The policy column

Sharon Heal, Issue 118/06, p17, 01.06.2018
A force to be reckoned with
If you ask a museum professional about their pressing concerns, funding, collections and being relevant to the public would be near the top of the list. So it was no surprise that the Museums Taskforce honed in on these three areas when it published its report in March.

The independent taskforce was convened by the Museums Association to look at the big issues facing museums, and over the course of a year, it debated and examined the evidence.

The recommendations include: strategic use of funding to invest in and make the most of the museums and galleries that we already have; supporting the development of advocacy for the sector; and fostering a brave approach to collections management.

These are aimed at politicians, funders, stakeholders and sector bodies, and the MA has already picked up the mantle by launching its Collections 2030 research and working with other sector bodies to develop advocacy events across the UK.

The taskforce is keen to maintain the momentum, so members have been meeting with politicians, civil servants, funders and sector bodies to discuss the recommendations and work out how we can all better support the sector. There’s general agreement that, with limited resources, there needs to be a joined-up and strategic approach.

The taskforce will reconvene in the autumn to check progress on the recommendations and to look at what remains to be done. There’s an appetite for change in the sector – and working together, we can make it happen.

Sharon Heal is the director of the Museums Association