Museum Development England, The Carbon Literacy Trust and Manchester Museum have been awarded £136,750 National Lottery Project Grant funding.

The funding is for a two-year partnership project, ‘Roots & Branches’, which aims to accelerate the museum sector’s ability to respond to the climate crisis.The launch of ‘Roots & Branches’ will coincide with the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Over the next two years, this project will enable us to scale up the roll-out of carbon literacy training across museums in England.

Putting down roots

Manchester Museum will host the ’roots’, creating a nationally significant co-working hub of cultural environmental action that will bring together museum staff, educators, environmentalists, artists, researchers, third sector organisations and students. This will be coordinated by an innovative new post shared between Manchester Museum and the Carbon Literacy Trust.

Growing branches

The ‘branches’ of the project will create an environmentally aware and active sector, giving museums the tools to respond to ‘Let’s Create’, Art Council England’s new ten-year strategy in which environmental responsibility is at the core.

Museum Development England will host a new Environmental Sustainability Museum Development Officer post, ‘Roots and Branches’ – looking to train and certify 1,500 museum professionals and volunteers as ‘Carbon Literate’. 300 museums will also develop organisational pledges to take action against climate change. The training will begin on 1 November 2021, the first day of COP26, as part of the Carbon Literacy Trust’s ‘Carbon Literacy Action Day’ – an attempt to stage the largest ever low-carbon education event globally and set a record for the number of people completing their carbon literacy training in a single day.

Opportunities for museums within Roots & Branches include:

  • Taking part in a social media campaign to promote what museums can and are doing to address climate change in the run up to and during the COP26 conference
  • Attending museum-focused online Carbon Literacy workshops for people who govern, work and volunteer in museums
  • Using the free sector-specific Carbon Literacy Toolkit to roll out the training within a museum
  • Taking commitments further by becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation
  • Attending additional training arranged through the Museum Development Programme to deepen knowledge and develop action plans

“This is wonderful news. National Lottery funding from Arts Council England will help Museum Development North West build on its established and pioneering commitment to Carbon Literacy training in the museums sector. We’re excited to be working with Manchester Museum and the Carbon Literacy Trust, empowering museums across the country to take action and effect lasting change as we seek to build a sustainable future for our planet.”

 – Michael McGregor, Director of Wordsworth Grasmere, and Manager of Museum Development North West