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Manchester Art Gallery – Claire Wood

Making the case for museums National and regional advocacy Impact of Renaissance in the North West

Making the case for museums

Whitworth Art Gallery

With a great deal of political and economic change ahead, it is an important time for museums to engage more systematically with stakeholders. ...Love Museums is the MA’s latest project to help you make the case for your museum and for the wider sector, both now and into the future. Mark Taylor, Director, Museums Association

Claire Wood

There are challenging times ahead and museums must work together effectively to make their case. The Museums Association’s Love Museums campaign has recently got underway. MLA is developing national advocacy plans and Renaissance North West is working with strategic partners to demonstrate the impact of the investment and the partnership on people’s lives. As part of this advocacy work, we will be telling stories of Renaissance’s achievements in using the power of collections to reach new audiences, engage with young people, increase children’s attainment, impact on families and communities and create volunteer opportunities. These stories come from across the region, for example, Renaissance has invested in venues such as Bramall Hall in Stockport to support increased participation by young people to overcome anti-social behaviour, and in the

Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal to support the creation of new displays to engage with families.

Renaissance North West has been advocating the value of museums and collections for some time through strategy, public events and debates, such as those focussing on working with stakeholders and on collections review. We are also providing direct support to venues, such as Norton Priory in Runcorn, for advocacy work to raise their profile in order to secure future funding. The good news is that Renaissance in the Regions is supported by the three main political parties. Our challenge is to maintain the capacity to deliver impact and innovation going forward, to contribute to a powerful Cultural Olympiad and to establish stronger partnerships with national museums to better serve our audiences.

Virginia Tandy OBE, Director of Culture: Manchester City Council & North West Hub Lead

MLA national advocacy plans MLA is promoting the achievements of regional museums and strengthening core messages to political audiences to demonstrate the benefits of Renaissance funding. A Renaissance Advocacy Group has been set up to lead this work and support regional museums in their advocacy work in the run up to the election and post election leading up to the 2011 spending round. Alongside the national advocacy work, advocacy activity in the North West will take place at a local and regional level by:

 MLA’s Director of Engagement North and North West Regional Manager  Hub Lead and Hub Museum Directors  Renaissance North West team. MLA’s communications and research teams are working to support this work by reviewing and developing the existing evidence base, mapping out target audiences and identifying advocacy activities. The Renaissance Advocacy Group has identified key messages for advocating the important role of regional museums. All national, regional and local campaigning will

demonstrate that regional museums are:  protecting and developing collections of local, national and international significance  contributing to regeneration, tourism and the economic success of English towns and cities  involving people in defining and exploring their identity and heritage, and that of others  promoting life-long learning and well-being for all  developing a culture of excellence, knowledge, scholarship and skills. Keith Bartlett, Director of Engagement (North) MLA

Stockport Story Museum

Building on the success of the programme and through consultation with our constituents over the last 7 years, Renaissance investment is meeting the needs of many regional museums and galleries. Staff and volunteers at regional museums are now better able to use the learning, adapt and implement the good practice that is being developed in the North West. As a result, regional museums – their audiences and their stakeholders – are experiencing the benefits of being involved in the Renaissance programme.

What is invested in regional museums?

Claire Wood

 £360,000 for collections development projects  £300,000 for learning partnership programmes  £180,000 for the Green Museums Programme  £140,000 for training and workforce development  £150,000 for place shaping in the Manchester City Region and Pennine Lancashire  £180,000 for Accreditation advice, collections care & emergency preparedness support.

Flooding at the Windemere Steamboat Project demonstrated that the dock buildings are unable to cope with the extreme weather we are now experiencing, just 30 years after they were built. This drives home the need for having a sustainability policy which we are developing for the whole Trust through the Green Museums Programme.

Salt Museum

Frances Snowdon, Lakeland Arts Trust

Claire Wood

Impact of Renaissance in the North West 2009-2011

The Renaissance North West business plan is a strategic framework that is being delivered across museums, galleries and other cultural partners up until 31 March 2011.

What kinds of projects are supported?  collections and peer reviews  natural science collections development and research based projects  increasing visitors at Industrial Powerhouse venues  Preston schools literacy initiative  Cumbrian learning networks  young people’s participation in Global Threads – the region’s Stories of the World project  increasing energy efficiency by addressing lighting, insulation and building management systems  management and leadership development for staff working in museums and the arts sector  visitor surveying and data analysis at 20% of museums across the region  emergency response area networks.

How is Renaissance supporting museums to engage with stakeholders?

 investing in the Cultural Olympiad to give a national profile to the Global Threads partners and participants  brokering relationships with the Chief Leisure Officer Groups to lend greater political importance to local authority run historic houses  helping museums make better use of capital investment by increasing their understanding of visitor profiles, audiences and community engagement  working in partnership with ACE, Regenerate and the Living Places Group to raise the ambition and profile of the museums and visual arts sectors in Pennine Lancashire  working with ACE and other leading partners to develop a regional cultural offer for young people  disseminating scholarship and examples of good practice  working with strategic partners to develop new models for business and service delivery and build a flexible workforce that is responsive to change.

Regional museums supported by Renaissance North West

Reviewing the print collection gave us a much better appreciation of these items – plus it improved documentation and storage. The opinion of a curator from the Whitworth Art Gallery gave us the confidence to really make full use of what we had in terms of redisplay and interpretation. Sean Baggaley, Gallery Oldham

How is the learning being used and shared?

 the MAGPIE literacy programme and audience segmentation work at the Hub venues was used to develop the Preston Museums Family Learning Programme  the latter programme was used as evidence for the Museum of Lancashire’s successful HLF application  feedback from Standpoint visitor surveys is being used to develop programmes in Pennine Lancashire  museums in Greater Manchester are using Standpoint data to advocate to governing bodies around National Indicator 10  the RDA funded retail and income generation project at Hub venues has been rolled out to local authority venues in Greater Manchester  Renaissance’s powerful evidence base and research programme provides robust intelligence about the sector that is shared through our publications and events.

How can my museum benefit from the Renaissance North West programme?  grow your audiences and understand your visitors better  raise the profile of your service by demonstrating how you contribute to your governing body’s priorities  increase the sustainability of your organisation by developing staff and adapting new business models  lever in additional funding and support from stakeholders  engage with your visitors by raising awareness of green issues. To learn more about the achievements and impact of the Renaissance North West programme on regional museums, their visitors and users, visit our new pages on the MLA website

Renaissance has made improvements to many areas of the galleries. Our visitors are very impressed with the displays and our enthusiastic team, and are grateful for investment in our heritage that current and future generations will be inspired by. Staff and volunteers, Tameside Museums & Galleries Service

Collaborating with partners across Manchester and Lancashire on the Historic Houses initiative is helping us clarify the direction of Turton Tower and exploit what we provide to local people in a way we wouldn’t be able to do alone. Paul Flintoff, Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery

1 Abbot Hall 2 Armitt Museum 3 Astley Hall Museum & Art Gallery 4 Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery 5 Blackwell – The Arts & Craft House 6 Brantwood House 7 Catalyst Science Discovery Centre 8 Cheshire Military Museum 9 Clitheroe Castle 10 Congleton Museum 11 Cumbria’s Military Museum 12 Dock Museum 13 Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum 14 Gallery Oldham 15 The Garstang Museum of Archaeology 16 Gawthorpe Hall 17 Greater Manchester Police Museum 18 Grosvenor Museum 19 The Haig Colliery Mining Museum 20 Haworth Art Gallery 21 Helena Thompson Museum 22 Helmshore Mills Textile Museum 23 John Rylands University Library 24 Kendal Museum 25 Keswick Museum 26 Lancaster Maritime Museum 27 Lion Salt Works Trust 28 Manchester Metropolitan Collection 29 Millom Folk Museum 30 Museum of Science & Industry 31 Museum of Lancashire 32 Nantwich Museum 33 National Football Museum 34 National Museums Liverpool 35 National Waterways Museum 36 Norton Priory Museum and Gardens 37 Penrith & Eden Museum 38 People’s History Museum

39 Port Sunlight Museum & Garden Village 40 Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre 41 Queen’s Lancashire Regimental Museum 42 Queen Street Mill Textile Museum 43 Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Museum 44 Rossendale Museum 45 Ruskin Library 46 Ruskin Museum 47 Salford Museum & Art Gallery 48 The Salt Museum 49 Senhouse Roman Museum 50 Steamboat Museum 51 Stockport Heritage Services 52 Tameside Museums Service 53 The Beacon Museum 54 The Lowry 55 Touchstones Rochdale 56 Towneley Hall 57 Turton Tower 58 Urbis 59 Warrington Museum & Art Gallery 60 Weaver’s Triangle Visitor Centre 61 Wigan Culture & Leisure Trust 62 Williamson Art Gallery & Museum 63 The Wordsworth Trust

Supporting natural sciences Claire Wood

Manchester Museum

Did you know… 2010 is the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity? That a recent survey showed 82% of potential visitors are interested in natural history? The North West has more than 10 million natural science specimens, spread across 60 institutions? While some museums have specialist curatorial staff, the vast majority have no naturalists, and so these collections are marginalised or perceived as difficult to use. Renaissance North West is improving the use and profile of these collections through a number of interventions. New Light on Old Bones is a pilot study consisting of innovative interdisciplinary research on natural science collections in the region. A researcher is spending time at Blackburn and Rossendale

museums gathering historical and cultural evidence about the natural science collections. The research team will work with the museums to provide them with a resource for potential displays and public programmes and act as an exemplar for other museums in the region. At Blackburn Museum, the research will support the redisplay and reinterpretation of the Victorian ornithological specimens – many of which were returned from Lancashire County Museums following a collections review that Renaissance supported in 2008/09. For Rossendale Museum, the research will provide supporting information and new interpretation to enhance the visitor experience by raising awareness of the wider context of natural history collections in terms of biodiversity and conservation. The new national curriculum offers greater flexibility in how children learn about science – which is ideal for museums. The Grosvenor Museum is working with natural scientists, artists and new non-museum partners to

produce learning resources that will open up the geology collection to new audiences. Kendal Museum is developing an innovative education programme that highlights the number of extinct and endangered specimens within the natural history collection. Renaissance North West is also supporting a series of events and training opportunities for specialists and non-specialist curators who look after natural science collections to share practice and improve the use of Zoology, Botany, Entomology and Geology collections across the region. The breadth of material within collections, allied to the diversity of natural habitats in the North West, makes the region an ideal place to advocate for biodiversity and conservation. Through staff development, innovative public engagement projects, and improved communication within and outside of the sector, museums in the region can raise public awareness of environmental issues and tap into the public’s interest in the natural world.

For more information contact David Craven, Collections Development Officer: Natural Sciences

Alan Seabright

Profile: Nathan Lee Regional Manager – North West, MLA A significant part of my work includes advocacy for museums across the North West. Often the most effective way to do this is through collaboration with other cultural agencies.

Training & Events 12 April New Ways of Using Natural Science Collections FREE

Arts & Heritage Centre, Rochdale 22 April Trustees for the Future – Developing Your Industrial Heritage Sites FREE Helmshore Mill Textile

Museum, Helmshore. 28 April Care of Archaeological Collections FREE Lancashire

Conservation Studios, Preston. 5 May Managing Projects Effectively FREE Lancashire Conservation Studios,

Preston. 10 May Natural Partnerships: Building Relationships for Natural Sciences Inside and Outside of the Sector FREE

For example, the four regional cultural agencies (English Heritage, Arts Council, Sport England and MLA) were represented on the NW Regional Strategy Advisory Group and now the significance of culture’s contribution to the region – including that of museums – has a higher profile. Another area of joint advocacy is in the role of culture and museums in developing good places to live, work and visit. I chair the Living Places initiative in Pennine Lancashire, and advocate for the role of museums in helping to sustain areas undergoing housing-led regeneration. As a result, the local authorities have created a cultural strategy across the sub-region

that recognises how museums contribute to the Multi-Area Agreement. I also update each sub-regional chief culture and leisure officer group and hold discussions with senior local government figures if there are specific issues with a museum, such as funding or a general lack of appreciation of the contribution a museum can make. I am happy to receive requests for assistance as sometimes my regional position can open doors that may otherwise be closed. Much of the museum specific advocacy work I do is in close partnership with Renaissance North West. Whether this is the work on local authority historic houses, responding to the Cumbrian flooding, or working with the NW Fed and National Museums Liverpool to create an advocacy statement for museums in the North West, Renaissance has a key role to play.

For more information contact Nathan Lee

17 May Materials and Microclimate: Displaying Objects FREE

Dale Street Training Room, Liverpool. 26 May Care and Identification of Prints FREE Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. 11 June Museum Security FREE

Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. 22 June Handling and Packing Objects for Transit FREE Lancashire Conservation

Studios, Preston. 2 July Collections Review and Disposals FREE Freemasons Hall, Manchester. 5 July Object Assessment and Condition Reporting FREE Manchester Museum. 15 July Insurance, Loans and Couriering FREE Manchester Art Gallery. 21 July New Light on Old Bones workshop – Historical Research into Natural Science Collections FREE

Manchester Museum. For more information and to book a place contact Alex Bird

Emma Anderson, Renaissance North West Manager 0161 235 8822 Myna Trustram, Research Manager 0161 235 8849 Jennie Pitceathly, Regional Museums Development Manager 0161 235 8810 Katie Athey, Events & Communications Support Officer 0161 235 8825 Alex Bird, Events & Communications Support Officer (maternity cover) 0161 235 8825 Kaye Tetlow, Collections Care Liaison Officer 07500 065537 Sarah Cooper, Accreditation, Standards & Review Officer 0161 306 1772 / 07500 226470 Julian Andrejczuk, Workforce & Skills Development Officer 0161 235 8892 / 07538 181257 David Craven, Collections Development Officer: Natural Sciences 07798 668258 Jane Davies, Learning Development Manager 01228 618767 / 07854 921522 Brendan Parker, Finance & Performance Manager 0161 235 8872 Connie Witham, Finance & Performance Officer 0161 235 8897

To help protect the environment, this publication is printed on stock from renewable/sustainable sources using only organic based vegetable inks.

13 May Egyptology Seminar: Understanding Your Collections and Audiences FREE Manchester Museum.

Contact the Renaissance North West team

Tullie House, Carlisle.

Renaissance North West newsletter April 2010  

ISSUE 13 APRIL 10 Manchester Art Gallery – Claire Wood

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