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Measuring Up

Covid-19 Update: Because of the need to respond to the current Covid-19 crisis, all programmes for 2020-21 are under review. We will update these pages as soon as the position is clear.

The Measuring Up programme will encourage museums to use self, peer and audience evaluation to measure improvements in collections development and engagement.

In Year 1 (2018-2019) our collection grants were modified from the 2015-2018 grants programme, and four made available to enable museums to more effectively assess the quality of how they develop, research, care for, interpret and share their collections. Our digital grants were also modified from the 2015-2018 grants programme, and four made available to enable museums to more effectively assess the quality of their digital offer.

Grant holders were asked to act as a peer for a partner museum, so that all participants received a peer assessment of their project in order to provide an objective overview of the project’s success. Projects that involve training, public events or exhibitions were also required to submit a brief audience assessment at the end of the project.

Another four museums were invited to participate in a mystery shopper exercise to investigate via peer review the quality of their visitors’ experience. The four museums conducted reciprocal anonymised mystery shopper exercises of each other’s exhibitions or programmes, with moderation and support provided by MDOs.

London Museum Development used the basis principals behind the Impact and Insight Toolkit to inform its Year 1 Programme. It was the only Museum Development region to launch a pilot Impact and Insight Toolkit programme in Year 1. During Year 1 and throughout Year 2 (April 2019 – March 2020), we have been working with other Museum Development regions, Arts Council England and Counting What Counts to find ways of developing a more streamlined non-national museum approach to the Impact and Insight Toolkit.

In shaping the next funding round, we were keen to address and take on board feedback from the museums who participated in the Year 1 Programme. We wanted to offer London’s non-national museums a useful and concise programme, which would support and inform their future activities. As such, LMD has refined the MUP for Years 2 and 3 as follows.

  • Combined the 3 strands of the programme into one seamless offer to the sector
  • Made the grant amount larger
  • Provided a longer timeframe to deliver the project
  • Broadened the criteria of the projects LMD will support/fund through the programme
  • Provided additional funding to support peer reviews
  • Built in the mystery shopper aspects into the peer review process
  • Provided additional funding to inform future programming based on comments and feedback provided by peers and audiences
  • Outlined more clearly how LMD will continue to provide support for successful museums throughout the grant period.

Between April 2018 and March 2022, London Museum Development will support museums to increase:

  • Staff confidence and experience in using self, peer and audience review/evaluation methodologies to inform programming
  • The quality of collections research, care and exhibitions
  • The quality of the digital offer
  • The quality of the visitor experience.

Year One: April 2018 – March 2019 Programme

In July 2018 London Museum Development received a number of applications from museums wishing to apply to one of the three strands of the programme. The assessment panel was impressed with the number of strong applications submitted and, ultimately, decided to fund the following museums:

Collections Grants – London Museum Development awarded £500 to the following museums:

  • Islington Museum
  • Museum of Philatelic History
  • Old Royal Naval College
  • Postal Museum

Digital Grants – London Museum Development awarded £500 to the following museums:

  • British Dental Association
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • The View, Epping Forest
  • World Rugby Museum

Mystery Shopper Visitor Experience Project – London Museum Development invited the following museums to participate in the new initiative:

  • Florence Nightingale Museum
  • Guildhall Art Gallery
  • Hackney Museum
  • Library and Museum of Freemasonry

All Year 1 projects were completed between February and March 2019. You can find a summary of the projects that we funded between April 2018 – March 2019, along with a summary document of the lessons learnt from the trial year (PDF 1.32mb, opens in a new tab).

If you have any questions about the Year One Measuring Up Programme please do contact, Rachael Crofts, Museum Development Officer Audiences: [email protected].

Year Two and Three: January 2020 – November 2021 Programme

Like other organisations London Museum Development has been considering its work in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Due to the rapidly developing situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and the advice from the government to implement social distancing and working from home, London Museum Development have taken the difficult decision to postpone its upcoming development programmes planned to support London’s non-national museums. These programmes will now be pushed back until later in the year.

This includes our Year 2 and 3 Measuring Up Programme we have previously advertised. Until further notice, we will not be accepting applications to our Measuring Up Programme and plan to re-launch the entire programme, with new deadlines later this year. We apologise for any inconvenience caused for museums currently working on the application and hope when we re-launch that you are still able to make an application.

If you have any questions about your application, the temporary closure of this new programme or its re-launch, please contact Rachael Crofts, Museum Development Officer Audiences: [email protected] / 007540122540.