National-Regional Museum Partnerships 6/7/2009

National museums undertake a significant amount of partnership working with their regional counterparts, sharing their collections and expertise with museums around the UK and enabling large numbers of people across the country to access and engage with the national collections.  However, NMDC believes it is timely to review developments in patterns, practice and models of partnerships and to consider a more strategic approach which could increase the capabilities and capacities of UK museums to deliver maximum benefits to the public.  NMDC has therefore embarked on a new project to review and assess partnership working between national and regional museums, aiming to ensure that partnership working is as joined-up, strategic and effective as possible. 

A project advisory group, chaired by Diane Lees, Director of the Imperial War Museum, has been formed and includes senior staff from NMDC members, regional and independent museums, Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (MLA) and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The next phase of the project involves mapping current national-regional museum partnership activity across the UK.  This will inform the development of a set of recommendations for use by national museums, MLA, Renaissance hubs, DCMS and equivalent bodies across the UK as they further develop regional partnership working.  There will be a session at the Museums Association conference in October to discuss the research findings and draft recommendations, followed by a cross-party seminar at the House of Commons later in the autumn to launch the project findings and highlight to MPs some of the many successful projects made possible through partnerships between national and regional museums.