AIM Advice and Resources During Lockdown3

As the heritage sector grapples with Lockdown 3, its worth remembering that there is a large amount of advice and help available for industrial heritage. For instance, the Association of Independent Museums has updated its Coronavirus resources page. There you can find links to the latest Government advice for museums, the second round of the Cultural Recovery Fund (closing on the 26 January 2021), financial support, and other funding packages available from Government for heritage businesses.

AIM also provides online training and detailed advice for museums during lockdown, from a COVID-19 Action Checklist, business resilience checklist, and good governance in a crisis, to insurance, business rates, and funding tips. There’s also details about how to improve your online and digital presence. Follow this link for more details: Coronavirus resources – AIM – Association of Independent Museums (aim-museums.co.uk)

Museum Re-opening Guidance

A partial re-opening of the heritage sector is now underway in England with the ending of the second lockdown today (2 December 2020). However, industrial heritage sites, along with other cultural and museum venues, remain closed under the revised Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

Re-opening guidance for museums were issued in July 2020 by the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) Planning and Remobilisation Group, with support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and contributions from across the museum sector, including AIM. They are intended for use by museums in England. Separate re-opening guidelines are available for Scottish and Welsh cultural and heritage sites. This is guidance will also be relevant for all industrial heritage sites planning to open early in 2021.

The Association of Independent Museums and the Museum Development Network have produced a checklist to be used in conjunction with the Guidelines, to help museums take a strategic, well informed, approach to making decisions on re-opening and implementing a safe and effective plan in conjunction with the national guidance for museums.

More details here: Museum Reopening Guidance and Checklist – AIM – Association of Independent Museums (aim-museums.co.uk)

Rebuilding Heritage – Latest Free Support Programme Announced

Applications are now open for the next round of free support from the Rebuilding Heritage programme. Rebuilding Heritage is a free support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help the heritage sector respond to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heritage organisations and businesses can apply for one-to-one support in business planning, fundraising, and communications and marketing, and for a place on group training in leadership and in managing staff wellbeing.Full details of the support on offer and the application process are available on the Rebuilding Heritage website. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 16 December and decisions on applications from the Rebuilding Heritage team will be confirmed before Christmas. Details here:

Home – Rebuilding Heritage – Free Support Programme for the Heritage Sector

NMDC Good Practice Guidelines On Opening Museums

With around a third of industrial heritage sites re-opening in July and more in August it’s a good time to highlight the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) guidelines on re-opening museums. These have been compiled with support from DCMS and the Museums and Galleries Working Group. The guidelines are intended to help employers, employees, and the self-employed, and volunteers in the museum sector in England in understanding how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines provide a set of practical considerations for museums to work through before reopening, which should be used in conjunction with COVID-safe guidelines published by HM Government. These are intended to enhance, not supplant, existing regulations and to sit alongside and inform the existing business practices and standards museums already consider when managing risk and conducting business planning activities.

The intention is to periodically update these as and when new Government guidance becomes available during the different steps of adjustment to lockdown. To download the guidelines follow this link:

NMDC has also produced a timeline of possible stages of reopening, since there will be no single date on which all museums reopen. Rather, there is a range of different approaches depending on the individual museum. The timeline can be found here:

https://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/coronavirus-update/possible-timeline-museum-reopening/