Resilience, connection and workforce at heart of new MGS strategy
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has launched its new strategy for 2023-2030 following an extensive consultation with the sector.
The new strategy sets out three interlinking strands that will be at the heart of MGS’s vision over the next seven years: resilience, connection and workforce.
The strategy states: "Our vision is that Scotland’s museums and galleries are thriving, connected, and resilient organisations which are agile in embracing change. Trusted and valued by the widest diversity of Scotland’s people, our collections, and the shared stories we tell, are accessible and inclusive to all."
The organisation has identified 10 priority areas that fall under the three strands: inclusion, health and wellbeing, education, place, fair work, diversity, skills and confidence, financial resilience, climate action and collaboration.
These will inform a set of new, streamlined grant outcomes for the organisation’s existing funding streams. MGS has relaunched its grants programme after pausing its funding streams ahead of the strategy's launch.
At the heart of the strategy is the goal of ensuring that Scotland’s museum and gallery collections are “cared for, accessible, and shared”. It also puts an emphasis on how Scotland’s museum sector can address wider societal issues such as climate justice and anti-racism.
MGS chief executive Lucy Casot told Museums Journal that it was an “interesting time to be launching an ambitious strategy” in light of Covid and the current economic crisis.
“The priorities remain the priorities – it’s how you deliver them that changes,” she said. The vision is designed to be “really practical and really scaleable”, said Casot, and it will remain a “live strategy that can respond to changing circumstances and changing opportunities”.
“We want to make sure it doesn’t just sit on a shelf,” she said.
Following Covid, she said MGS is closely attuned to the evolving needs of the sector and plans to work in partnership to take the strategy forward, allowing other organisations to lead on areas in which they have existing expertise. “Being a listening organisation is very important to us,” she said.
Casot describes the three strands as a “Celtic knot” that are strongly interconnected, with each goal contributing to the success of the others.
The strategy puts a focus on partnership working and collaboration both within and outside the sector. “We’re really pleased that at the heart of the strategy is collaboration with others in the culture sector and beyond,” said Casot.
At the launch of the strategy this week, Scotland’s culture minister Neil Gray announced an additional £500,000 to help museums and galleries tackle the cost of living crisis.
Museums Journal understands that the additional funding will go towards supporting the resilience of museums, particularly their energy efficiency. Full details on how the funding will be allocated will be released in due course.
“We warmly welcome the announcement of additional funding for our sector from the Scottish Government,” said Casot. “We had a huge response to our Resilience Fund and we are very pleased that this funding will enable us to support more museums and galleries to manage ongoing cost of living challenges and to undertake energy efficiency projects.”
The Museums Association’s director Sharon Heal said she looked forward to working with MGS on the new strategy.
“The Museums Association very much welcomes this new strategy and the direction it sets for Scotland’s museums,” she said. “The emphasis on supporting museums to tackle big issues such as climate justice, anti-racism and the financial future of our sector very much chimes with our vision at the MA for inclusive museums at the heart of their communities. We look forward to working with MGS to deliver the strategy.”