December 2015

NMDC newsletter: December 2015
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: December 2015
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Central government arts and museum funding stable to 2020

Tourism, tax and the disposal of buildings: more outcomes of the Spending Review

London councils fear the impact of November budget

Lancashire Council passes plans to cut 92% of arts budget and close five museums

37% not a ‘slight cut’ Conservative Council Leader tells David Cameron

Making the case for museums in Cornwall

British Museum launches partnership with Google Cultural Institute

NMRN to move museum and display more collections with £2m LIBOR money

DCMS sponsored museums performance indicators for 2014/15

Working Internationally Conference 2016

Working Internationally Regional Project workshop: working in Europe

The art of partnering

VisitBritain charts how social media leads tourists to Britain

Council and HLF support brings new museum to St Albans

Taking Part statistics: unhappy library users?
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Comprehensive Spending Review  |  Cuts  |  Members’ news  |  Museum security  |  Events and surveys  |  Tourism  |  New museums around the UK  |  Museums Association Conference round-up  |  Awards  |  Museums making money  |  Appointments  |  Tech and stats  |  Demographics  |  Jobs  
 
 
  Comprehensive Spending Review  
 
 
Orkney Islands Council is lending two FWW guns, including this large deck gun from a German B98 destroyer to the National Museum of the Royal Navy as part of commemorations of the Battle of Jutland.  The gun is usually on display at Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum at Lyness.  Image courtesy of Orkney Islands Council. NMRN is among the military museums to receive support from LIBOR fines announced in the CSR.
Orkney Islands Council is lending two FWW guns, including this large deck gun from a German B98 destroyer to the National Museum of the Royal Navy as part of commemorations of the Battle of Jutland. The gun is usually on display at Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum at Lyness. Image courtesy of Orkney Islands Council. NMRN is among the military museums to receive support from LIBOR fines announced in the CSR.
 
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  Central government arts and museum funding stable to 2020  
 
 
On the 25th November Chancellor George Osborne announced the detail of his much anticipated Comprehensive Spending Review and how it will affect cultural services.  The Chancellor’s statement prefaced his plans by saying that, "One of the best investments we can make as a nation is in our extraordinary arts, museums, heritage, media and sport" and that cuts to the DCMS would be a "false economy".  He said, “the government is committed to supporting the arts and our world class national museums and galleries which make a rich contribution to society and our economy.
 
Headlines for the cultural sector include:
 
  • Funding for national museums will remain at the current level until 2019-20 and free admission maintained.
  • Arts Council England will receive a small cash increase of £10m a year for the next four years.
  • However, DCMS will receive a 5% cut to its funding, which will fall internally.
  • The government will work with museums to explore the case for a new tax relief to support exhibitions.
  • There will be deep cuts at the Department for Communities and Local Government which will make 29% savings over four years.  Its overall budget will decrease by £6.1bn over the period, from £11.5bn in 2015-16 to £5.4bn in 2019-20.
  • There will be slight declines in budget for Wales (1.1%), Scotland and Northern Ireland (both 1.3%).
  • Historic England will receive a 10% cut over the next four years.
  • The operational freedoms announced for national museums in 2013 will be made permanent and extended to bodies including the National Army Museum, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force Museum and Historic England.
 
Specific funding commitments for museums include:
 
  • £150m in investment to replace the outdated storage facility used by the British Museum, Science Museum and V&A at Blythe House and replace it with a new state of the art building to store two million fragile objects.
  • £5m will go towards the £66m cost of a transformation at the Burrell Collection which will close for three years for major work.  A Treasury source described the contribution as a "testament to the collection's huge cultural relevance for the United Kingdom as a whole".
  • The British Library has been invited to make the case for a print collections management hub at its Boston Spa site.
  • The National Museum of the Royal Navy will receive £2m of LIBOR money for major new projects, while the D Day Museum will receive £600k.
  • There will be a £5m contribution to Manchester Museum’s new South Asia gallery.
 
ACE Chair Sir Peter Bazalgette described the announcements as “an astonishing settlement for arts and culture” given widespread cuts.  NMDC Chair Diane Lees said “This fantastic outcome is the result of a long and sustained campaign, which saw collaboration across the sector as museums came together to demonstrate our collective worth and value to the nation and to give government the evidence it needs to invest in our museums.”
 
Both however expressed concern about the effect of DCLG cuts on local museums, a view shared by Museums Association Director Sharon Heal who said “we remain deeply concerned about the impact of the local authority budget cuts on the UK's civic museums, and on the huge number of people who visit them.  We believe that civic and local museums up and down the country will face real difficulties because of local authority funding cuts over the 2015-20 period – particularly those in less well-off areas.”
 
Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar also commented, saying that he welcomed a settlement which “represents a cut of only 5–7% in real terms (allowing for inflation) especially if this helps to maintain the provision of free admission”.  Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said the body was ‘grateful’ for a cut of only 10% although it represents a ‘not insignificant challenge’.
 
Gov.uk (full document, museums p52), Gov.uk (DCMS settlement), Gov.uk (press release), NMDC, ACE, Art Fund, Museums Journal, M+H Advisor, BBC, Herald Scotland (Burrell Collection) Historic England, Telegraph (Osborne’s speech in full).
 
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  Tourism, tax and the disposal of buildings: more outcomes of the Spending Review  
 
 
The Association of Independent Museums and the Heritage Alliance have expressed relief at an ‘unexpectedly good settlement’ for culture, while also unpicking some of the detail of tourism, tax and DCLG funding and considering the possible consequences.  Issues raised include:
 
  • There will be a three year £40m Discover England Fund to develop English tourism products, described as a ‘very positive investment’ by the Heritage Alliance.
  • There will be an increase to £60m for the VisitBritain GREAT campaign aiming to encourage inbound tourism.
  • If local councils decide to sell ‘town halls, libraries and other civic buildings’ in the face of cuts, the Heritage Alliance will be seeking to ensure they are not simply sold to the highest bidder or left empty, but continue to be used in ways which take account of their community value.
  • The Heritage Alliance also welcomed funding in DEFRA’s budget for the protection of Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and National Parks.
  • The call for evidence to inform the review of Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme has been brought forward to December 2015 (AIM invites comments from its members).
  • There has been no new announcement on business rates or on whether charitable rate relief would be retained; these decisions are likely to be made in spring 2016.
 
AIM, Heritage Alliance, VisitBritain
 
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  London councils fear the impact of November budget  
 
 
London Councils, a group which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, has said that it is very concerned that the Spending Review will adversely affect cultural infrastructure.  Real terms expenditure on culture has fallen from £600m in 2010-11 to under £400m in 2015-16.  Projections indicate it could fall to £150m by 2020.  Cllr Guy Nicholson who sits on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Strategy Group said “[we have been] developing stronger collaborations with the Arts Council, partnerships and joint ventures with the sector itself, providing in-kind support and work space alongside applying planning powers to secure future investment from new developments.  All of this is now in jeopardy and the boroughs are deeply concerned about the impact this loss would have on local communities and the economy.”  GVA of the creative industries in London is estimated at £34.6bn – half the UK total and 10.7% of the total GVA for the capital.  London Councils
 
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  The Apprenticeship Levy and larger arts employers  
 
 
Writing for Creative & Cultural Skills, Pauline Tambling has unpicked the possible effects of the Apprenticeship Levy announced in the Spending Review.  The levy will apply to employers, including in the cultural sector, with roughly 250 employees or a paybill greater than £3m.  These will pay 0.5% of their wage bill into a central fund and in return receive vouchers entitling their apprentices to training, usually at a college or other accredited trainer.  Unused vouchers will be given to a wider pool of smaller employers.  Tambling says there’s a risk that “larger creative businesses – for example in the film, media and digital sector – will end up paying through the levy and, because they can’t take enough apprentices in any one year, the money will be redirected to other sectors.”  She suggests that unpaid vouchers should be redirected to smaller creative businesses.  The policy is towards the government’s plan to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.  Creative & Cultural Skills
 
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  Cuts  
 
 
  Lancashire Council passes plans to cut 92% of arts budget and close five museums  
 
 
Lancashire Council has passed radical plans to close five of the 11 museums in its control and retain five others only on condition that they are self-sustaining through admissions takings. The Council had previously intended to earmark £1.2m for culture in 2015-16, increasing by 100k the following year.  The revised budget brings all cultural spending down to just £98k, a 92% reduction.  It also plans to halve its libraries from 74 to 34, saving £7m.  The Council has already announced cost cutting of £152m over its whole budget for the next three years.  Leader of Lancashire Council Jennifer Mein described the decisions as ‘heartbreaking’ but said “by 2017-18, we will only just have enough money to pay for our statutory services.  At the same time, the government has made clear that it will make further substantial cuts to council budgets over the coming years.”  There will now be a 12 week public consultation on the closures, which will include considering alternative models such as community run museums. 
 
John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at ACE, said that the Arts Council is in conversation with Lancashire Council, particularly as some of the collections in the museums earmarked for closure are Designated.  HLF has invested substantially in two museums likely to close: £919,400 in the Museum of Lancashire and £720,000 in Helmshore Mills Textile Museum.  It could potentially reclaim the money if Lancashire goes ahead with its plans.  A local petition has been launched to save the textile museums.  Museums Journal, Museums Journal, Rossendale Free Press, Change.org, BBC
 
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  37% not a ‘slight cut’ Conservative Council Leader tells David Cameron  
 
 
An exchange of letters between Oxfordshire’s Conservative Council leader Ian Hudspeth and Prime Minister David Cameron has been leaked to the Oxford Mail.  Cameron, whose constituency is in Oxfordshire, said he was disappointed by Council proposals “to make significant cuts to frontline services – from elderly day centres, to libraries, to museums.  This is in addition to the unwelcome and counter-productive proposals to close children’s centres across the county”, adding that there had only been a “slight fall in government grants in cash terms”.  Hudspeth replied that Oxfordshire Council has shed 2,800 jobs including 40% of senior staff, and sold off much of its property portfolio.  He added “I cannot accept your description of a drop in funding of £72m or 37% as a ‘slight fall’.”  Opposition leaders have taken this as a sign that the Prime Minister does not understand the extent of his own cuts: Liberal Democrat Councillor Richard Webber said “it is staggering that the prime minister knows so little of the impact of his government’s cuts in his own backyard."  Ian Hudspeth said that he would not comment on leaked correspondence but that “these letters are part of an on-going discussion with government about how we can protect frontline services while doing our bit in Oxfordshire to tackle the national budget deficit”.  Guardian, Oxford Mail
 
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  Northern Ireland arts cuts reversed  
 
 
£620k of in-year cuts imposed on arts organisations in Northern Ireland have been reversed.  The Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s cuts affected more than 30 organisations, causing protest and a rally.  The cuts were reversed in Northern Ireland Assembly’s November monitoring round.  Campaigning body Arts Matters NI said “good news as it is, this reinstatement of funds is only the start of the investment required.  The arts sector in Northern Ireland has long been underfunded and has been affected disproportionately in recent waves of budget cuts.”  The Stage
 
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  Museums fighting cuts  
 
 
Jim Richardson of Sumo has blogged about his experience of working with NMDC on the I Love Museums campaign aiming to raise awareness of the risk to museums in the current funding climate.  He expresses relief at the outcome of the Spending Review, protecting direct government funding to museums, but concern at the effect of local government cuts on regional museums.  Among the things he has learned from the campaign are:
 
  • Most museum visitors and even some staff are unaware of the risks to museums unless they are told.
  • A stall inside a busy museum is the best way of reaching the public with the I Love Museums message and encouraging them to take further action such as writing to their MP or signing a petition.
  • People are passionate about supporting museums once they know the facts and do not, as some have feared, compare them unfavourably with frontline services also supplied by local councils.
 
The I Love Museums campaign will continue to champion the sector in coming months: we encourage any museum not already involved to visit the dedicated website and find out how to take part in the campaign.
 
Museum Marketing blog, I Love Museums
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
  Making the case for museums in Cornwall  
 
 
Cornwall Museums Partnership, which represents 70 museums across the county, has produced a five minute film explaining the importance of museums in the area.   Emmie Kell, Director of the Partnership said “we want to turn as many people as possible into advocates for museums and to really spell out the important role that large and small museums play.”  The film encourages the public to follow a link and register their support for museums in the region. 
 
Cornwall museums in figures:
 
  • Tate St Ives alone generates £87m locally, and indirectly supports 260 tourism jobs.
  • Last year 4.5m came to Cornwall and 1.2m named museums as a major reason for their visit. 
  • Direct spend in Cornish museums is £6.60 per visitor or £10m generated income per year. 
  • For every £1 Cornwall Council puts into the six larger Cornwall museums, it generates £31 in income. 
 
Cornwall Museums Partnership
 
The Partnership's messages reflect those of NMDC's Museums Matter document, which makes the case for public investment in museums of all sizes and types across the UK using a range of case studies and evidence based around key public policy priorities.  Download the full report from the NMDC website, as well as individual subject briefings and infographics to fit alongside case studies from your own museum.  Museums Matter
 
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  British Museum launches partnership with Google Cultural Institute  
 
 
The British Museum has become the first institution in the world to have its interior completely recorded on Google Street View and make thousands of object images available to Internet users courtesy of a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.  Visitors can wander virtual galleries peering at more than 4500 objects, undistracted by the presence of the BM’s 6.7 million annual visitors. The partnership also means that one of the British Museum’s most important Chinese scrolls – the Admonitions Scroll dating from the 6th-century – can now be viewed in never before seen definition thanks to Gigapixel technology. Due to the fragile nature of the scroll it is only ever available to view for a few months of the year. Now the scroll will be visible online, in fantastic detail, all year round. Director Neil MacGregor said, “The museum is set up to be free, first of all, with the 18th century fantasy that it could be a museum for the world.  It’s a really big step to be able to make that 18th century dream a reality.”  Google Cultural Institute - British Museum, Telegraph
 
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  NMRN to move museum and display more collections with £2m LIBOR money  
 
 
Among the announcements in Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review was the news that the National Museum of the Royal Navy will receive £2m of the money given in fines by the banking sector following the LIBOR scandal.  NMRN will use the money to move its Royal Marines Museum into the well-visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, making it accessible to more visitors.  Director General Professor Dominic Tweddle said he was ‘delighted’ by the gift. “We currently only show about 25% of our collection.  A new museum will enable us to tell the personal stories of service, bravery, sacrifice and team spirit that epitomise the Royal Marines Corps and reach a much wider audience.”  Meanwhile in Portsmouth, the D-Day museum will receive £600k in LIBOR funds towards plans for a £4.88m upgrade, which it hopes will also receive HLF support in the new year.  NMRN, Portsmouth News, Museums Journal
 
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  This month's images: Jutland guns to be conserved at NMRN  
 
 
Images this month both concern the Battle of Jutland, which will be commemorated in the Orkneys and at NMRN in 2016.  NMRN has borrowed a B98 German destroyer gun from Orkney Islands Council to display outside Plymouth Dockyard.  The museum will also be performing conservation work on the gun before returning it to the Orkneys.  Parts of the rest of the destroyer are still visible at the Bay of Lopness in Sanday, where it went aground during the battle. The Orcadian
 
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  V&A’s Europe Galleries to reopen after a decade  
 
 
The V&A is to open its new European galleries in early December after being closed for almost a decade.  The galleries cover the period 1600–1815 and cost £12.5m to renovate.  Lead curator Lesley Miller told The Art Newspaper that “we want to open up Europe and be more inclusive, including not just the traditionally well-represented objects of Western Europe, but also from Central and Eastern and Ottoman Europe”.  The galleries include three reconstructed 17th century rooms, including a French bedroom.  The Art Newspaper (subscription only) V&A (podcast)
 
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  First Sea Lord gives NMRN digital award  
 
 
The National Museum of the Royal Navy has won the First Sea Lord’s Digital Media award.  It is given by the Maritime Foundation, to reward work which expands public understanding of Britain’s dependence on the sea.  NMRN’s Matthew Sheldon said “it is particularly satisfying that it was the First Sea Lord's Award we received - at an event honouring media coverage of contemporary maritime and naval issues - as it shows the importance of using the Navy's history to make links between past, present and future.”  NMRN
 
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  London museums embrace 40 years of punk  
 
 
2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the dawn of punk and the release of the Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy in the UK’.  The Museum of London and British Library are among a host of organisations celebrating subversive subculture next year with talks, films, gigs and live exhibitions.  The HLF is offering funding and the website Punk London is inviting people or organisations to register their events in the DIY spirit of the movement.  HLF, Punk London,
 
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  Lucian Freud’s archives and sketchbooks allocated to National Portrait Gallery  
 
 
The National Portrait Gallery has received archives and sketchbooks from the estate of Lucian Freud.  The material was donated to the nation to settle a £2.94m tax bill under the acceptance in lieu scheme.  The Gallery owns two paintings by Freud and has previously held an exhibition of his work.  It will display some of its new acquisitions during 2016.  Director Dr Nicholas Cullinan said “this archive will be a vital source of reference for anyone interested in the life and work of the artist or in portraiture in general.”  National Portrait Gallery, BBC, Independent
 
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  Bowes Museum acquires van Dyck  
 
 
The Bowes Museum has received a portrait by van Dyck under the government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme.  Portrait of Olivia Mrs. Endymion Porter was painted around 1637 and has been in the hands of the Dukes of Northumberland since the 17th century.  The painting will be part of an exhibition at the Bowes Museum  from next  May called The English Rose – Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent.  ACE
 
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  DCMS sponsored museums performance indicators for 2014/15  
 
 
DCMS has published the performance indicators for all the museums which it directly funds.  Findings include:
 
  • Total visits to all sponsored museums increased by 4.1%, from 48.7m in 2013-14 to 50.7m in 2014-15.
  • The most visited museums were the four branches of Tate Gallery Group with 7.9m visits, the British Museum with 6.7m, and the National Gallery with 6.5m.
  • There were 107.5 million unique visits to sponsored museums' websites.
  • Child visits decreased to 9.2m in 2014-15, down from 9.4m the previous year.  The Science Museum had the greatest number of visits by children under 15 at 1.7m.
  • 47% of all visits were from 23.8m overseas visitors, up 10% on the previous year.  Royal Armouries had the greatest proportion of overseas visitors over three sites (67%).  Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums had the least at 4.5%, but showed the greatest annual increase in overseas tourists (2.5%).
  • Museums earned £42.6 million through admissions, an increase of 15.9% on the previous year.  Tate and the National Gallery generated the most revenue.
  • Museums raised £290.2m from fundraising, not including government grants or lottery money.  This is more than double the funds raised five years ago, but £10m less than last year.
  • There has been a very slight decline in the percentage of visitors who would recommend the museums to family, from 97.8% to 96.4%.
 
Gov.uk, Museums Journal (children), Museums Journal (fundraising)
 
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  Museum security  
 
 
  ALVA makes security advice for attractions available  
 
 
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, ALVA has made two publications available online which give advice to attractions on appropriate safety measures.  ‘Counter Terrorism Protective Security Advice for Attractions’ and ‘for Events’ are written by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.  ALVA (scroll half way down page)
 
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  French museums reopen under heavy guard  
 
 
After being briefly closed following the Paris terrorist attacks which killed more than 130 people French national museums have reopened, surrounded by a heavy guard which will remain in place ‘indefinitely’.  12 sites including the Louvre have been identified as particularly high priority and ‘all necessary funding’ is being organised by the French government to ensure their safety.  The Art Newspaper (subscription only) 
 
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  Events and surveys  
 
 
 The Grand Fleet at Sea, courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.  The museum is making preparations to commemorate the Battle of Jutland in 2016.
The Grand Fleet at Sea, courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The museum is making preparations to commemorate the Battle of Jutland in 2016.
 
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  Working Internationally Conference 2016  
 
 
NMDC and ICOM UK, working with Manchester Museums and Galleries, will hold the Working Internationally Conference on Friday 4th March 2016. This will be the fourth Working Internationally Conference, and will be at The Whitworth at the University of Manchester. Speakers will outline how they have worked internationally to deliver activity which has an impact on health and well-being, knowledge and innovation, regional development, and developing good cultural and community relationships: all of which are important when museums needs to vary their sources of income and funding.
 
For more information and to book tickets, please see here. The previous conferences have sold out, so book early! Tickets are £35.
 
NMDC
 
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  Prime Minister announces UK-India Year of Culture 2017  
 
 
The Prime Minister has announced a year long festival to celebrate 70 years since Indian independence and continuing social and cultural ties between the two countries.  400,000 people visited the UK from India in the last year.  Year of Culture projects include:
 
  • The British Library is digitising 200,000 pages of content from books covering the period 1714 to 1914 to make them available to readers around the world.
  • The British Library’s copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the 1225 Magna Carta will tour to India.
  • The British Museum is lending objects to the CSMVS Museum in Mumbai for an exhibition on the history of India.
  • An India exhibition is being planned at the Manchester Museum prior to the opening of their India gallery.
  • A branch of Madame Tussauds will open in New Delhi, part of a £50m investment planned by its parent group Merlin in attractions in the country over the next decade.
 
David Cameron said “the great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood.  We have some of the best cultural exports in the world – and it’s about time we celebrated this, together.”  Gov.uk
 
Also: The announcement follows the publication of research by the British Council into how stronger education and cultural ties can help unlock the full potential of the UK-India relationship. India Matters
 
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  Working Internationally Regional Project workshop: working in Europe  
 
 
Following three successful sold-out workshops, the latest WIRP Workshop is taking place at the Museum of Liverpool on 3rd February.  Participants will get an overview of EU funding programmes relevant to museums and galleries, hear a series of varied and relevant case studies, and have a chance to ask questions and network with colleagues from across the UK who are interested in working on European projects.  Speakers confirmed so far include the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) Creative Europe Desk UK for Culture and Halima Khanom from Imperial War Museums on Make Film, Make History.

Now is the optimum time to book advance train tickets to Liverpool, with return tickets from London available from £30.  Following feedback from previous workshops, we will start the workshop at 11:00 (refreshments and networking from 10:30) to enable cheaper travel.  Eventbrite (booking)
 
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  The art of partnering  
 
 
The art of partnering is the final report of a Kings College London Cultural Enquiry in collaboration with the BBC, which explored the role partnership plays in enabling publicly funded cultural institutions to enhance the quality and diversity of their work across the UK.
 
This was the third Cultural Enquiry from King’s and a major new initiative at a time when partnership is embedding as a way of working across the cultural sector. NMDC's Katie Childs was an Advisor on the research project, which identified twelve characteristics of partnerships and concluded that whilst the cultural sector is enthusiastic about working in partnership, there is limited evaluation and comparatively few digital partnerships. Case studies include the Cornwall Museums Partnership, the First World War Centenary Partnership and the V&A Photography Curators Training Programme.
 
The art of partnering
 
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  Digital Past 2016  
 
 
Digital Past is an annual conference showcasing innovative digital technologies including data capture, interpretation and dissemination of the heritage of Wales and the UK.  Speakers include the V&A, Discovery Project and Visit Wales.  It takes place on 10th–11th February at St George's Hotel, Llandudno and tickets are £89 including lunch.  Digital Past
 
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  New annual fundraising survey for cultural sector organisations  
 
 
Arts Quarter has launched a new annual survey of cultural organisations to assess their ideas for and success at fundraising and evolving revenue generating activities in all forms.  The survey is anonymous and seeks to build ideas and track progress across the sector.  Your organisation can participate here:  Arts Quarter
 
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  Call for papers: Objectively Speaking at the British Museum  
 
 
Recent major object-led history projects including Teaching History with 100 objects and the Times Education Supplement/British Museum collaboration Huge History Lesson are both based on the premise that objects are a powerful gateway to learning.  The British Museum is now planning a conference on 4th April called ‘Objectively Speaking - the value and practice of object based teaching’.  It is seeking papers either describing the evidence underpinning object based learning or schemes which develop the field.  Contributions with emphasis on digital or classroom teaching are both welcomed.  The deadline for submissions is 15th January, travel costs will be paid by the museum for those whose proposals are programmed.  Contact [email protected] for details.  Jiscmail
 
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  Tourism  
 
 
  VisitBritain charts how social media leads tourists to Britain  
 
 
Visit Britain has carried out research in the US, Germany, India and South Korea to discover the impact of social media on the decision to holiday in the UK.  It found that:
 
  • Facebook has the greatest impact on holiday planning, and is therefore the most important platform to target.
  • 67% of tourists said they used social media while on holiday, with Twitter being the most popular medium.
  • People are more likely to be influenced to visit the UK if they see holiday pictures of friends on social media.  They are also more interested in reviews by other holiday makers in their decision making than by professionally produced content.  76% read destination reviews as part of holiday planning.
  • Tourists are least likely to be engaged by social media competitions, and most attracted to having their own content retweeted or republished by a professional body.
  • Offering free wifi at a hotel, restaurant or tourist attraction is an important factor in persuading people to visit - with 73% saying this is important at tourist attractions.
 
VisitBritain
 
Also: ACE is investing a one-off £2.64m in libraries in 68 local authorities, so that all UK libraries will offer access to the internet.  It is estimated that 16% of households do not have connectivity at home.  M+H
 
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  Export bar on Dieric Bouts painting  
 
 
An export ban has been placed on ‘St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child’ by 15th century Netherlands painter Dieric Bouts.  The bar has been applied until 26th February, with a possible extension to 26th June if a UK buyer can match the cost of the £3.3m painting.  As the painting is set in an artist’s studio, it gives a glimpse into how a Flemish workshop of the period was laid out.   Gov.uk
 
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  New museums around the UK  
 
 
  Virtual V&A Dundee unveiled  
 
 
HLF has unveiled a virtual flythrough of the new V&A museum in Dundee, produced by Edinburgh-based Luma3Di.  The film shows the sloped walls and magnificent views from inside the museum.  HLF
 
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  Council and HLF support brings new museum to St Albans  
 
 
The Grade II listed town hall in St Albans is to be converted into a new museum and gallery to attract tourism and evolve the local economy.  The work is supported by a £2.5m HLF grant and a commitment by the local council to contribute £3.3m.  St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust and the University of Hertfordshire are also partners in the scheme.  Councillor Annie Brewster said “We are now well on our way to creating a new landmark museum and art gallery with three floors of galleries and exhibition space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”  HLF
 
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  Liverpool City Council considers migration museum  
 
 
Liverpool City Council is in the early stages of considering a museum of migration on its waterfront.  The proposal is mentioned in documents on the devolution deal signed by central government and the council in mid November.  Liverpool’s Director of Culture Clare McColgan said that Liverpool would be the ‘natural home’ of such a museum.  Liverpool Echo, Museums Journal
 
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  ACE and Ed Vaizey back North East ‘Case for Culture’  
 
 
In early November, an ambitious 15 year plan for regenerating the cultural offer in the North East was launched at Westminster.  It has attracted support from Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and Arts Council Chair Peter Bazalgette.  Vaizey said he wanted the approach, which includes local authorities, higher education institutions and heritage organisations, to be replicated elsewhere: "In this financial climate, people just cannot work in silos anymore.  We have to forge partnerships... I want to work with the North East but I also want to take [its] template and broadcast it nationally.  It's full of individual, very engaging ideas and above all it brings a real coherence to everything that is happening in the North East."  The Stage
 
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  Museums Association Conference round-up  
 
 
  HLF announces new plans  
 
 
HLF Chair Sir Peter Luff announced the organisation’s new plans at the MA conference.  These include:
 
  • Transition funding, Start Up grants and Catalyst small grants will be combined in a new programme, with an upper limit of £100k.
  • There will be opportunities to build endowment funds partly supported by the HLF.
  • A third round of the Skills for the Future programme, developing practical expertise for heritage projects.  The fund will be encouraging more applications from those wishing to learn digital skills.
  • Substantial grants to projects which make a difference to the young.  HLF will also recruit young people to help them make funding decisions. 
 
More details of all these schemes will be published over the next year.  HLF also recently hosted a conference bringing together heritage professionals and leaders from disability groups to ‘raise the bar’ and make heritage work more inclusive.  Giving the conference keynote Dr Tom Shakespeare said “In a rapidly changing world, disabled people are the experts in readjustment, in adapting to the curve balls that life pitches at us.”  HLF, DCMS blog, AIM (disability conference round-up)
 
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  MA conference in a nutshell  
 
 
The Museums Association has provided an archive of articles summarising issues and ideas highlighted at its 2015 conference.  Highlights include:
 
  • Peter Latchford of Black Radley, which has helped Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and other museum groups to think more creatively about how they operate, revealed the results of a museum survey on resilience and commercial operations.  He argued that many museums need to learn to become ‘less dictatorial’ in their structures to survive.
  • Miguel Armado of Middlesbrough Museum of Modern Art discussed how his ‘user led’ museum is reflecting current events, from ecology to the closure of a local steel works.
  • Researchers Lois Stonock and Charlie Tims explained what museums can learn from football clubs.
  • A panel discussed whether the Northern Powerhouse is a useful idea for cultural development.  Manchester Museum Director Nick Merriman argued that the “key thing to grasp is that this is an economic concept [which addresses] the appalling disparity between the North and the South
 
NMDC Chair Diane Lees took part in a directors' panel discussion together with fellow NMDC members Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums at Glasgow Life, David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool and MA President, and V&A Director Martin Roth.  Topics covered included free admission and working in partnership.
 
NMDC and AIM also hosted a small discussion session chaired by AIM President and Director of SS Great Britain Matthew Tanner focussing on issues for local authority services moving to trust status.  Karen Perkins, Director of Luton Culture, Kevin Moore, Director of the National Football Museum and Graham Watson, Director of Highlife Highlands, shared their experiences and offered practical tips for independent museums in working with their local authorities.  A session at the AIM conference in 2016 will pick up on some of the issues raised.
 
Other sessions looked at issues as varied as facing up to the British Empire, surviving funding cuts, exploring migration, working with gypsy and traveller communities and corporate volunteering.  Museums Journal
 
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  Awards  
 
 
  M+H Awards for Excellence open for 2016  
 
 
Museums + Heritage has announced its 2016 Awards for Excellence.  There are eleven categories including temporary or touring exhibition, educational initiative, project on a limited budget, marketing campaign, trading, international award, permanent exhibition and restoration.  There is also a new award for fundraisers.  The judges include Diane Lees, Director General of IWM and NMDC Chair, and Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA.  M+H give a flavour of the flurry of twitter rejoicing from last year’s winners – including IWM and the Oxford Museum of Natural History - here.  The closing date for nominations is 1st February 2016.  M+H
 
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  Whitworth wins Contemporary Art Society prize  
 
 
Artists Stephen Sutcliffe and Graham Eatough have been awarded the £40k Contemporary Art Society Award 2015, and will be creating an original piece of work for display at the Whitworth Gallery in partnership with the University of Manchester.  The artwork will be a film celebrating Anthony Burgess’ Enderby novels which explore how artists are remembered and how uncertainly lives are turned into fixed narratives.  The piece will premiere in 2017, the centenary of Burgess’ birth.  Burgess himself had a brief and troubled relationship with the gallery – he was thrown out as a youth for “sucking on the marble breast of a Greek goddess”.  Contemporary Art Society, Museums Journal
 
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  Whitworth Director wins Personality of the Year  
 
 
Director of the Whitworth Gallery Maria Balshaw has been announced as personality of the year by Apollo Magazine.  Balshaw presided over the refurbishment of the gallery which led to it winning the Art Fund Museum of the Year award.  She is praised for breaking new ground in her approach to running a major institution: “when I started, I didn’t know how museums had always done things so I was able to question things a bit more.”  Apollo Magazine
 
Also: Philanthropists Ivor Braka and Thomas Dane have donated works by several modern artists including Tracey Emin and Gilbert and George to the Whitworth Gallery.  In a statement to mark the gift they said that more philanthropists need to give to cities outside London, as there has not been a significant culture of giving in these areas since the Victorian period.  Museums Journal
 
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  WIRP international travel grant recipients announced  
 
 
ICOM UK, NMDC, the British Council, and Heritage Without Borders are delighted to announce the successful applicant to the Working Internationally Regional Project International Travel Grant Scheme.  A total of £12,000 for six grants was available under the scheme, which was oversubscribed with a very high standard of applications.  The WIRP hopes the number and standard of applications will demonstrate to sector funders and supporters the value and need for small amounts of seed funding to enable non-national museums to undertake international visits to develop projects and partnerships.  For many museums, external funding is the only way international visits can take place.

The successful applicants confirmed to date are Beamish, The Brunel Museum, Craven Museum & Gallery, Fashion & Textile Museum, Haslemere Educational Museum, Horniman Museum & Gardens, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Special Collections, People's History Museum and the Royal Cornwall Museum.  As the scheme received a number of applications for less than £2,000 the WIRP Project Board has been able to award more than the six grants originally planned.
 
The successful applicants will undertake their international visits in 2016 and blog on the ICOM UK website.  An event to be organised in early 2017 will share the results and learning from the visits.  More details about the planned international visits will be included in the WIRP e-newsletter in mid-December 2015.  To sign up for the e-newsletter, contact Dana Andrew, WIRP Project Co-ordinator [email protected]  The WIRP is funded by the ACE Museum Resilience Fund.
 
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  Museums making money  
 
 
  Generating revenue through data: V&A unveils new ticketing system  
 
 
The V&A is reaching the final stages of implementing a new ticketing system which has been  in the pipeline since 2013, and will finally become fully live in February 2016.  The museum has a vast array of newsletters and ticketed events, but much of the work previously happened in silos.  The new system, which can cope with far more complex data, will give a 360 degree insight into how each visitor is interacting with the museum, their engagement patterns and interests.  The V&A is confident that this will allow it to increase its income stream from visitors.  M+H
 
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  Black Country Living Museum describes its gangster-based revenue stream  
 
 
Unveiling its business plan to 2020, the Black Country Living Museum has emphasised the importance of film revenue to its business model.  The museum is the home of the popular 1920s gangster drama Peaky Blinders, and the free publicity has totalled the equivalent of £100k in paid-for advertising.  The museum is also receiving a growing number of requests to film from other sources, now running at around 50 per year.  Director of Communications Laura Wakelin said “filming requests can be anything from a student wanting to film part of a University or college project to a Location Manager looking for scenes in which to set part of a Hollywood film and believe it or not, all need to be treated in the same way in terms of the processes you need to go through.”  M+H
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
The National Heritage Science Forum has appointed Alastair McCapra as its new Chair of Trustees.  NHSF
 
David Evennett MP has been appointed acting Sport, Tourism and Heritage Minister from January 2016 while Tracey Crouch MP is on maternity leave.  Gov.uk
 
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  Tech and stats  
 
 
  Good advice from the museums’ digital swapshop  
 
 
Museums Computer Group members Mia Ridge and Danny Birchall have written for the Guardian highlighting many of the best projects featured in the recent MCG conference.  The #MuseumInstaSwap project saw ten London museums swapping Instagram accounts, while Leicestershire county council’s Click; Connect; Curate; Create helps people share new digital tools and tech.  Guardian
 
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  Taking Part statistics: unhappy library users?  
 
 
The government has published its latest round of statistics and in-depth reports from the Taking Part survey.  This is the first under a new system of less frequent reporting and does not contain a dedicated section on museums and libraries.  However it includes an analysis based on statistics from Taking Part 2010–2014 which explores the links between happiness and participation in different cultural activities.  It found that while watching an artform, taking part in sport or visiting a heritage site in a 12 month period was positively correlated with happiness, museum visits and arts participation emerged as neutral and visiting a library is negatively correlated with happiness (by a factor of 1%).  DCMS said the reason for the correlations is unclear and that further research is needed.  Museums and well-being specialists speaking to the Museums Journal also expressed caution.  Happy Museum founder Tony Butler argued that the data doesn’t track well-being over time or explore the personalities attracted to different activities.  Taking Part, Museums Journal, Gov.uk
 
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  Demographics  
 
 
  Arts jobs still dominated by the middle classes, finds survey  
 
 
A survey by Create promoted by the Guardian has found that jobs in the arts are still dominated by those from middle class backgrounds.  2,539 people working across the creative industries responded to the survey.  76% had at least one parent working in a managerial or professional role while growing up, and 50% had a parent with a degree.  Nearly 90% had worked for free at some point in their careers.  Women are more likely to work for free, and earn less once they begin to be paid.  Museums Journal
 
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  Little diversity among curators at MPMs, finds study  
 
 
A report commissioned by the Arts Council explores how Major Partner Museums support equality and diversity in their workforces.  It found that:
 
  • MPM Boards do not represent the communities they serve, with women and BME people being particularly under-represented.
  • Visitor services staff are a more diverse group than behind the scenes staff.  Curators, exhibition staff and collections care specialists in museums are less diverse than those in other roles.  The report recommends further research to find out why this is the case.
  • Funding pressure makes it harder to keep a focus on tackling a lack of diversity; the report recommends an MPM workforce and leadership group should work to keep museums on track.
 
In a blog on the report, the Arts Council’s Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein acknowledged that it was ‘depressing’ that museum staff are ‘deeply up unrepresentative’ of the wider population whose taxes and lottery money pay for the service.  But he added “the report also paves the way for a direct and positive response.  It focuses on a relatively small group of museums, and it has come up with a series of very practical proposals for how these museums can diversify their workforce.  The work will be led by our Major Partner Museums themselves, and it will take time.  But it is a positive step in the right direction at a time when the imperative for diversity is clearer than ever before.”  Museums Journal, ACE, ACE blog
 
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  Jobs  
 
 
A selection of jobs from across the NMDC membership this month:
 
 
A complete list is available on our website here.
 
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