Second meeting of the APPG for Museums 4 Dec 2020

The second meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Museums took place on 11th November and minutes have now been published. The two speakers were Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture and Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.  

  • Summarising the current situation, with a particular focus on regional and civic museums, Iain Watson said that the Cultural Recovery Fund has been a lifeline in 2020 - 21, but there is concern over how museums will survive past that March 2021, especially given the decline of income-generating business.
  • Caroline Dinenage said that she had visited incredible museums since taking up her role and that she is keen to support the sector. £300m remaining from the Cultural Recovery Fund gives some contingency for museums in trouble; discussions are ongoing about how this can best be targeted.
  • Employment and the furlough scheme were discussed. Representatives of major unions have seats at the working group chaired by the Minister, adding to the maturity of discussions around employment.
  • The group also discussed digital exclusion, how this became more visible during lockdown, and whether museums can contribute to improving digital inclusion. The Government is publishing a digital strategy next year, which will involve multiple departments and consider everything from education to work.