About the London Museum Development programme

The London Museum Development programme uses Arts Council England (ACE) funding to drive development and deliver sustainability, resilience and innovation in non-national museums in the capital, so they can maximise their benefits to audiences and communities.

Along with the other 8 English regional Museum Development services, London Museum Development has been formally designated as a Sector Support Organisations (SSO) by ACE.

The context for our 2018-22 programmes is provided by key national strategies and policy priorities. The five goals of the ACE 10-year strategic framework, Great Art and Culture for Everyone, are among the most important of the drivers. Some of the five goals express public and political expectations upon museums and the consequent pressure upon them to reach an increasing number and increasing diversity of audiences in ever more innovative and dynamic ways. To support museums to respond to these changes, we are running a number of brand new programmes, for instance, Diversity Matters, Measuring Up and Family Friendly.

To be added to this are the tasks for ACE and Museum Development set out in the Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in November 2017. The continuation of many of our key resilience programmes such as Survive and Thrive and Strong and Safe reflect the Mendoza Review’s call for the ongoing internal strengthening and improvement required if museums are to respond to the above external expectations. Key ongoing training programmes Skills Plus and Digital Futures respond to the Mendoza Review’s call for greater emphasis on generic non-heritage skills such as business planning, management, income generation, marketing and digital. Our understanding of how to respond to the Mendoza findings has been greatly enhanced by our own training needs analysis of the London non-national museum sector, which is attached below.

One-to-one support to make museums stronger will also continue. The specialist support and Accreditation advice that Museum Development officers (MDOs) provide will be augmented by a new business framework, which will be used to build a picture of individual museums’ development needs. The Mendoza Review also highlights the importance of accurate data to the health of the sector, so in common with the other 8 regional Museum Development programmes we will be asking museums to co-operate with us on a new data return which will collect information both we and museums need to make the sector more resilient.

The full background to our 2018-22 London Museum Development programme can be found in our 2018 ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’ publication (PDF 4.78mb, opens in new tab). Further information on the research behind our training programme for 2018-22 can be found in our Training Needs Analysis document (PDF 690kb, opens in new tab).