Associate Suppliers

At Buzzacott we are trusted for the experience we have, the specialisms we understand, the relationships we build and the values we live by. VAT is often a significant cost for museums because of the complex VAT rules that apply to their activities. From VAT liability and partial exemption calculations our specialists can save you time and money. As well as VAT, nearly 450 of us work co-operatively in specialist teams under one roof to tailor-make solutions for you, from tax planning and advice, to audit and assurance.

Louise supports you to use your resource, positioning, and opportunity to achieve your purpose, financial aims and create a culture that supports that up to Board level. She has over 25 years’ experience in strategic & business planning, particularly income generation, ideas development, change management, and defining clear positioning across everything you do. Louise worked at senior level in Museums and arts organisation before establishing her consultancy.
She is also a senior practitioner level accredited Coach and Mentor (EMCC) supporting senior managers and CEOs develop options, get the best from peers/staff and adapt.

Montfort Catering Consultants is an established, innovative and trusted independent catering consultancy, delivering commercially sustainable and culturally sympathetic catering operations.

We work in partnership with museums, heritage, cultural and leisure attractions providing specialist advice and support to develop new cafes, restaurants, bars and event catering as well as supporting to improve the performance and visitor experience of existing food and beverage operations.

Core services include:

• Catering Options Appraisals & Feasibility Studies
• Supporting Capital Development Applications Including NLHF
• Commercial Sustainability Advice & Implementation
• Café & Catering Operational Advice & Support
• Catering Operator Tendering, Letting & Management

We can advise and support you how best to set up, operate and manage your visitor catering to ensure it is culturally compatible, customer centric and commercially sustainable.

Recent clients include Black Country Living Museum, V&A, Museum of the Home, Horniman Museum & Gardens, Eureka! Science+Discovery, Phoenix Arts Centre & Cinema, Bishopsgate Institute, Silverstone Interactive Museum, Hatfield House and Quad.

For more information visit or email

Charities and not-for-profit organisations face a unique series of operational challenges, from raising funds to diversifying income streams, managing investment portfolios to keeping stakeholders happy. And then there’s the need to keep up to date with complex and ever-changing regulations. Our specialist charities team, ranked first in the country for services to the sector (Charity Audit Survey 2019), can help with them all. We have over 25 years’ experience providing high quality compliance, governance, taxation and advisory services to a wide range of charities and NFPs – and every one of our projects looks different, because every client is too. Run in partnership with Azets, all UK AIM members can also claim a free 15-minute telephone call with one of the team at Azets on any issues covering Museums and Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief. Contact Kirsty Murray:

Lambert Smith Hampton are one of the UK and Ireland's leading, and most progressive property consultancies with 32 offices and over 1,000 staff who have been advising AIM members on rating matters for the past 10+ years.

John Barford Consultancy leads on business strategy and commercial development across culture, heritage, charities, specialist retail and hospitality. We help organisations by identifying and developing strategy, scenario planning, business modelling, supporting change and leading or advising on operational delivery. Specialisms include Retail, Ecommerce, Catering, Venue Hire, Visitor and Customer Experience and Brand Licensing. We aim to deliver authentic and engaging commercial activities which drive profit, deliver excellent customer experiences and add value to the brand.

Previous projects extend from a strategic retail review of The King’s palaces to the development of merchandising and buying plans for a shop on the Antarctic Peninsula. John has led projects to transform food concepts targeting different customer segments ranging from a tuck shop to fine dining in a railway carriage.

At Stone King we have a large team of nationally-recognised specialists who work with many charities and voluntary organisations in the museums sector. We have assisted many clients with heritage-related issues and the charity law issues arising from the preservation and disposal of museum collections. Our specialists also cover broader activities including HR, employment law, safeguarding, information law, intellectual property, commercial services and property-related issues. Please get in touch to see how we can work together with you on or visit

Melissa is passionate about supporting and empowering others to provide inspiring, high quality learning and engaging opportunities for visitors to heritage sites, museums and galleries and community spaces. Her experience is in small independent museums and has worked in learning, events, collections and health & safety.

Working with you in a collaborative way, she can help you through delivery, project management, evaluation, training, coaching and mentoring.

Haley Sharpe Design (hsd) are industry leaders and trusted specialists across a comprehensive range of cultural and heritage planning services including feasibility studies, governance and organisational resilience; community/stakeholder dialogue and consultation; activity planning; funding advice and business planning; and audience diversification and engagement.

For over 40 years, our skilled team has supported organisations to transform their public and sector-facing offers. In particular, through our wide range of projects and team experience, we bring real-world understanding of the issues and day-to-day practice faced by the charitable and heritage sectors.

Our planning team is able to support your organisation to turn your financial, development and visitor use goals into reality. At all times, our solutions and advice seek to ensure that we balance organisational and financial resilience with the needs of audiences and stakeholders.

Mo Suleman is an award winning qualified accountant with many years of working in the Museum industry. He is an expert in all things finance and commercial and specialises in Museums & Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (M&GETR). If you don’t have the time, resources or know how to put a claim together, then don’t worry, Mo offers a unique No Win No Fee offer, doing all the leg work so that you don’t have to.

Colin Hunter is a Charted Surveyor providing advice on business rates and landlord and tenant matters. Colin has been providing advice to AIM members since 2002 on business rates and acted as Expert Witness in leading business rates appeals that have changed the way in which museums are valued for this property tax.

I have 29 years’ experience in the museum sector and have carried my skills and creative thinking into my freelance business.
Proficient in interpretation, community work, research, exhibitions and art curation, I will bring these qualities to your project. I look for innovative projects that have a definite outcome.
I am passionate about heritage, arts and the environment and making these accessible to all. Many of my previous projects have focused on inclusion and diversity.

To thrive at a time of unprecedented challenges, the heritage sector depends on agile, resilient organisations and leaders. Lucy Marder is a management consultant, leadership coach and facilitator, supporting cultural organisations with business strategy, governance, leadership development and the management of change.

Lucy brings decades of museum sector experience. She holds Chartered Management Consultant status, the highest accreditation in the field, and is a Professional Member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.

Contact -

Since our establishment in 2008, DC Research has developed a national reputation for providing high-quality research across the museums, heritage and cultural sectors. Our Director – Dr Stephen Connolly – has 25 years research experience, and over the last decade we have developed a strong portfolio of museum sector research, evaluation, advocacy support, funding and strategic support, and economic and social impact studies.

We have supported a wide range of museums in various ways, including making the case for funding, evaluating the impact of projects and activities, evidencing the economic and social contribution to local and national economies, researching the impact of admissions charging and other initiatives, and providing strategic and organisational support.

Developing financially sustainable attractions

Trading since 2006, sector leaders with an exemplary track record developing financially sustainable museums, attractions and organisations. This includes income generation strategies, business planning, new operating models, options appraisals, feasibility studies, visitor services / customer service strategies, commercial and customer service reviews and providing interim senior management support. Our team have a tremendous range of skills and experience as consultants and operators across the sector at all levels. BJA's experience includes preparing a range of successful HLF project business plans and reviews.

We have a long track record of successful fundraising in the heritage and arts sectors. We are pleased to help organisations from their earliest thoughts on fundraising through developing strategy, writing bids, managing campaigns and ensuring strong donor relationships for the future.

Recovery Plans, Governance Reviews, Resilience building, Change Management, Succession Planning. Not sure what to do for the best? Call me, I can help you. Over 35 years’ experience; as a consultant I’ve worked with over 200 organisations. Known for my innovative thinking, imaginative but practical solutions. My mission is to leave you feeling positive and resilient.

Trade and Consultant Suppliers

Colin Mulberg Consulting

Improving the visitor experience. We have over 20 years’ practice in improving the visitor experience, whatever the task or budget. We can help throughout a project or with specific stages: Auditing existing venues; Increasing sales/visits; Defining vision and concept; Developing the visitor offer; Creating content and Applying for funding.

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Julia Holberry Associates

We specialise in supporting your Heritage Lottery Fund bid. We develop and write: Activity plans; Volunteering plans; Training plans; Business plans; and Options appraisals and feasibility studies. We celebrated four HLF bid successes in the last year.

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