As we reach the end of 2021, it’s time to look back at the past year and reflect on how far we’ve all come – especially during the pandemic, when people and resources have been stretched to the limit.

The December newsletter from South West Museum Development contains some all-important highlights from our Thematic Officers, describing their biggest projects and cases, from audience development at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, to helping museums in Somerset attract more visitors and volunteers.

Colourful fairy lights wrapped around snow-covered tree branches.We also share details of seasonal events taking place in museums across the South West, including craft activities for families, Christmas markets, and candlelit evening openings. Christmas can be a magical time for museum visitors of all ages, and it’s great to see so many sites getting involved in the festive fun. Just remember to check museum websites and social media before you travel, as all events will depend on COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

There are also some external resources and links to help your museum get ahead, covering topics such as rights management and Instagram.

As usual, we’ve done some detective work to track down the most relevant grants and funding opportunities, but we’ve given a special mention to our very own Green Grants programme, which is all about sustainability. Grants of £500-2,500 are available, and the programme will close for applications at 12pm (midday) on Monday 17 January 2022.

We hope you all have a peaceful and productive end to the year, and we look forward to working with you in 2022.