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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 newsletter, once a fortnight. You can find the latest information below and on our Twitter account. You can find recordings of our past training sessions and tutorials on our YouTube channel.

E-update for London’s Museums – 20 October 2021

Let’s Do London performance report published
The Let’s Do London initiative is aimed at helping London to get back on its feet with a £6m recovery campaign targeting Londoners and domestic visitors. The primary objective is to increase consumer spend in central London across the leisure, retail and cultural sectors. Find out more here. Let’s Do London is now providing a summary of the visitor campaign performance plus wider London recovery trends. The report will be fortnightly until the end of September

#MuseumCarbonStories Social Media Campaign runs to November
The #MuseumCarbonStories social media campaign is underway, an opportunity for museums to share what actions they have been taking against climate change – whether that is in building maintenance, the circular economy and reusable materials or public engagement and exhibitions. There is a new theme each week. Biodiversity and animal welfare ran until 10th October, followed by green technology, clean air and energy, light bulb moments and what will we do next. The campaign is being run by the Roots and Branches programme, which plans to train hundreds of museum professionals to become carbon literate over the next year. Events are scheduled to coincide with the start of COP 26. See the MD North West website for further info.

Don’t forget our MD London Carbon Literacy Training Programme on the MD London website, and mentioned later in this update, for some ideas on engaging with this programme in your museum. The 1 November training date has been planned to coincide with the start of COP 26.

Deadline approaching: ACE Capital Investment Programme
The Capital Investment Programme is an open access programme to support cultural organisations to adjust buildings and equipment so that they can operate safely post-pandemic and improve access, seize on technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.
Who can apply: Not-for-profit cultural organisations based in England who are able to clearly demonstrate that their primary aims are around culture, and that the activities they are applying for fall within the remit of Arts Council England. The Expression of Interest form is now open.
Grant range: Capital expenditure from £100,000 to £750,000
Deadlines: Expressions of Interest may be submitted from 12 noon on 5 October 2021 and close 12 noon on 26 October 2021. Full applications may be submitted between 12 noon on 10 November 2021 and 12 noon on 13 December 2021.
See the ACE website for full details.

Diversity Matters Programme Grant Awards
Museum Development London is delighted to announce the award of grants to the value of £3000 each to the following museum projects under the umbrella of the Diversity Matters Programme.

  • Brent Museum and Archives: Conscious of the Female Perspective
  • Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection: Roots and Shoots – Reimagining botanical illustration
  • Gunnersbury Park Museum: Arrivals
  • Orleans House Museum: Himali Singh Soin and the archive of Sir Richard Burton
  • Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre: South Asian Roots in Redbridge

Museum Recovery Programme Grant Awards
Museum Development London is delighted to announce the award of recovery grants up to the value of £4000 each to the following museums under the umbrella of the Museums Recovery Programme 2021-22, in collaboration with the Art Fund:

  • Brent Museum and Archives
  • Bromley Historic Collections
  • Guildhall Art Gallery
  • Hackney Museum
  • Massey Shaw Education Trust
  • Museum of Richmond
  • The Cinema Museum
  • British Dental Association Museum

Museum of Childhood becomes Young V&A – and moves from nostalgia to a focus on under 14s
The V&A Museum of Childhood has been renamed Young V&A as part of a £13m makeover. The aim is to shift its focus from a social history institution where parents and grandparents relive their childhoods, to one focused on the interests and needs of under 14s. Over 70% of the costs have already been raised through private sources. V&A Director Tristram Hunt said that the new plan was shaped by the creative education needs of young people post-Covid-19. “The worry with the pandemic is that all the catch-up language is about lots and lots of maths and English classes, and not thinking about the social isolation and digital consumption and the need to getting back to looking at objects, playing, social interaction in a civic space. All these components we have slightly lost sight of.” When the museum reopens, young people will be invited to develop creative skills through performance, play and design, with an amphitheatre-style stage in Imagine, a free-play construction area in Play, and a working Open Studio in Design. The museum will reopen in 2023. See here for reporting in the Times, Museums Journal, and on the Young V&A website.

Black History Tube Map
TfL has teamed up with Black Cultural Archives to launch the first ever Black History Tube map, celebrating the rich and varied contribution Black people have made to London and the UK from pre-Tudor times to the present day. The reimagined map, replaces station names across the iconic Tube map with notable Black people from history, with the associated Tube lines renamed to link them together by common themes - Firsts and Trailblazers; Georgians; Sports; Arts; LGBTQ+; Physicians; Performers; Literary World and Community Organisers. View the map here.

Launch of major £14.5m projects in the ‘Towards a National Collection’ research programme
Towards a National Collection is a five-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research programme, exploring how thousands of disparate collections could be better connected in the future, for use by both academics and the public. After some initial pilot projects and events, AHRC has announced that it will invest £14.5m in five projects, using and developing emerging technologies, including machine learning and citizen-led archiving. Each project involves collaboration between a higher education institution and GLAM sector organisation and has up to a dozen partners from the UK and beyond. Tate, V&A, British Museum, BFI, National Museums of Scotland, National Trust, The Art Fund and Van Abbemuseum are among those involved. See here for details on the five awards.

Don’t forget about out upcoming training programmes:
Skills Plus: Carbon Literacy for London museums
Monday 1 November 15:00 – 17:00
Strong and Safe: Making the case – advocating the work of your museum and archive
Wednesday 10 November 10:30 – 13:00
Strong and Safe: Building Team Wellbeing and Resilience
Thursday 18 November, 13:00–15:00

See here for details.

We will continue to offer one-to-one advice to museums from their local MDO and specialists on Organisational Health, Audiences, Digital Technologies and Collections. You can find the support you need on this page.

E-Update for London Museums

Information about the latest funding developments, sector news, and other support packages is contained in our weekly newsletter available to download below.

e-news 201021 (797kb, 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).

The latest DCMS Coronavirus bulletin can be found here (153kb, opens in new tab).