on their website.

This first stage commences during 14th – 18th of February when all accredited and those formally working towards accreditation are invited to submit an expression of interest.

If anyone would like to discuss the fund further after reading the guidance please contact Wendy Parry, Relationship Manager

Arts Council England: New funds launched, others re-opening

Have launched three new funds. Two of them - Elevate and Unlimited III - will help them with their Creative Case for Diversity work, whilst Catalyst: Evolve will create stronger and more resilient organisations with fundraising help.

Four more funds have opened new rounds of investment. Two of which are focused on their international development with Re:imagine India and International Showcasing, with two more focusing on supporting collections and museums. Take a look...


Survey to better understand the experiences of disabled people working in arts and culture in England

Arts Council want to better understand the experiences of disabled people working in arts and culture in England - and need your help.

You are invited to get involved in a survey they are running in collaboration with specialist diversity consultancy EW Group.

They welcome responses from disabled and non-disabled people who are employees, employers, aspire to work in the sector, or are currently out of work.

The survey is open access, so please do share with anyone who would like to contribute. Your help will be much appreciated.

Click here to complete the survey.


Collections Care Trust: SPECTRUM 5.0 Consultation- take part now!

What’s happening?

Collections Care Trust are consulting widely to check that SPECTRUM still meets the needs of museums large and small. This will inform the next revision, SPECTRUM 5.0, to be published in 2017.

How can you help?
They want to know whether SPECTRUM reflects current practice in your kind of museum, so please take a moment to complete our short online survey. You can also sign up to get more deeply involved in the revision process.

Who will benefit?
SPECTRUM aims to be relevant and useful to museums of all types and sizes, and to everyone who works with collections in any way, so the whole museum community will benefit.

How to get involved:

Find out more



Deputy Chief Executive (Visitor Engagement & Operations) &

Deputy Chief Executive (Collections, Learning & Research)

Dudley, West Midlands

c£50,000 (more available for exceptional candidates)

The Black Country Living Museum is a large, thriving, financially self-reliant independent open-air museum attracting c300,000 visitors each year, with an annual turnover of £5m and currently making six-figure surpluses to invest in our future. The entirety of the Museum’s collection is Designated, and it is one of only 21 Major Partner Museums invested in by Arts Council England.  The Museum is now looking to recruit two highly experienced individuals reporting to the Museum’s Director & Chief Executive, as it embarks on a major development of its 26 acre site.   To succeed in these roles you’ll need bags of energy and a thorough understanding of how to lead large, diverse teams to accomplish further step changes in the quality, impact and scale of what is being achieved, as well as sound strategic judgement to influence and assist in leading the organization’s future.

If you would like a private conversation about this job, please contact Andrew Lovett, Museum Chief Executive.  Ask for Andrew’s PA, Jo Turner on +44 (0) 121 521 3513 or

For further information on both roles and the application process, please go to:

Closing date: Friday 5 February 2016.


Museum Access Assistant - NB/004/16

Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery is looking for an enthusiastic and articulate individual who can help our visitors enjoy their visit in a safe and enjoyable environment as a Museum Access Assistant.

Reference Number: NBBC000000233

Location Museum, Riversley Park (CV11 5TU)

Employer: Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council

Contract Type: Permanent

Working Pattern: See advert details