Reopening case study videos

Covid-19 has been a challenge like no other for museums and for many recovery remains uncertain, with significant financial challenges, higher costs and reduced visitor numbers and income meaning some may not be able to reopen until 2021.

Yet independent museums pride themselves on their resilience, their entrepreneurial skills, their ability to both grasp opportunities and flex to meet challenges. And this has been clearly demonstrated as the sector slowly reopens and welcomes back visitors, with some museums already seeing a glimmer of success post-lockdown.

It seems that as well as adding significant additional safety measures for staff, volunteers and visitors, the ability to quickly adapt, identify shifting audiences and respond to their needs is key to beginning to recover and plan for the future. We spoke to several AIM members to hear about their experiences.

Watch the case studies below, with a link to the captioned version of all the case studies at the bottom of the page.

Steve Gardam spoke at AIM’s virtual conference in June about the challenge of reopening a very hands on, interactive family experience. In this video we hear how he and his team have faced that challenge and reopened the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre with fully guided visits.

AIM hears from Sarah Thomas at Ilkley Manor House with an update on her AIM Conference presentation. Sarah tells us how the reopening plans have been finalised and how their many volunteers feel about returning to the Manor House.

Stuart Orme at The Cromwell Museum speaks to AIM about the challenges of reopening one of the country’s smallest museums along with the lessons learnt so far.

Chris Done at National Waterways Museum explains how their focus on attention to detail formed the basis of their reopening plans and tells us how things are going so far.

AIM speaks to Liz Power from London Museum of Water & Steam about reopening the museum after lockdown and the opportunities that has brought to do things differently and welcome a new audience.

AIM speaks to James Etherington at Kiplin Hall and Gardens about how they reopened a historic house and the positive outcomes of changing their ticket model on reopening.

Watch a captioned version of all the case study videos. If you’re interested in a specific case study, the approximate timings on the video are:

  • The Cromwell Museum 00:00
  • Ilkley Manor House 04:15
  • Kiplin Hall & Gardens 08:15
  • London Museum of Water & Steam 12:10
  • National Waterways Museum 15:55
  • Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre 18:45