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Issue Seven – October 2008

North West Legacy Group

Supporting regional museums

Manchester Art Gallery – Claire Wood

Knowing our visitors

North West Legacy Group

Our new philosophy is rooted firmly in best practice, innovation and integration of services for all, and our new structure is designed to serve this need… The result will be a leaner, fitter MLA, uniquely positioned to work collaboratively to challenge and invigorate our sector, embrace the future, and work for standards right across the country that measure up to the best. Roy Clare, CEO, MLA Council

A legacy group has been established in the North West to provide continuity for museums, libraries and archives and to link them with the new MLA Council structure. The Legacy Group is chaired by Bob Wand, the current chair of MLA North West, and, as you will see from the list to the right, its members represent the main networks in our region. Over the next few months, the group will focus on developing proposals for how museums, libraries and archives in the North West engage with the MLA Council and its new Integrated Regional Team. The North West’s team will comprise a Director of Engagement covering the North West, North East and Yorkshire; a regional manager for the North West; and access to the time of project staff employed on fixed term contracts. The group will also develop practical ways of working between the sectors around:  structuring the capacity of the regional membership bodies in the three domains  modernising services, especially archives that have tended to receive less attention in the past  encouraging museums, libraries and archives to play a full part in the five- hour cultural offer for young people – Find Your Talent  workforce diversity and skills  engaging the sector with the Cultural Olympiad.

News from the Federation The North West Federation of Museums & Art Galleries is an independent, voluntary organisation that aims to represent and champion the museum sector’s interests on a regional and national level. Membership is open to everyone working in museums, galleries and historic houses – staff and volunteers from all areas of activity – and the benefits include:  learning and development at meetings and training days  networking to share ideas and experience  influencing the future – being the voice for the sector in the region  professional development grants for individual and institutional members. The Federation is currently investigating the best ways to help museums across the region in light

National Football Museum

Legacy Group Members: Bob Wand Chair, MLA North West Nathan Lee Deputy Chief Executive, MLA North West Virginia Tandy Director of Culture: Manchester City Council & North West Hub Lead Emma Anderson Renaissance North West Manager Jo Jones President, North West Federation of Museums and Art Galleries David Lightfoot Chair, Society of Chief Librarians North West Martin Gaw Society of Chief Librarians North West Jim Grisenthwaite Chair, North West Regional Archives Council Jonathan Pepler North West Regional Archives Council and the National Council on Archives Bruce Jackson North West Regional Archives Council and Chair of the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government Virginia Tandy, Director of Culture: Manchester City Council & North West Hub Lead and Nathan Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, MLA North West

of the reduction of the MLA North West team. One way is through collaboration with Renaissance North West to increase the professional development opportunities available to museums. For example, the Federation helped co-ordinate the Curating for the Future Conference at the University of Manchester, and we pooled resources with Renaissance to secure 45 free seats for the region at the Museums Association conference in Liverpool. We are also working with the Renaissance team to increase communications with regional museums and art galleries. The Federation will launch its new, redeveloped website early in 2009. To join the Federation and find out more about our training programme and grants, visit Jo Jones, President, North West Federation of Museum & Art Galleries

Adam Naylor-Whalley

Knowing our visitors

Market research is helping audience development teams at the six Hub venues to better understand their visitors. Grouping visitors into segments that share characteristics, behaviours, needs and motivations can help museums across the region tailor products, services and marketing messages to meet the needs of specific types of visitors. In order to segment our audience, we need to gather a lot of information about them. The Hub venues commission a market research company, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM), to collect visitor data and run visitor focus groups. MHM analysed the data and has come up with a set of visitor segments for gallery and museum-goers. They are standard across all museums and galleries, the difference being the proportion of each type per venue. Below are descriptions of five visitor segments that interest the Hub venues. The information is relevant to all museums and can be applied to adjust your offer and grow your relationship with your own visitors.

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

The Third Spacer These are socially motivated visitors who see a museum or gallery visit as a way of spending an enjoyable time. Significantly, they are regulars and act as great advocates for museums because they bring visiting friends and relatives and introduce people to their museum. Third spacers love the wrap around offer – the café, the shop and the ambience of social spaces and beautiful buildings. They fit museum visits into their working and leisure patterns, dropping in at lunchtime or combining a visit with a trip to the theatre. These visitors have a sense of belonging, they identify themselves with the museum’s brand or image and they interact with staff.

The Self Developer These are intellectually motivated visitors who are on a voyage of discovery. They crave lots of information and layered interpretation, such as:  labels, timelines, biographies  audio guides and curators’ narratives  leaflets and booklets  interactive displays  live interpretation  talks, lectures, tours, discussions  websites – not just museum websites.

Claire Wood

The Whitworth Art Gallery

They love context because they like to fit new knowledge into their existing knowledge, to make sense of the world. The self-developer wants information that allows mental time travel. They will chat with staff hoping to glean anecdotal knowledge that is not available elsewhere. Often local interest and civic pride is a strong theme for this group and they generally prefer museums to galleries. Interestingly, this type of visit is often programme driven. They will pay for exhibitions and buy catalogues, but they see the café as a pit stop to refuel – they come to learn, not to eat.

Knowing our visitors

The Sensualist These visitors are spiritually, emotionally or aesthetically motivated. Sensualists seek out a transcendental experience through deep engagement with artworks. They crave a quiet space to contemplate artworks and unobtrusive interpretation that they can either read or ignore. They enjoy beautiful, often historic or listed buildings and efficient, knowledgeable staff who only speak when spoken to. The sensualist needs clear signage because they don’t want to look like a tourist and will never pick up a floor plan! They like a café with lovely cakes.

Learning Families

Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Like the Self Developer, these visitors are intellectually motivated and encourage their children’s interest in the world around them. They are parents and guardians who believe culture enriches their children’s lives, and museums and galleries are top of the list to fulfil this agenda. These visits are adult-led, so it is important that marketing, publicity and on-line communication is aimed at the parent because:  they guide the family’s choice of venue  they facilitate the visit and want the resources (floor plan, guide, event listings) to do this either at the venue or on the website  they appreciate events and have a higher awareness of programming than the permanent offer  they are very cost sensitive so free entry and free events are major factors in the decision to visit.

Claire Wood

Kids First Families

The Manchester Museum

These are socially motivated visits, where parents choose activities based on what the children want to do. These families do not seek out information, such as leaflets, so the museum or gallery marketing has to be visible. They want guaranteed fun and enjoyment and will not risk participating in activities that might bore the kids or require a lot of parental input. The parents may not know a lot about art or dinosaurs, so a warm welcome and friendly, helpful staff who can facilitate the visit are key. They also need clear signage and sign-posted family routes, so they can orientate themselves quickly and confidently in your venue. As with most families, cost and time are factors and it is important to have a suitably priced café or picnic spot. Kids First Families may need a lot of persuasion to visit the first time, but if you deliver a good experience, they will come back time and time again.

Steve Devine

You might read this and think: ‘I fit into a few of these categories – when I visit with the kids, I fit in one of the family segments. When I pop in to a museum for a coffee and quick look around I’m a third spacer, and when I have more time and I go to an exhibition that really interests me, I’m a self-developer or a sensualist’. You’re right, as these segments really describe visits, rather than visitors. The challenge for us all is to use this insight to find new ways to increase engagement with all our visitors in the North West.

Claire Wood

PROFILE: Kate Measures Learning Development Consultant

Renaissance is helping to foster world-class best practice, which has been strengthened by rigorous externally commissioned research and evaluation. Fantastic results are being achieved, such as the increase in attainment of children involved in the MAGPIE literacy programme for primary schools. We should be singing louder about these results on the regional and national stage and help the North West stand out from the crowd. I am working across the six Hub museums and galleries and with eight regional museum partnerships

Sharing practice Renaissance North West is launching two publications at the Museums Association conference in Liverpool.

Bolton Museum & Archive Service

For more information about the audience segments, contact Alex Saint & Andrew Palmer, Renaissance North West Strategic Audience Development Consultants:

Write On is a guide for teachers and museum staff about using museums and galleries to improve pupils’ literacy. It is based on the work of the Preston Schools and Museums Partnership and the groundbreaking MAGPIE programme that Renaissance North West and five venues in Manchester have been engaged with for four years. Evaluation by the University of Warwick has demonstrated that this programme achieves on average, an

Alan Seabright

Since starting in this role, I have been impressed by the quality of learning on offer to schools and family visitors at museums and galleries in the region. The strap line for Renaissance is ‘museums for changing lives’ and that’s exactly what these inspiring learning and educational experiences are all about.

to facilitate the delivery of learning and education programmes. My aim is to pull together a strategy that will take these Renaissance-funded programmes into an even brighter and exciting future. Plans will concentrate on how we can build on the firm foundations of learning in our existing programmes and partnerships, and further develop their quality. This will allow us to work together towards a common aspiration for our work, while retaining the unique learning offer of each organisation.

increase in pupil attainment in writing that is 35% greater than national expectations for progress at Key Stage 2. Write On outlines how museums and teachers can work together to develop similar, low-cost programmes. What’s in Store? Collections Review in the North West is about Renaissance North West’s innovative collections review pilot project. It demystifies disposals by outlining the rigorous methodology that has been developed, providing case studies, and answering questions about the processes of peer review. For a free copy of these publications, please contact the Renaissance North West team: 0161 235 8825

Museum of Science & Industry

Supporting regional museums

‘Unleash’ grants recipients 2008 This year, the Unleash the Power of Your Collections scheme attracted ambitious and innovative applications from throughout the region.

Gallery Oldham

Grants were awarded in all five sub regions to military, independent, academic and local authority museums: Astley Green Colliery Museum The Beacon, Whitehaven Border Regiment & King’s Own Royal Border Regiment Museum, Carlisle


Gallery Oldham

We want these exciting projects to have the biggest impact possible, so Renaissance North West is supporting them with a total of £118,000, plus significant input from our team and from freelance consultants. The aim is to strengthen partnerships across the region and share learning and practice. The projects we are supporting include:

Hatworks, Stockport

The Beacon – ‘Emergency Support Network West Cumbria’

Bramall Hall, Stockport Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum Kendal Museum Keswick Museum and Art Gallery Lancaster City Museum

Museums in West Cumbria are located far away from their nearest conservators. In an emergency or disaster, museum staff and volunteers have to respond quickly. This partnership project will establish a state-ofthe-art mobile disaster kit accessible to all museums, libraries and archives across West Cumbria. Staff and volunteers will be trained to respond effectively and safely, to support other organisations in times of crisis.

Lancaster Maritime Museum Lancashire County Museum Service Touchstones Rochdale Manchester Jewish Museum Museum of the Manchester Regiment National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port The Quaker Tapestry, Kendal Claire Wood

Ribble Steam Railway Museum Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester The Ruskin Museum, Coniston The Salt Museum, Northwich Setantii, Tameside South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre The Weavers’ Triangle Trust, Burnley Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust

The Wordsworth Trust

Working in a non-hub local authority museum service, I was sceptical of how Renaissance would impact on the whole region. However, the opportunities have given staff real energy to make improvements. Free training and the Collections for the Future programme has enabled curators to focus on areas of work that often get sidelined in financially stretched times. Renaissance has made a demonstrable improvement to my service.

Emma Varnam, Museums Manager, Tameside Museums & Galleries Service

Collections care kit pilot Lancaster Maritime Museum – ‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’ A temporary exhibition on the history of shipwrecks, disasters and the dangers of the sea in and around Morecambe Bay will be made into a permanent interactive display. Visitors will be able to access an archive of material to explore some of the local stories in more detail. Members of the public will be able to search a catalogue of objects that are not normally on display. The project will be launched with series of events, run in partnership with the Coast Guard, which will highlight the dangers of the Bay and promote safety at sea. Lancaster Maritime Museum

Renaissance North West is delivering free preventive conservation and housekeeping training for regional non-hub museums, as part of a collections care kit pilot programme. The aim of the pilot is to raise the confidence and skills of staff, so they can develop and implement a housekeeping plan and apply preventive conservation techniques at their museum. So far, fifty members of staff have benefited from the training and eight museums have received a kit. The kits contain a museum vacuum cleaner, dusting brushes, gloves and depending on the collection, extra equipment, such as:  ironing cloths for protecting flat textiles while vacuuming  silver polishing cloths  relative humidity indicator strips for monitoring microclimates. The training is available to all non-hub museums and galleries in the North West and kits will be distributed to those who do not already own the equipment. If you would like to receive a kit or take part in a training session, contact Kaye Tetlow, Collections Liaison Officer,

Alan Fletcher

The support we have received has enabled me to produce a housekeeping plan for staff and the training we have received means we are now more confident in caring for the collections at the museum.

Elizabeth Royles, Museum and Galleries Officer, Sefton Borough Council

The Salt Museum – ‘Image & Identity in the Roman North West’

Sefton Borough Council

The Salt Museum is leading a partnership project that explores Roman heritage in the region. The project will focus on the image and identity of people of the North West during the Roman period; how we know what our Roman predecessors looked like and how they chose to represent themselves. The Salt Museum will develop a temporary and touring exhibition, family events, schools workshops and a virtual exhibition available via the partner museums’ websites.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust – ‘Review of Egyptology Collection’ Working with the Collections Review Consultant, Wigan will use tested methodology to undertake a review of their Egyptology collections. This project forms part of Wigan Heritage Service’s wider collections project, which aims to create a collection that is relevant to the town’s residents, increased collections knowledge and access.

14 October Big Art at the Walker: developing audiences for early years FREE County Sessions House, Liverpool. Contact Chrissy Partheni: 21 October Interpretation Planning and Strategies FREE Warrington Business School. Contact Dr Joanna Oldham: 27 October Emergency Planning Workshop FREE Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. Contact Kaye Tetlow: 6 November Getting to know you – understanding your visitors and developing your audiences Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. Contact Emma Varnam:, visit: 10 November Numbering, Labelling and Marking FREE The Beacon, Whitehaven. Contact Kaye Tetlow as above 11 November YouTalk: the role of oral history in the age of YouTube FREE Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester. Contact Katie Athey: 11 November Running Historic Machinery Quarry Bank Mill, Wilmslow. Contact Kaye Tetlow as above 17 November Emergency Salvage Workshop FREE Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. Contact Kaye Tetlow as above 2 December Developing the Visitor Experience – making a difference The Grosvenor Museum, Chester. Contact Emma Varnam as above 15 January 2009 Museum Lighting FREE Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. Contact Kaye Tetlow as above 26 January 2009 Emergency Salvage Workshop FREE Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. Contact Kaye Tetlow as above 28 January 2009 Advocating to Museum Stakeholders FREE Location TBC. Contact Katie Athey as above Do you want to be kept in the loop about regional and national news? Do you want information about training and development opportunities, and notification about grants? What about sharing practice,free publications and job adverts? Then sign up for the Renaissance North West e-bulletin by contacting Jennie Crawford

MLA North West’s workforce development programme In September, MLA North West launched a workforce development programme that runs until March 2009. A range of full and half-day courses have been designed to meet a variety of sector needs in the region, with particular reference to the MLA Council’s strategic aims and themes. Free and open to staff in museums, archives and libraries, the programme includes sessions on the following themes:  safeguarding and common core skills  the national schools’ participation database  using ILFA for project management  family learning  using generic learning outcomes & generic social outcomes for evaluation  changes to the national curriculum and the Who Do We Think We Are initiative  teaching and learning outside the classroom  governance  current policy framework for the museums, libraries and archives sector. For more information and a calendar of events contact Dr Joanna Oldham, Programmes Manager, MLA North West, or visit:

Contact the Renaissance North West team

Events & Training

Emma Anderson, Renaissance North West Manager 0161 235 8822 Myna Trustram, Renaissance North West Research Manager 0161 235 8849 Jennie Crawford, Renaissance North West Communications & Events Officer 0161 235 8810 Katie Athey, Renaissance North West Project Support Officer 0161 235 8825 Jane Fletcher, Renaissance North West Education Development Manager 01228 618767 / 07854921522 (currently on maternity leave) Kate Measures, Learning Development Consultant Alex Saint & Andrew Palmer, Renaissance North West Strategic Audience Development Consultants Kaye Tetlow, Collections Liaison Officer 01772 530223 / 07500 065537 Carli Douglas, Collections for the Future Development Officer: Roman Heritage 0161 306 1772 / 07867 528370 (currently on maternity leave) Catriona West, Accreditation Advice & Roman Heritage Consultant (maternity cover) 07731 890427 Paul Fraser Webb, Collections Review & Accreditation Advice Consultant 07855 064425

October 08 newsletter  

Is s u e S e v e n – O c to b e r 2 0 0 8 M a n c h e s te r A r t G a ll e r y – C la ir e W o o d A legacy group has been established in t...