Rural Proofing Resilience

Partnership funded project to deliver training for museums in specific rural areas of the South West

South West Museum Development Programme

Working with Cornwall Museum Partnership, we secured funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, to develop and deliver a collaborative programme of leadership and skills development for rural museums in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The four areas of focus were:

  • Strategic fundraising
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business planning

These were identified by the sector itself as the main areas that are fundamental to a museum’s ability to continue to thrive and grow. The programme supported museums to develop effective, proactive and outward-looking leadership, through a focus on strengthening museum boards.

Combining their extensive experience of working with smaller rural museums, we collectively developed a skills development programme. Peer groups came together for the two-year programme to share successes and ideas, as well as challenges, whilst being supported through tailored business mentoring.

These topics form the basis for our E-learning that is available nationally for museum staff and volunteers, as well as workshops and a mentoring scheme that will work with selected museums in the South West area.

The Resilience Programme invested nearly £400,000 over two years to achieve a cultural shift in the way museums respond to, and take advantage of, a fast-changing environment to ensure they are able to strengthen and deepen the vital role they play in their communities.