It was a busy summer here at MGS. We have made some changes to our work to support the sector so we are rolling out some of the improvements.
You might already have visited our new website which was in test mode for a few weeks and launched properly on 30 September. Developed with the needs of the sector firmly in mind, the result is an easier-to-navigate, cleaner and more modern site. The search facility has been improved as well as signposting to funding streams and the grants processing system. The content has been streamlined significantly to allow you to find the information you require quickly.
The big priority for us was to create a website that met the sector’s needs. Input from sector testers shaped its early development and feedback from visitors to the beta site has been instrumental, so thank you to everybody for taking the time to help us get it right.
Another change has been to revamp our monthly e-bulletin Connect to transform it into a visually engaging and informative read. Content has been streamlined and each month a theme – next month it is ‘doing things differently’ – will be explored through three focus features.
The features share museum insights and will look at investment or training activity. Infographics and signposting to essential deadlines or information will all help to make Connect a monthly inbox must-read. Incidentally we have also revamped our Blog where all of the Connect features will be published. If you don’t currently receive Connect you can sign up here.
We have also looked at how we support sector skills development and will be offering training bundles of courses and content. These bundles will offer greater value for museums as booking a bundle of courses will cost 20% less than booking those courses individually. We see the bundles as a way for you to plan your learning and allocate budget in advance while getting more value for money.
Changes to Funding
Changes are also ahead for our Festival of Museums investment stream. The fund will support museums to plan and deliver successful and financially sustainable events. Applicants will need to generate a proportion of their event budget from external sources such as tickets, sponsorship or in-kind support. For some museums this may present a challenge but in the current economic climate we have to develop skills that will build our long-term financial resilience.
Applications will open at the end of September with a November closing date. We will be urging museums to start their application early so that you will have time to seek input from your colleagues and from MGS, who will be holding telephone surgeries in October.
We’ve also been listening to your feedback about our funding streams and we will be announcing some exciting changes in November.
Remember 2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and Festival of Museums is set to feature prominently. The theme offers great scope and inspiration for museums so bear it in mind when planning your event.
We are thinking about how we can do things differently to improve how we work. Get in touch with us if you have examples of how your museum is making improvements. We will be looking for features content from the sector for future editions of our new Connect, so if you’d like to be featured please get in touch.