The policy column | Empowering Collections: a progress report

Sarah Briggs, Issue 120/03, 04.03.2020
A year on from the Museums Association’s (MA) Empowering Collections report, it’s pertinent to revisit our vision of making collections more relevant and dynamic. Is the sector making this vision a reality? And how can museums and others sustain the report’s ambition across all 11 recommendations? 

Sector bodies have responded. The Collections Trust aims to create a national aggregator that will enable meaningful sharing of collections data across museums, with huge potential to inform processes such as acquisition and disposal.

Funders, too, are responding. The sector is anticipating the launch of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Dynamic Collections funding stream in 2021, which is expected to support collections work, with a focus on projects that benefit people and communities.

The MA has worked closely with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to review the Collections Fund, so that it can better support the need for longer-term projects. 

As collections work should drive all museum activities, we’ve introduced Strategy and Development grants. For the first time, they will offer funding over five years, to support collections work that contributes towards museums’ strategic aims and helps to develop organisations. 

Get in touch before the 11 May deadline with your views.