Launch Of The Mendoza Review Of Museums In England

Tuesday 14th November saw the much-awaited launch of ‘The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England’.

It was undertaken in response to the Culture White Paper in 2016, which called for “a wide-ranging review of national, local and regional museums, working closely with Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)”. AIM was consulted at various points during the preparation of the Review.

At the launch event, John Glen, Minister for Culture Tourism and Heritage talked about the success of independent museums Beamish, Black Country Living Museum, The Tank Museum and Derby Museums Trust.

He praised their ability to take an enterprising approach whilst sharing a strong vision for what their museum could do for the public and its communities. He stressed the importance of museums’ role in place-making and the growing recognition of this in some local authorities and Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs).

The Review offers no new funding for museums, but highlights the need to ensure the approximately £844m p.a. which flows to museums from 16 government linked sources is used in the most effective way.

Nine areas are highlighted as the focus of future funding, policy and programmes for the sector:

  • Adapting to today’s funding environment
  • Growing and diversifying audiences
  • Dynamic collection curation and management
  • Contributing to placemaking and local priorities
  • Delivering cultural education
  • Working in museums: Developing leaders with appropriate skills & Diversifying the workforce
  • Digital capacity and innovation
  • Working international

AIM’s work through the Hallmarks of Prospering Museums and its Diversifying Museum Visitors Project are referenced in a section suggesting eight areas where museums can improve their own practice.

Six areas of action are set out. These include closer working between DCMS, ACE and HLF set out in a Museums Action Plan to be in place by September 2018. It will include the national museums where applicable. ACE and HLF will work more closely in funding museums with a number of recommendations in this area.

DCMS will take a more strategic role in relation to museums, improving how it joins up across government to progress the priorities identified for museums.

The national museums will develop a new ‘partnership framework’, working with DCMS, HLF and ACE, to extend their reach throughout England in a more strategic way. In his speech John Glen said this should include sharing their commercial expertise alongside other areas.

AIM will be responding to the Review in due course.

The Review can be downloaded from The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England




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