St Mungo Museum of Religious Life, Glasgow Life

MGS announces national strategy roadshows

Rebecca Atkinson, 13.06.2012
Further roadshows planned for summer
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) will hold its first national strategy roadshow in Aberdeen University Library on 25 July, it was announced at yesterday’s Museums Association (MA) Scottish members’ meeting. 

Joanne Orr, chief executive officer at MGS, told delegates that further roadshows would be held throughout August and early September in Inverness, Perth, Oban, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

About 30 people are able to attend each roadshow, which are being held to help develop a national strategy delivery plan for Scotland. Further details of the Aberdeen meeting will be on the MGS website later this week.

“We are expecting people to do their homework and will give them information in advance of a meeting to help them think about what they’re delivering now and what they can deliver in line with the strategy,” Orr said.

An online survey will also be available for people unable to attend a roadshow. MGS hopes to implement the strategy next April.


The MA members’ meeting, which was held at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow, gave Scottish members the chance to ask MGS further questions about its role as the strategic development body, including the type of service it would deliver and the appointment of board members.

Orr said it was still early days and that MGS was open to dialogue with the sector to help shape the service and strategy. Regarding board members, she said criteria would include experience and knowledge of museums and galleries.

Other speakers at the members’ meeting included Tamsin Russell, president of the Scottish Museums Federation; Neil Curtis, head of museums at the University of Aberdeen Museums; and David Taylor, portfolio manager special projects at Creative Scotland.

Taylor used the opportunity to respond to criticism in the Scottish press that Creative Scotland was abandoning artists in favour of policy.

He told delegates that the arts sector needed to demonstrate its value to all sections of Scottish society: “We need to promote the intrinsic value of arts and culture and we need to convince people there are consequential benefits to society – economic, social, educative and well-being. We are fortunate in Scotland that the current administration sees the values of the arts, but we cannot count on that unconditionally.”

Meanwhile, Russell outlined the issues that are having an impact on Scotland’s diverse cultural landscape, including plans to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 and proposals to cut the number of local authorities in the country by almost half.

During the afternoon, Maurice Davies, head of policy and communication at the MA, led a Museums 2020 interactive workshop to help shape the MA’s vision for the future of the sector.

He called on delegates and other MA members to continue the debate online and share their visions for the future.

Bookings are now open for the Museums Association's 2012 Conference & Exhibition in Edinburgh