Our latest responses to Covid-19 - Museums Association

Our latest responses to Covid-19

We have responded to the Covid-19 crisis by recalibrating our offers to members and the sector, and making a number of changes to our work.

These include:

Protecting our people

The health and wellbeing of our staff, members, partners and contractors is paramount.

We have closed our offices, and will not reopen them until April 2021 at the earliest. This means that we are unable to pick up or send out any post – but otherwise we’re all set up to work remotely, and we’re contactable by phone or email.


  • We continue to process all memberships purchased via our website and provide digital confirmation of membership for those who need it
  • We have brought forward the introduction of a digital membership card to ensure members receive their card in a timely fashion

Members free entry

Museums are currently closed as part of a nationwide lockdown. When they reopen, they will continue to offer free and discounted entry to our members. Please always check our members free entry listings for the museum you wish to visit and keep in mind that, in future, local lockdown restrictions may apply where necessary.


We’ve been working with partners and sector bodies to make a strong case for museums, including:

  • Lobbying governments for the £1.57bn rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions
  • Working with NIMC to advocate for support funding in Northern Ireland and monitoring take-up
  • Highlighting the plight of local authority museums and arms-length external organisations in Scotland
  • Working with the Welsh Federation and AC-NMW to make the case for funding from Cultural Recovery Fund and monitoring take-up
  • Working with the English Civic Museums Network to make the case about the impact of Covid-19 on civic museums in England
  • Responding to the letter from the English Culture Secretary to national museums about contested heritage
  • Signing a joint statement of intent to take responsibility for ending racism in the heritage sector
  • Making a statement on the ethics of contemporary collecting during Covid-19
  • Making various statements on reopening the museum sector
  • Submitting evidence to UK, Welsh and Scottish governments
  • Working on a joint campaign to celebrate the work of Welsh museums
  • Working with the BBC to organise and promote #MuseumfromHome and #MuseumPassion
  • Calling for a just and green recovery following Covid-19

Workforce support

Joining as individual member gives you exclusive access to our workforce development offers. Alongside our core programmes – the AMA and FMA – we have also launched several new offers that are free to members:

  • Our hugely popular Museum Essentials online learning programme to build your confidence and competence in key areas of museum practice. Alongside our courses on Working Ethically and Working with Collections, we have recently launched a new course on Working with Partners
  • Workforce Covid Support Facebook group – an online space to support furloughed workers and those at risk of redundancy
  • Managing in Crisis Facebook group – a safe space for museum leaders and managers to connect and share insights


  • Museums Journal magazine is now a bi-monthly publication (published in January, March, May, July, September and November). This new format includes ‘In Practice’ content, replacing what was previously available as Museum Practice online
  • For most of 2020, we opened up Museums Journal content online to all, which was previously not accessible to institutional members. We have now returned to our normal model, however we continue to offer some of our biggest sections of Museums Journal – News, Opinion, and People – free to all our institutional members
  • We’ve also launched this, our new website, with access to lots of content free for our members – including case studies, videos and advice in our Campaigns section


  • We postponed all our physical events, and have run bi-weekly webinars that are free to all members. We are reviewing the impact of these and will announce future events access in the coming weeks
  • We ran Conference 2020 as a digital event from 2-6 November 2020, free to all members, featuring five days packed with inspiring and practical sessions
  • We are running digital members’ meetings free for all members, keeping you in contact with developments in your area


  • Our Collections Fund reacted quickly to offer a significant new stream of funding to our institutional members – with record numbers of applications, we have funded over £0.6m of sector projects
  • More funding streams from our Collections Fund will be available for our institutional members in the coming months
  • Our Benevolent Fund is here to support members in financial need, offering small assistance grants, as well as supporting members from protected characteristics
  • Our Beecroft Bequest also remains open for applications from institutional members


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