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News from the team and the sector

The London Museum Development team will use this page to share the latest news and information about our activities. We will also update this page with a PDF version of our weekly newsletter, every Monday. You can also find the latest information on our Twitter account.

E-update for London’s Museums – 13 July 2020

London Museum Development is today launching two new grants programmes, our Museums Re-opening Grants and Museums Recovery Grants. We are aware that many London Museums are now planning whether and when to re-open. There will be considerable challenges both in terms of ensuring that appropriate measures, equipment and training are in place for a safe re-opening.There may also be a need to re-model audience profiles and business plans to address the ‘new normal’ post-Covid world. We at London Museum Development are therefore launching two new grants programmes, Museums Re-opening Grants and our Art Fund supported Museums Recovery Grants. Further information about both programmes can be found on our website.

Next week we will be making some important announcements about the London Museums Survey. Shortly we will be publishing the findings of the 2019 Survey. Since this was conducted, museums in London have been overtaken by the unprecedented threat posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The publication of the 2019 results provides an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of London’s museums to the wider cultural and economic life of the capital, and reflect on what would be lost if any of these museums were forced to close permanently. By necessity, our write-up of the 2019 results focuses on those museums who participated in the survey. We can only speak up effectively for museums who provide us with the data to do so. 2019 participation was up to 48%, a healthy increase of 10% on the first year. But we need participation to increase further before we can effectively advocate on behalf of the whole non-national sector in London. So look out next week for the 2019 Museums Survey highlights report. Look out also for the first emails concerning the 2020 survey. We have again contracted South West Museum Development, based in Bristol, to deliver the survey for us. They will be sending out emails to check contact details and so forth before sending the full survey out to you.

The new guidance on reopening museums has been published by the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) with support from DCMS and the Museums and Galleries Working Group. AIM has worked with the national Museum Development Network to produce a related and accompanying checklist to this new guidance. You can find the Guidance, and the Checklist, on AIM’s website here. If you would like help or advice with reopening, do contact your MDO. The Government has also recently clarified how organisations are expected to support the NHS Test and Trace. You can find further information on Test and Trace on the website.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund can now also be used to help organisations reopen after the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. NLHF are also encouraging organisations funded by them more than 10 years ago to apply, as well as those funded by them more recently. Detailed information for the Heritage Emergency Fund, including who they will and will not be able to fund, as well as what they will and will not fund can be found here for the £3,000 - £50,000 stream and found here for the £50,000 - £250,000 stream. The fund will now close for applications on Friday 31 July. The NLHF has created a helpful PDF with relevant applicant information and guidance videos for organisations thinking of applying to their emergency fund. If you were unsuccessful with an application to the ACE emergency funding, you are still able to submit an application for the NLHF’s ‘Heritage Emergency Fund’, provided you meet their eligibility criteria. To check that you meet the NLHF’s eligibility criteria, please see who they will and will not be able to fund on their website.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion funding package for the Arts and Culture sector. Full details of the funding are yet to be released, but the support package will help to protect the futures of UK museums, galleries, theatres and other cultural venues. It includes a £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England, made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million in grants. There will be £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust and £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects, paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find further information on the website and on the BBC.

ACE has announced that their National Lottery Project Grants will be re-opening from 22 July, with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. They will be making improvements to make the fund more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners during Covid-19. Further details and guidance will be published soon, find more information on their website.

You can now find the recordings of our series of training sessions on using social media, with a focus on the challenges of Covid-19. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to click the notification button to be notified of when we release new videos, such as a recording of our ‘Planning for Reopening’ session, led by Ben Melham and our ‘Assessing your Digital Activities’ session. You can find more information about our upcoming online training sessions on our training pages.

We will continue to offer one-to-one advice to museums and specialist support on Organisational Health, Audiences, Digital Technologies and Collections. You can find the relevant MDO contact information for those specialist areas on our website.

E-Update for London Museums

Information about emergency funding and other support packages is contained in our weekly newsletter available to download below. We publish this newsletter every Monday afternoon.

E-news: 13 July 2020 (PDF 306kb, opens in new tab).

Covid-19 resources and information

We have created a PDF document which useful links and resources about collections care, security and other issues such as business continuity, audiences and digital. We will update as the PDF as regularly as possible.

Covid-19 Resources and Information (PDF 214kb, opens in new tab).