April 2012

NMDC Newsletter: April 2012
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NMDC Newsletter: April 2012
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Welcome to the NMDC monthly news update.  In this issue:

And much more...


NMDC welcomes copyright proposals

NMDC has submitted a detailed response to the Intellectual Property Office’s consultation on copyright. Outlining  some of the challenges facing museums, libraries and archives in relation to copyright, the submission welcomes proposals to enable museums and galleries to more easily use orphan works - items with unknown copyright owners - and permit copying for preservation purposes.  NMDC is also keen to see the educational exception extended to public museums and galleries, and for the copyright exemption for research and private study to include sound recordings, film and broadcast material.  NMDC also welcomes the proposals to ensure parity between copyright and contract law. NMDC's response was developed with the Museums IP Network and is counter-signed by the Museums Association, the University Museums Group and the Association of Independent Museums.  NMDC website Meanwhile, the All Party Intellectual Property Group has announced its inquiry on 'The Role of Government in Protecting and Promoting Intellectual Property'. NMDC also submitted a short response to this inquiry.  All Party Intellectual Property Group

European Commission’s proposals for a Creative Europe Programme

NMDC has welcomed proposals to simplify the European Commission’s Culture and Media programmes, aid capacity building and audience development within the creative sector and maintain the EU’s existing responsibilities for cultural heritage.  Responding to the EU Consultation on Creative Europe Programme, NMDC argues that working with colleagues and audiences in Europe is fundamental to most national and major UK museums’ operation and that in  the context of reduced core funding, the EU cultural programme is an increasingly important impetus and source of funding for international collaboration. NMDC welcomes the proposals to encourage greater inter-disciplinary collaboration across the cultural and creative sectors, particularly with regard to professional development and public programming but is concerned that activities for the purposes of cultural exchange are not eclipsed by the focus on growth and capacity building.  NMDC argues that museums, as digital media innovators and producers and presenters of audio-visual content, should be eligible to apply for funding from the media strand. NMDC is also concerned that the proposed cultural strand does not cover care for and research of the collections, as research is one of the main ways in which major museums work with European partners and almost all activity in museums is in some way derived from the core function of caring for and displaying the collection.  Similarly, while NMDC welcomes the support for the “circulation of works” there needs to be provision within that for the full spectrum of activities which enable an object to tour, including conservation and insurance. Finally, NMDC has called for more qualitative measures of the success of EU cultural funding. The indicators currently listed in the consultation paper are purely quantitative measures focused on increased coverage rather than quality of experience – and on provision rather than use  - and do not measure the quality of the cultural experience or its impact.  NMDC response to Creative Europe


Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP gave evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry on the EU Creative Europe programme on 15 March.  Mr Vaizey explained that he was opposed to the proposed 37% increase in funding for the Creative Europe programme compared with predecessor programmes. He said while he “would like the entire EU budget to be devoted to the cultural and creative industries…in times of great economic austerity, the European Union should be focused on growth, looking hard at its budget and the money it spends and reducing it if possible."  He explained that if savings were to be made, he would recommend the EU does not proceed with the financial guarantee scheme and that savings might be made from the cross-sectoral strand.  Lord Foulkes of Cumnock suggested it was a contradiction to cut funding for culture if the Government seeks to promote growth as the "cultural sector is particularly good at economic growth and job creation."  UK Parliament Back to top


Budget 2012 - Philanthropists say giving will be affected by cap on tax relief

In his Budget Statement of 22 March, the Chancellor announced the Government’s intention to introduce a limit on uncapped income tax reliefs: for anyone seeking to claim more than £50,000 of reliefs, a cap will be set at 25 per cent of income.  The Budget statement said: "The Government will explore with philanthropists ways to ensure that this measure will not impact significantly on charities that depend on large donations."  Following the Budget, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) conducted a survey of nearly 200 philanthropists who have all donated an average of over £50,000 a year over the past three years to charity.  The data, published on 30 March, revealed 83% of donors questioned said they felt that the change would reduce philanthropic donations.   More than a quarter of donors surveyed by the Foundation, which works with hundreds of the biggest donors in the UK and overseas, said that the plans would lead to a significant fall in their own donations to charity.  Over 600 charities, from medical research to cathedrals, have meanwhile pledged their support for the Give it Back George campaign which is calling on the Chancellor to reverse his decision and exempt charitable donations from the plans to cap personal tax reliefs.  The campaign, led by nine charitable organisations including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), CAF and Philanthropy Review, argues that "the problem is simple: a cap on the tax reliefs available to philanthropists will increase the cost of giving to charity. It’s also framing tax relief on donations to charity as some sort of tax avoidance measure: it creates the impression that giving to charity is a bad thing." Explaining why they had signed up, a spokesperson for Cancer Research UK said: "People who donate substantial gifts to charity are likely to be deterred by this new measure, which is completely at odds with the Government’s commitment to nurture a culture of philanthropy and make it more attractive to give." NMDC members are concerned about the potential impact of the change on charitable giving, which will affect many major museum donors.  NMDC has highlighted museums' concerns to HM Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is working with members and other charitable bodies to identify scope to reduce the impact of this change.  HM Treasury  Charities Aid Foundation  Give it Back George campaign 

Budget introduces VAT on alterations to listed buildings

The Budget also introduced standard rate VAT to the cost of approved alterations to listed buildings. From 1 October, approved alterations to listed buildings will be subject to VAT at 20 per cent, where before they were zero-rated.  The increase will apply to the cost of alterations that are often essential to make buildings usable and accessible, including adding lifts, toilets and kitchens.  The Heritage Alliance, which represents over 90 heritage organisations, has described this as a “drastic change [which] could have a devastating impact on the future of listed buildings across the country, as it presses yet more costs on communities working to ensure listed buildings remain usable.”  The Heritage Alliance’s Chair, Loyd Grossman OBE, told the Telegraph:  “The very real fear is that this will discourage people from making improvements to listed buildings. It may make the difference between them having a future and losing them altogether.”  Heritage Alliance

Department for Education provides £3.6m museum education

Further to the announcement at the launch of the Henley Review of Cultural Education last month that the Department for Education (DfE) would invest £15m investment in cultural education in England, DfE has confirmed that this will include £3.6m for museums and galleries education.  The investment is intended “to encourage more school visits to museums and art galleries, so that all children and young people can learn about and experience at first hand our most treasured artefacts and works of art”.  The funding is for the remaining three years of the current spending cycle – i.e. £1.2m in 2012/13, 13/14 and 14/15 – and will come via DCMS to Arts Council England (ACE), who will be responsible for coordinating a new museum education scheme.  Further details of DfE’s objectives and desired outcomes for the investment and how far responsibility will be devolved to DCMS/ACE are still to be confirmed.  NMDC has been in discussion with ACE on plans for the scheme, which is likely to involve national and regional museums working in partnership on schools programmes.  DCMS

National Planning Policy Framework now includes culture

Cultural organisations have welcomed the amendments in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published by the Government on 27 March.  The draft consultation document published last July did not include any provision for culture, and emphasised the primacy of promoting economic growth in planning decisions with a presumption in favour of a narrower definition of sustainable development.   Following intensive lobbying led by the National Trust and Theatre’s Trust, the final version of the NPPF uses a revised definition of sustainable development which now includes “cultural well-being” and "protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment".  The NPPF also recognises as a “Core Planning Principle” the need to "take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural well-being for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs"; as well as the conservation of heritage assets.  The NPPF now says that each local planning authority should produce a Local Plan for its area, which should include strategic policies to deliver provision of community and cultural infrastructure.  The NPPF also includes new references to the need to promote town centres and lists “arts, culture and tourism development (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls)” as main town centre uses.  Cultural buildings are also specifically included in policies for rural development, promoting healthy communities and in conserving and enhancing the historic environment. Following the campaign on the NPPF, 20 arts and cultural organisations have come together to establish the Culture in Planning Alliance (CiPA), to “promote the role of culture and the arts in the planning system, share expertise and produce expert guidance on culture and the arts in planning.”  National Planning Policy Framework  Theatres Trust  National Trust

New visa rules for visiting artists

The Home Office has announced changes to immigration rules that will make it easier for artists, entertainers and sportspersons to visit the UK for short-term work.  From 6 April, there will be a new Permitted Paid Engagements visitor route which will allow a small group of professionals, artists, entertainers and sportspersons who are invited to come to the UK to undertake short-term permitted fee paid engagements for up to 1 month. Key changes include:
  • Visitors will be given one month leave to enter if they have been invited to undertake pre-arranged fee paid engagements within this period
  • The UK host organisation will no longer be required to keep contact details, biometric records or passport entry stamps
  • UK hosts will not be required to apply to become a licensed sponsor, but will only need to prove that it is a bona fide arts group or organisation.
  • The new PPE visa will allow invited artists to be paid a fee for their work and to stay for up to one month 
The permitted activities include:
  • artists exhibiting and selling their works; authors doing book signings; entertainers giving one off or a short series of performances and sports-persons providing guest commentary in their field of sport.
  • visiting to give a lecture, examining students, participating in or chairing selection panels.
Cultural organisations have long argued for changes to the visa system and last year the Government gave Arts Council England responsibility for advising on visa allocations for artists under the Points-Based system.   A Statement of Intent issued by the Home Office explains that this latest change of rules recognises that the Points Based System (Tier 2 or Tier 5) is not always appropriate for those coming for short periods to perform one-off remunerated activities and who do not have a formal sponsor.  UK Border Agency  Home Office Statement of Intent  

Government's Red Tape Challenge seeks views on museum regulation

The Government is inviting those with a stake in the sport, heritage, gambling and lottery industries to "declare war on the rules and red tape that are holding back their growth and stifling their chances of success." The Sports & Recreation" theme of the Red Tape Challenge website lists dozens of regulations that relate to museums and asks for comments on whether these are still necessary or are examples of excessive red tape.  Measures included range from those relating to the export and return of cultural objects and protection for listed buildings, to the composition of the Imperial War Museum's board of Trustees and the Natural History Museum's authorised repository site.  The sports and recreation theme is live on the website for three-weeks from 29 March-18 April.  Cabinet Office   Back to top


National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums & Galleries

Scotland’s Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSP launched the first ever National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries on 30 March.  The national strategy, Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland's Museums & Galleries, aims to unite the museums sector in a vision to achieve a more sustainable future and to maximise the sector’s reach, growth and potential.  The vision is: “Scotland’s museums and galleries will be ambitious, dynamic and sustainable enterprises: connecting people, places and collections; inspiring, delighting and creating public value. “ The Strategy sets out six aims for the sector:
  • Maximise the potential of our collections and culture
  • Strengthen connections between museums, people and places to inspire greater public participation, learning and well-being
  • Empower a diverse workforce to increase their potential for the benefit of the sector and beyond
  • Forge a sustainable future for sector organisations and encourage a culture of enterprise
  • Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation and ambition
  • Develop a global perspective using Scotland’s collections and culture
As well as setting the strategic direction for the sector, the National Strategy will inform the business plan for a new National Development Body for Scotland's museums and galleries that will champion the National Strategy and support the Scottish museums and galleries sector. Museums Galleries Scotland are currently making transitional arrangements to become the new National Development Body. Ms Hyslop also reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to museums and galleries, announcing the sector will receive £3.3 million in grants over the next three years.   The total Scottish Government grant for Museums Galleries Scotland, as the National Development Body facilitating the delivery of the museums strategy, will be: £2.490m in 2012-13; £2.475m for 2013-14; and £2.460m in 2014-15. Funding available to the sector from this grant will be maintained at £1m a year with an additional £100k a year for capital projects. The next steps for the sector will be a series of roadshows early this summer where museums can discuss the strategy and contribute to the development of a Strategy Delivery Plan.  Scottish Government

Three of the top five most visited museums in the world are in UK

Three of the top five most visited art museums in the world are in London: British Museum, National Gallery and Tate Modern ranked just behind the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Art Newspaper's survey of 2011 visitor figures from 400 leading art institutions.  The V&A and National Portrait Gallery also made it into the global top 20.  While UK museums have some of the highest visitor figures in the world, exhibition visitor numbers in London are considerably lower than in New York, Rio, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, Amsterdam and St Petersburg, where exhibitions can attract up to 9,000 visitors a day. Abstract Expressionist New York, at the Museum of Modern Art was seen by 1.2m people.  The best attended charging exhibition in London was Gauguin: Maker of Myth at Tate Modern with 420,686 visits. Visitor figures for 2011 published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions on 5 March show that eight out of the top 10 attractions in the UK are national museums.  Visits to National Museum of Scotland were up by 141% following the reopening of the Royal Museum building in July. Visits to the Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow Museums), Imperial War Museum North and the National Maritime Museum also rose by more than 20%.  Visits to National Museum Cardiff, V&A Museum of Childhood, Natural History Museum at Tring, National Railway Museum and Churchill War Rooms rose by more than 10%. Visitor numbers to some museum sites were however lower than in 2010, including Tate Britain, Imperial War Museum London, the National Media Museum and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.  Westminster Abbey in London - the focus of huge global attention before and after the wedding of HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April - saw a 36% rise in visitor numbers in 2011, placing the Abbey in the top 10 UK visitor attractions for the first time.  Art Newspaper  ALVA

New standard from BSI helps protect the UK’s cultural collections and address carbon emissions

BSI (British Standards Institution) has published a new standard for managing environmental conditions for archive, library and museum collections in the UK. PAS 198: 2012 Specification for managing environmental conditions for cultural collections has been developed in response to NMDC’s statement in 2009 that museums need to approach long-term collection care in a way that does not require excessive use of energy, while recognising their duty of care to collections. PAS 198 breaks new ground by providing a framework for risk-based decision making in managing environmental conditions. This risk-based framework reflects an increasing acceptance of a new approach to setting environmental conditions which allows for a more responsible use of energy.  It also reflects research findings that a move is needed away from a prescriptive to an evidence-led approach to environmental management. PAS 198 is intended to support collecting organisations to evaluate the sensitivity of the objects in their collections and make their own judgements about the conditions that will help prevent rapid deterioration or irreversible damage. PAS 198: 2012 was developed by BSI in collaboration with The National Archives, with additional sponsorship from Collections Trust, CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales, and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).   British Standards Institution

Campaign to save Wedgwood collection following Attorney General decision

The Attorney General announced on 19 March that he will not appeal against the court ruling that the Wedgwood Museum's collection can be sold to contribute to the pension liabilities arising from the Wedgwood Company's insolvency.  The Museum's Trustees have responded by saying that they are working closely with the administrator to ensure the best outcome for the museum in the light of this decision: "the main aim now will be to ensure that this internationally important ceramic collection and archive is saved for the nation and remains permanently open to the public."  The Wedgwood Museum, which opened in 2008 following a £10.5m building project with £5.85m from the HLF, won the 2009 Art Fund Prize. The Wedgwood Archive is one of the twenty items and collections selected to represent the outstanding heritage of the United Kingdom in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. The Art Fund announced on 27 March that it is actively pursuing ways to keep the Collection intact and on public display without it being sold on the open market or requiring a public fundraising appeal. The Art Fund is taking legal advice in relation to the Pension Protection Fund’s plan to order the Collection’s sale, and is working closely with other interested parties such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and members of the Wedgwood family. Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey MP visited the museum in Stoke-on-Trent on 30 March, and was quoted by the BBC as saying that it would be a "a catastrophic failure" if the Wedgwood Collection of pottery were to be sold, adding: "I think it's essential they [the collection] stay together. I think it's unarguable that this collection cannot be broken up."  The Museums Journal reports that DCMS has been in talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Art Fund, and Victoria and Albert Museum over ways to save the Wedgwood collection, estimated to be worth around £18m.  Wedgwood Museum statement  Art Fund BBC News  Museums Journal

National Heritage Landmarks Partnership Scheme

The Association of Independent Museums and Biffa Award have launched the National Heritage Landmarks Partnership Scheme. Biffa Award, which funds community and environmental projects, will provide £500,000 per year for three years to create a high profile network of education and interpretation projects across the UK to explore the country's industrial history. The funding aims to help transform derelict buildings and sites into "inspirational resources enabling the public to better understand the powerful tide of change that characterises our industrial past, by creating a network of key projects that tell the stories of people, processes, industrial development and change."  Museums and industrial sites are invited to submit bids for the first funding round. Up to 4 projects will be selected for partnership funding in each annual round.  AIM

ACE announces funding increase for acquisitions and designation

Arts Council England (ACE) announced details of its Renaissance National programmes for regional museums on 9 March including an additional £580,000 for acquisitions, designated collections and sharing collections expertise.  The funding allocations include:
  • The V&A Purchase Grant Fund, which helps museums acquire objects relating to the arts, literature and history, will receive £750,000 for 2012-13.  This is an increase from  the £600,000 allocated in 2011-12 but still below previous levels: the budget was £900,000 in 2010-11 and £1m a year from 1995-2009;
  • The PRISM Fund, which supports acquisition of industrial and scientific material, has had its funding restored to £250,000, up from £150,000 in 2011-12.  Applications are open now and can be made online;
  • Designation development funding will provide £700,000, up from £400,000 last year but still below the £1.55m available in 2009-10.  Applications for projects to ensure the long-term sustainability of designated collections, maximise their public value, and share best practice, will open in late May;   
  • Subject Specialist Networks funding is £150,000, up from £120,000 in 2011-12.  Applications will open on 1 May;
  • The Accreditation development fund will continue to receive £300,000 a year.
Applications are open now for the V&A Purchase Fund and PRISM Fund and can be made online.  Applications for the Designation Development Fund and Subject Specialist Network funding will open in May.  ACE will also continue to fund the Collections Trust and Culture24 for their digital support to the museums sector, as well as providing ongoing support for Kids in Museums.  Arts Council

Extend Leadership Programme 2012-13

Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, is seeking applications for a cross-artform leadership programme for mid-career professionals working in learning and education.  The Extend Leadership Programme aims to give participants the confidence and skills to achieve a greater degree of leadership in the future, either through gaining a leadership position or through achievements that raise the status of the profession as a whole.  Arts Council England will provide funding for the programme from 2012-15. Additional support has been provided by Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales in 2012-13 to support the participation of professionals working in Scotland and Wales respectively. Extend will support up to 15 mid-career professionals (either employed or self-employed) who work in the arts or cultural sectors in education and learning roles and are resident and working in England, Scotland or Wales. The programme includes a training needs analysis, two short residential programmes, mentoring and a joint project for participants. The deadline for applications has just been extended to 10am on 16 April 2012Engage

Art Fund launches Art Guide App with exhibition listings and alerts

The Art Fund has launched a new free app for smart phones and iPads, providing a guide to 600 museums and galleries across the UK as well as exhibitions listings. The includes exhibition reviews, opening times, prices, contact details and directions and enables users to search nearby or plan ahead for different locations.  Users can also create a wish-list of art they want to see and receive an alert when a wish list exhibition is opening or coming to an end. The app was launched at the Apple Store in Regent Street, London on 29 March, with a discussion on the use of technology in art with artists Michael Craig Martin and Mat Collishaw and BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz.  The Android version will be launched on 30 April.  Art Fund Back to top


Family Friendly Museums Shortlist

Kids in Museums announced the shortlist for The Sunday Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award on 23 March.  An expert panel of judges, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, picked the shortlist from the 20 longlisted family-friendly museums nominated by visitors, volunteers and the museums themselves.  The six museums are:
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • World Museum Liverpool
  • Haslemere Educational Museum
  • Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
  • Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
  • Wolverhampton Art Galley
The shortlisted museums will now be road-tested anonymously by families, using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide. The museum with the best family reports and most points wins. The winner will be announced at the end of May. Kids in Museums

Museum Prize search for the nation’s Unsung Museum Heroes

To celebrate the tenth year of the Prize for Museums and Galleries, the Museum Prize Trust will recognise ten” unsung heroes of the museum sector”.  The Trust invites nominations of staff and volunteers who have made a “significant or memorable difference to the organisation and its relationship with the public”.  The winners will be invited to the Art Fund Prize Awards Ceremony at the British Museum (with an private tour of the museum and travel expenses paid), have their achievements celebrated in Museums Journal, who will profile the Unsung Museum Heroes in the June 2012 issue, and receive a year-long National Art Pass.  The 2012 Unsung Museum Heroes Award will be judged by the Museum Prize Trust, chaired by Penelope, Viscountess Cobham. The closing date for nominations is 12 April.  Art Fund Prize  

Volunteers for Museum Learning - The Marsh Trust Awards

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust are seeking nominations for the Marsh Trust Awards which recognise “best practice and the innovative ways in which volunteers work in museums and galleries to engage the public with collections.”  There will be 12 regional winners (9 English regions and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) each winning £500 and one overall winner who will receive an additional £2,000. Prizes will be presented at a special ceremony at the British Museum in July 2012. A museum may enter on behalf of an individual volunteer or small group of volunteers. The voluntary work must have taken place during 2011 and must have a focus on education or learning. The closing date for nominations is 30 April.  British Museum  

Collections Trust launches Collections Management Awards

The Collections Trust has announced that nominations are now open for the inaugural Collections Trust Collections Management Awards. There are two award categories:
  • The Collections Practice Award: celebrating projects which demonstrate the application of innovative practice to improve the sustainability and use of collections in arts and cultural organisations;
  • Collections on a Budget: celebrating projects which demonstrate improvement in collections management by organisations with a turnover of less than EUR500k. The winner of this award will receive a prize of £500.
The Awards will be presented on 26 June during the evening reception of OpenCulture 2012, the annual collections management conference, which this year takes place in London.  The deadline for nominations is 11 May.  Collections Link

Public vote chooses Connect10 winners for Museums and Galleries Night

Culture 24 has announced the 10 cultural venues that have won the competition to host an event with a contemporary artist or writer as part of the Museums at Night weekend from 12-20 May. The winning museums and their guest artists are:
  • Towner, Eastbourne - Bob and Roberta Smith
  • SS Great Britain, Bristol - Bompas and Parr
  • Old Operating Theatre, London - Claire Barclay
  • Discovery Point, Dundee  - Jon McGregor
  • Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent - Martin Parr
  • Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool - Polly Morgan
  • Oliver Holt Gallery with Sherborne Museum - Ryan Gander
  • Working Class Movement Library, Salford - Simon Roberts
  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery - Susan Stockwell
  • Ragged School Museum, London - Terry O'Neill
Over 21,000 people voted for their favourite venue in the online competition. Museums at Night Back to top


Record levels of participation in museums, galleries, heritage and arts

New data from the DCMS Taking Part survey reveals record high levels of museum and gallery, heritage, and arts engagement.  Between 2005/06 and 2011, the proportion of people who have visited a museum or gallery in the last year significantly increased to the highest proportion since the survey began (from 42.3% to 47.9%). The most recent period shows a significant increase in the proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME) groups visiting a museum or gallery in the last year from 35.4 per cent (in 2005/06) to 42.5 per cent. While people who live in rural areas are just as likely as people in urban areas to have visited a museum or gallery in the last year, there are variations by region. Londoners have the highest levels of attendance (54.7%) while those in the East Midlands (41.2%) had the lowest levels of attendance. Since 2005/06, the proportion of people visiting museums or galleries increased significantly in all regions except for East Midlands and the South West. In 2011, 26.1% of adults had visited a museum or gallery website, an increase from 15.8% in 2005/06.  However, there has been a significant decrease in the proportion of adults who had visited a museum or gallery website to look at items from a collection (from 33.7% to 20.9%), while those doing so to find out about, or ordering tickets for, an exhibition or event increased from 47.9% to 56.5%. Meanwhile, library and archive attendance rates remain at the lowest levels since the survey began. Taking Part is a continuous annual survey of adults and children living in private households in England which collects data on participation in leisure, culture and sport in England, as well as an in-depth range of socio-demographic information.  DCMS  

Britain's biggest ever international tourism campaign goes global

Prince Harry, on his first official visit to Brazil, launched the GREAT campaign in Rio de Janeiro on 9 March.  The GREAT campaign, Britain’s biggest ever tourism campaign, aims to attract an extra 4.6 million extra visitors to the UK over the next four years, securing an additional £2.3 billion in visitor spend.  Brazil is one of the UK’s key target markets for tourism: Britain is the tenth most visited destination by Brazilians and VisitBritain hope the UK will receive an extra 100,000 visits a year from Brazil by 2020. The GREAT campaign is targeting nine countries worldwide, with adverts appearing in 14 key cities around the world: Beijing, Berlin, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. Around 70 per cent of the population in each of the target cities will see the advertising on billboards, TV, or in the cinema, a total of 90m people. Trains on the New York Subway and Paris Metro, and 100 taxis across Delhi will be wrapped in the Union Jack and GREAT branding. VisitBritain have also announced a global partnership with Yahoo! which aims to drive over five million views of VisitBritain content on the Yahoo! network and help drive 3.5 million visits to VisitBritain’s own online platforms. DCMS

Holidays at Home are GREAT

Holidays at Home are GREAT, the biggest ever domestic tourism campaign aimed at boosting tourism throughout the UK, was launched on 7 March.  The £5 million campaign, led by VisitEngland and supported by the tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will showcase the country and highlight the key events taking place this year. Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary) star in a new TV advert encouraging people to visit a website offering 20.12 per cent discounts on accommodation, restaurants, attractions and transport around the country.  Enjoy England  DCMS

Arts Council announces £114m new capital investment

Arts Council England has allocated £114m Lottery funding to 26 organisations in the first stage of its new large-scale capital funding programme.  This is the Arts Council's first new capital investment since 2003.  As well as £47.5m for the Southbank Centre, National Theatre and Royal Opera House, there is capital funding to support arts activities in museums.  Tate St Ives has been allocated £4m to extend its gallery facilities. York Museums Trust has been allocated £3m for an extension project.  Successful applicants will now be invited to complete a stage two application within the next 18 months showing plans at a detailed stage of design and development. The next round of the large scale capital funding programme will open in the summer.  Arts Council

London 2012 hailed as “legacy blueprint”

The Government has published its legacy document, Beyond 2012, which sets out the breadth and depth of the sporting, economic, regeneration and community legacy that will be delivered after the Games. Key aspects of the Beyond 2012 plan include:
  • a £1billion youth and community sport strategy targeting 15 to 24-year olds;
  • boosting economic growth by showcasing UK construction expertise at the Olympic Park, awarding the majority of London 2012 contracts to UK-based companies and running major domestic and global tourism campaigns;
  • supporting a culture of volunteering through the Games Makers and London Ambassadors schemes, the Cultural Olympiad, the Torch Relay and community action projects;
Beyond 2012 also highlights:
  • The UK’s largest ever cultural festival, with 1000 events across the UK as part of the London 2012 Festival, as well as 14m people who have already participated in Cultural Olympiad events.
  • 20.12%, the UK’s most ambitious domestic tourism campaign, encouraging more to holiday at home in 2012, with an unprecedented television campaign from VisitEngland built around a 20.12% discount offer;
  • YOU’RE INVITED, the UK’s biggest ever campaign to attract inbound tourism ahead of London 2012, run by VisitBritain and GREAT, the UK’s biggest ever tourism marketing campaign with adverts across 14 cities worldwide.
Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, who visited London for a three-day inspection at the end of March hailed London 2012 as a “legacy blueprint” for future Olympic and Paralympic Games.  DCMS

New Art Venture Fund will pair up social investors with arts groups

A group of art organisations have come together to encourage new investment in the sector by asking social investors to take part in a pilot scheme. Arts Ventures Fund Group is made up of a number of collectives like the Rayne Foundation, Poet in the City, Investing for Good, Live Theatre and Mission Models Money. They hope that the initiative will encourage new types of funding for the arts by pairing up social investors with art groups wanting non-grant income. Mission Models Money said: "Our assessment of the market is that the sorts of financing that arts and cultural organisations most need - high-risk capital to develop new ventures and underwriting (money allocated and called down if needed) to underpin cashflow are in relatively short supply ,at least relative to the potential demand."  Arts Council

New survey reveals scale of damage to historic buildings and sites

English Heritage has published the first comprehensive survey on the effect of crime on England's historic buildings and sites.  The survey estimates that:
  • Some 70,000 listed buildings - 18.7% of the entire stock of listed buildings in England - were last year physically harmed by crime. For some 30,000 listed buildings - or 8% of the entire stock - the damage was substantial.;
  • Grade I and II* buildings are the worst affected. 22.7% of grade I or II* buildings were subject to heritage crime last year, compared with 18.3% of grade II buildings;
  • Churches and other religious buildings face the greatest threat with 37.5% (three in eight) damaged by crime last year.;
  • Metal theft is the biggest single threat. Around 5.3% of listed buildings were affected by it, but this nearly trebles for churches, with 14.3% affected last year.
English Heritage has been running a heritage crime programme for two years with the aim of reducing the amount of damage done by crime to the nation's heritage assets.  This includes working in partnership with the police and Crown Prosecution Service, and creating the Alliance to Reduce Crime Against Heritage, a national network intended to galvanise local action and producing guidance on preventative measures.  English Heritage

The National Archives and Arts Council England forge new partnership

The National Archives and ACE have signed a memorandum of understanding which marks the beginning of a new partnership as the two bodies commit to working more closely together.  The memorandum recognises that while The National Archives and ACE have distinct roles, their strategic vision and aims reflect areas of shared interest. These include: improving access to information, services and cultural experiences; promoting sustainable services; developing a skillful and diverse workforce; and taking advantage of new technology.  Collaboration on areas of shared interest will result in: delivering schemes like Museum and Archives Accreditation; identifying opportunities to use emerging digital technologies; pooling resources to secure ‘at risk’ collections; and identifying effective ways of working together in the regions.  The arrangement follows the closure of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) whose responsibilities were divided between The National Archives and ACE last year. 

Training increases organisational resilience

Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries have published an independent evaluation of two training programmes funded by Renaissance West Midland.  The report found that standards in West Midlands’ museums have been significantly improved by the training programmes and significant evidence that programmes will contribute both to short term organisational resilience and long term survival.  The research found that the model based on central design and local delivery has been cost effective to a sector which is noted for low budgets and reliance upon volunteering.  The report also suggests that the demographic of museum workers may be shifting because of a higher reliance on volunteers, new entrants with more theoretical than practical knowledge, and increasing professional isolation.  It argues for the need for sustained investment in training.

Trust New Art programme launched

The National Trust and Arts Council England have launched the 2012 programme for Trust New Art – a series of exhibitions, events, artists’ residencies and commissions which situates the work of contemporary artists in locations managed by the National Trust.  The 2012 programme offers the widest variety of events since Trust New Art launched in 2009.  The Trust has also unveiled plans for Peace Camp, an artwork created by director Deborah Warner, with actor Fiona Shaw and composer Mel Mercier. The artwork is produced by Artichoke Productions.  Peace Camp, co-commissioned by the London 2012 Festival and Derry-Londonderry 2013, will appear simultaneously at eight remote coastal locations around the UK for four nights in July.  National Trust  Peace Camp 2012 Back to top


HMS Victory transferred to National Museum of Royal Navy with £50m endowment

The Ministry of Defence has decided to transfer the custodianship of HMS Victory to the HMS Victory Preservation Trust, a charitable trust established as part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy to ensure the preservation of Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar for future generations. The Gosling Foundation and Ministry of Defence have also each pledged £25m to start an endowment to maintain the 18th century vessel, which will continue to be a commissioned ship of the Royal Navy under her Commanding Officer and ship’s company. The new charity will also assume responsibility for the continuing work of BAE Systems who were last year awarded a £16 million contract to extensively restore the ship – the most in-depth transformation since her return from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. A 100-gun first-rate ship of the line, Victory was launched in Chatham in 1765 and is now the only surviving example of an 18th century ship of the line.  Royal Navy

Record visitor figures at Wales’s national museums

The seven national museums in Wales received 1.69 million visits in 2011-12 - the highest total ever recorded since free entry was introduced in April 2001. The opening of the new National Museum of Art on the top floor of the National Museum of Cardiff has driven a 13.7% increase in visits to that venue.  Back in 2001-02, a specific ‘free for all’ campaign resulted in figures increasing 88% - from 764,599 to 1,430,428 - within 12 months. The momentum has continued and accelerated. By 1 April 2012, 16.5 million visits had been made over the 11 years of free entry.  In 2000-01 fewer than 250,000 of visits were made by people from these less affluent groups. Over the years, the figure has increased to over 500,000 – one in every three visits.  Amgueddfa Cymru

Imperial War Museum London to close for 6 months during £35m regeneration

IWM (Imperial War Museums) has submitted a listed building and planning application to the London Borough of Southwark to transform its flagship branch, IWM London. The planning application focuses on the first phase of a longer term Regeneration Masterplan for the building, developed with architects Foster + Partners.  The first phase will be completed in time to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014. It includes:
  • New First World War galleries which are significantly larger than the current First World War galleries;
  • A reconfigured central hall at the heart of the museum;
  • New central hall terrace displays, re-interpreting the Museum’s large objects to make it easier to understand their historical significance and context;
  • Additional gallery space at the top of the museum for exhibitions relating to contemporary conflicts; and
  • A new museum café opening onto the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, and a new shop.
IWM is currently fundraising for the £35 million project, and to date has secured over half of the funds required.  In order to progress with the redevelopment plans, IWM London will be temporarily closed for a six month period from January 2013. Southwark Council is expected to reach a decision on the listed building and planning application by the summer.  Imperial War Museums

Google Art Project relaunched

The Google Art Project was relaunched  on 3 April with the addition of 46 new partners from across the globe. New members include National Galleries of Scotland, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, the National Gallery of Modern Art Delhi, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.    The relaunch is part of a major global expansion of the project, which now has 151 partners in 40 countries. More than 30,000 high resolution objects are now available, up from the original 1,000 in only nine museums.  Street View images which enable users to take a virtual tour inside galleries and this now covers 46 museums, with more on the way. The project has also expanded to include sculpture, street art and photographs as well as paintings. Alongside the expansion there have been technical improvements and new user features include support for tablets, and the ability to create your own collections of artworks.  National Galleries of Scotland  Google Art Project (IE users may need to install Google Chrome frame)  

Tate Travels

Tate has announced a new partnership with the Ultimate Travel Company to create Tate Travels - expert-led tours to many of the world’s premier art destinations. destinations. The first of what is intended to be an annual programme begins with a behind the scenes visit to Tate St Ives for the opening of its summer exhibition. This is one of fourteen tours, to cultural centres in Europe as well as further afield in Mexico, Australia, Russia and the US and they will run from May 2012 to June 2013.  In addition to the tours, the partnership will include an innovative “Concierge Service” exclusively for Tate Members, which will also benefit Tate.  Tate

Shakespeare's Restless World – a new BBC and British Museum radio series

Shakespeare's Restless World, a new series for Radio 4 presented by British Museum Director Neil MacGregor, begins on 16 April. The 20-part series, part of a wider BBC Shakespeare Season, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare's audience.  The objects are drawn from the British Museum, and also from a range of collections around the country including the National Museum of Wales, the National Museum of Scotland, The Royal Armouries at Leeds, Edinburgh University Library, Westminster Abbey, the British Library and Stonyhurst College.  The objects vary from the magnificent to the prosaic, and from ceremonial to the everyday”. British Museum

Science Museum launches learning apprenticeship programme

The Science Museum has launched an apprenticeship programme offering placements in its learning department.  The new roles were developed in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service, Kensington and Chelsea College, the V&A and the existing Museum Explainer team and provide a unique learning opportunity for young people with basic qualifications. Successful candidates will work with the Science Museum for a year and achieve a qualification in Cultural Venue Operations that can be used to help them secure work in the future. The Science Museum is the first national museum to offer such significant roles within their education department. The first five apprentices will begin at the Museum later this month.  The scheme, which was heavily oversubscribed, will be an annual opportunity with applications opening again next year.  Science Museum

The first ever audio CD of Shakespeare spoken in the original pronunciation

The British Library has released a new audio CD, Shakespeare’s original pronunciation, featuring speeches and scenes performed as Shakespeare would have heard them. Although there have been a handful of attempts to perform Shakespeare in the original pronunciation on stage, notably at the Globe in London and at the universities of Kansas and Nevada, the British Library believes that this is the first time that recordings have been made available. More

Impact of climate change on human evolution

New research, led by Dr John Stewart at Bournemouth University and co-authored by Professor Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum, has found that important events in human evolution, such as the first appearance of Neanderthals, may have corresponded to patterns of climate change.  Populations move to refuges when the environment becomes too harsh, and they either survive until conditions improve, or become extinct. The team found that when populations moved to refuges in new areas, there was a much higher chance of a new species evolving. This is because, over time, important evolutionary changes take place as the isolated populations adapt to their surroundings.  Natural History Museum   


The latest part of the Government Art Collection exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery features works chosen by non-political members of staff at Downing Street, as well as archive material related to the collection. 10 Downing Street staff, including custodians, personal assistants and IT managers have selected their choice of the great paintings and sculptures they work round every day. Whitechapel Gallery Back to top


Minister will not reappoint Dame Liz Forgan as Arts Council Chair

DCMS is to launch a search for a new chair of Arts Council England, following a decision by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP not to reappoint the current chair, Dame Liz Forgan, when her term ends in January next year.DCMS expects to start the recruitment process for the new chair after Easter.  Dame Liz Forgan has chaired the Arts Council since 1 February 2009.  She will remain in the role until her tenure comes to an end on 31 January 2013.  The previous two Chairmen were invited to serve a second term. Statements issued by DCMS and Arts Council England are available on each organisation's website.  DCMS  Arts Council

Fiona Reynolds to step down from National Trust

Dame Fiona Reynolds has announced that she will be stepping down as Director-General of the National Trust after 11 years in the job.  She will become Master of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, in the autumn of 2013.  She will continue in her role until her successor is in place, and plans to use the interval between leaving and moving to Cambridge in September 2013 to write a book about her years at the Trust.  Membership of the Trust has risen from 2.17m in 2001 to 4m in 2011. Meanwhile the National Trust has appointed creative agency, 18 Feet & Rising, as its lead partner to develop an overarching brand strategy for the charity to broaden its appeal.  National Trust

Imperial War Museum North

Imperial War Museums have appointed Graham Boxer as new the new director of IWM North.  He was previously Head of Arts, Heritage & Participation at Liverpool City Council and has extensive experience in heritage management and investment in the North West. Graham replaces Jim Forrester who retired as Director on 31 March, a position he had held since 2002 when the museum first opened.

New Development post at Collections Trust

John Woolley has been appointed to the new post of Development Director at the Collections Trust. He is responsible for delivering growth across the Collection Trust’s portfolio of income-generating activities and enhancing the profile and reputation of the Trust with external partners and stakeholders.  Prior to joining the Collections Trust, John was Managing Director of CILIP Enterprises, the commercial arm of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.  The Collections Trust is an independent UK-based organisation working with museums, libraries, galleries and archives worldwide to improve the management of their Collections.  Collections Trust Back to top

Over 2,300 jobs at leading museums around the UK have been advertised on NMDC’s job site www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk over the past four years.  Current vacancies include:
  • Head of Commercial Services, British Library
  • Digital Learning Officer, Imperial War Museums
  • Exhibitions Project Manager, Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Assistant Conservator, The National Gallery
  • 3-D Designer, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Curator/Senior Curator, Ancient Mediterranean, National Museums Scotland
  • Visitor Experience Assistant, Royal Armouries, Leeds
  • Natural History Informal Learning Officer, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

  And finally

Museum Showoffs invited to take to the stage

Museum Showoff, a new open mic event is inviting "the different 'tribes' of the museum world for a fun, anarchic, enlightening night" at a pub in London on 25 April. This event is a pilot for what could become a monthly event building on the success of Science Showoffs.  Anyone who works in a museum or just loves museums has a chance to sign up for a slot to show & tell, pitch ideas or just generally show off.  More back to top

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If you have any comments or contributions for the newsletter please send them to the Editor, Kate Smith, at [email protected].
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