Leading regional museums to be invited to join NMDC 5/1/2012
Members of the National Museum Directors’ Conference agreed at their last meeting to expand the membership criteria of the NMDC and invite all major grant funded museums in the Renaissance in the Regions programme to join. The decision follows a consultation with members and stakeholders across the sector on NMDC’s purpose, priorities and membership. Four regional museums have been members of NMDC since 2007: the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and the new membership changes will build on this positive experience.
NMDC Chair Dr Michael Dixon said “National museums are committed to supporting and working in partnership with their regional counterparts, and we hope that widening NMDC membership will result in even closer collaboration and communication between national and major regional museums. The current economic climate means an extremely difficult period for museums of all kinds and expanding our membership to include Renaissance museums will enable the NMDC to be a clear voice advocating for the nationally-funded network of museums across the UK. The NMDC is also keen to work closely with other bodies representing museums on issues of mutual concern, and is committed to collaborating with them to promote the interests of the whole museum sector and avoid duplication of effort.”
From April 2012, membership of NMDC will therefore be open to national museums funded by Central Government or devolved administrations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, plus regional museums in receipt of Renaissance major grant funding from Arts Council England. National libraries and the National Archives will continue to be eligible for associate membership. The intention is for the NMDC to represent the interests of those institutions in receipt of funding which is voted on by Parliament or the devolved administrations. Details of how the new membership structure will work are still to be agreed, pending decisions on Renaissance major grant recipients. Full details will be announced in Spring 2012.