The Scottish Mining Museum's director, Rowan Brown, is a member of the MA's board of trustees

MA consults Scottish members on national strategy

Patrick Steel, Issue 111/09, p5, 01.09.2011
Timing to coincide with MGS's consultation into strategy development
The Museums Association (MA) is to consult its members in Scotland over the future of the country’s national strategy for museums.

The initiative will coincide with Museums Galleries Scotland’s (MGS) publication of its consultation document into the strategy’s development at its conference in Edinburgh on 16 September.

Mark Taylor, the MA’s director, said: “As the biggest independent membership organisation in Scotland, with more than 400 members, we need to make sure that those voices are heard.

“Real progress and change will need some new resources to be invested and reallocated. But a good strategy will be effective, irrespective of new investment.”

Asked what the strategy should address, Rowan Brown, director of the Scottish Mining Museum and a member of the MA’s board of trustees, said: “Scotland needs an equitable funding structure. If the status quo prevails, the quality of service across the country will be seriously impaired.

“There should also be an emphasis on the educational value and social benefit of museums. Funding should be predicated not just on the quality of the collections, but also on how they are used.”

Other issues that Brown would like the strategy to cover include the lack of direct funding for school visits to museums; the methodology for calculating visitor figures; succession planning for staff and volunteers; contemporary collecting; and partnership working between universities and museums.

The final strategy will be launched in January 2012.