Scottish industrial museums tackle conservation skills gap - Museums Association

Scottish industrial museums tackle conservation skills gap

Nationwide project launched amid concerns for future of collections
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Rebecca Atkinson
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The project aims to ensure industrial museums in Scotland have a trained and knowledgeable workforce
The project aims to ensure industrial museums in Scotland have a trained and knowledgeable workforce

Scotland’s federation of independent industrial museums has launched a two-year project addressing a decrease in conservation skills across the country.

The £230,000 Powering Our People Project aims to ensure Industrial Museums Scotland’s 14 member museums have a trained and knowledgeable workforce able to care for their nationally significant collections.

It will employ a conservator and industrial conservation intern to work alongside 100 employees and volunteers to develop skills, particularly in the care of large industrial objects, important paper archives and innovative and historic engines.

Alongside training, workplace exchanges and shadowing schemes, the project will also hold a conference and create online resources to benefit the future workforce.

This is the first nationwide training programme led by Industrial Museums Scotland, said the federation's chair David Mann.

Key skills will be gained and shared within the workforce and the care of Scotland’s amazing and nationally important industrial heritage will become more sustainable into the future,” he added.

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The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Pilgrim Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, the Headley Trust and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.  

“Scotland’s industrial heritage, from shipbuilding to coalmining, is a vital part of our nation’s story, and it is essential that we keep the skills alive to care for the important industrial heritage collections we hold around the country,” said Caroline Clark, Scotland director of the Heritage Fund.

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