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Museums and Galleries Forward Plan

 

Tameside Museums and Galleries Service 

Download the Forward Plan (2015-2020)(1.5MB)

1. CONTEXT

1.1 This Forward Plan reflects the changes in the way the Council provides its services to meet the needs of its residents and visitors as well as Government policies influencing the Museums and Galleries Sector.


2. AIM OF THE FORWARD PLAN

2.1 The aim of this Forward Plan is to provide a policy context for the work of Tameside Museums and Galleries Service for period 2015-2020. It outlines the main work areas proposed during this time and how the service will be delivered.

2.2 The proposals in the Forward Plan will help to:

• Increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the Borough’s museums and galleries and their collections.

• Ensure equality of opportunity for people to visit, enjoy and engage with the museums, galleries and collections managed by Tameside Museums and Galleries Service.

• Safeguard and preserve the collections for future generations of Tameside residents and visitors.

• Drive improvement within the service and enable development.

3. KEY SERVICE OBJECTIVE/STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

3.1 Tameside Museums and Galleries service will collect, preserve and interpret the cultural heritage and visual arts of Tameside for the learning and enjoyment of the whole community.

4. OVERVIEW OF MUSEUM SERVICE

4.1 The Museum Service was established in 1975. Prior to that date there was only one art gallery in the Borough, the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery. All services are operated directly by Tameside MBC. The council is also custodian of the Manchester Regiment Collection.

4.2 The Service includes:

• Portland Basin Museum (Ashton-under-Lyne)

• The Museum of the Manchester Regiment (Ashton-under-Lyne)

• Central Art Gallery (Ashton-under-Lyne)

• Astley Cheetham Art Gallery (Stalybridge)

• Heginbottom Mill (Museum Stores)

5. BOROUGH DEMOGRAPHICS

5.1 The borough of Tameside consists of nine towns in a mainly urban area east of Manchester. It stretches from the city of Manchester to the Peak District and shares borders with Stockport, Oldham, Manchester and the borough of High Peak.

5.2 The population of Tameside is 216,900 (ONS, 2010) and the population is anticipated to grow in coming years. The fastest expanding group will be people aged 60 and over. Tameside is ranked as the 42nd most deprived area in England (Indices of Deprivation, 2010), a position which has worsened since 2004. Tameside has 19 individual wards and some parts of Tameside are in the worst 5% of deprived areas nationally.

5.3 85% of residents agree that Tameside is a good place to live according to the Council’s 2011 Residents Opinion Survey.

5.4 The implications for the Museums and Galleries Service are to ensure that we continue to provide services that are enjoyable and accessible to our changing communities in addition to providing a family friendly environment at our sites. We must ensure that the service caters for the cultural heritage of diverse communities and the needs of the over 50’s.

6. THE COUNCIL: POLITICAL AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES

6.1 The council has a Cabinet as part of its constitution. Each member of the Cabinet has a portfolio setting out their role and responsibilities. Job descriptions have also been drawn up for Councillors who support the Cabinet. There are ten members of the Cabinet which is chaired by the Executive Leader. The Cabinet is supported by 6 Assistant Executive Members. The Assistant Executive Members will support the Executive Leader and Executive Members and will be assigned specific areas of responsibility by the Executive Leader in conjunction with the appropriate Executive Member and report to that Executive Member in relation to such tasks. This will include the opportunity for an Assistant Executive Member to work solely for one Executive Member or for several.

6.2 The Council’s officer structure is based on a departmental structure. There is a Chief Executive, six Executive Directors, and nine Assistant Executive Directors.

7 DESCRIPTION OF THE MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES SERVICE

7.1 The Museums and Galleries Service cares for the Council owned museums and galleries and their collections. Since June 2013 the Museum and Galleries Service falls within the Tameside MBC Cultural Services Department.

7.2 The Museums Manager has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the service, drafting policy, collections management and exhibitions/events management.

7.3 The Collections Curator (full-time post) and Exhibitions Curator (part-time post) support the Museum Manager and are in charge of activities within their areas of responsibility, across the Museums and Galleries Service.

7.4 Colleagues from across Cultural Services also assist the Museum Service in a range of discrete areas such as events management, health and safety, risk management, educational provision, grant applications, etc.

7.5 There are eight part time front-of-house posts (equivalent to four full time posts) responsible for visitor services at the various museums and galleries. Front-of-house staff also deal with some visitor enquiries, shop management and some workshop activity.

7.6 In April 2012 the Museum Service closed Setantii/Waterworks (AN:2179) and the Rutherford Gallery (RN: 2223). Simultaneously, the opening times of the remaining four sites were reduced.

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:

• Two Council-wide restructuring schemes (2012 and 2013) have led to fundamental changes to the number of sites operated by the Museum Service and the staffing structure/ roles of the museum staff, at all levels.

8 THE NATIONAL & REGIONAL CONTEXT

8.1 Since 1 October 2011 Arts Council England (ACE) has taken on responsibility for supporting and developing museums as part of their functions, inherited from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

8.2 ACE champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

8.3 As part of their new functions ACE re-launched the Renaissance programme following the Selwood review of 2009 and in early 2012 announced the 16 major partner museums to replace the former hubs and hub partnerships. The Major partner museums receive between £500,000 and £2 million each, totalling approximately £21 million per year. The funding is aimed at supporting them to be even more ambitious and contribute to museum leadership across the country.

8.4 In March 2013 ACE announced the 87 projects awarded a share of £17.8 million for the second round of the Strategic Support Fund (SSF) a programme focusing on any gaps (geographical or otherwise) or development opportunities across the sector.

8.5 ACE is also supporting a programme of national museum development support for smaller museums totalling £3 million per year. This has provided a network of nine providers across the country, in most cases run out of Major partner museums.

8.6 The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. The Standard supports museums in identifying opportunities for further improvement and development. There are currently over 1,800 museums participating in the Scheme, demonstrating their commitment to managing collections effectively for the enjoyment of our communities.

8.7 ACE are running a suite of national, sector-wide projects and programmes, totalling approximately £3.25 million per year. This supports Designation development (currently under review) the V&A purchase grant fund, the PRISM fund, subject specialist networks, support for Collections Trust and Culture 24, and also the campaigns ‘Museums at Night’ and ‘Kids in Museums’.

8.8 ACE are running a museums and schools programme, funded by the Department for Education, which is building capacity for school engagement in ten regional museums partnered with ten national museums. The partnerships have been awarded a total of £3.6 million funding until 2015. This programme is a response to key recommendations from Cultural Education: an independent review by Darren Henley.

8.9 The Museums Association is a membership organisation for everyone working in museums, galleries and heritage. Established in 1889 they are the oldest museums association in the world. Their mission is:

“To enhance the value of museums to society by sharing knowledge, developing skills, inspiring innovation, and providing leadership. We advocate for museums, set ethical standards and run essential training and professional development for members wishing to further their careers. Our annual conference is Europe’s largest event for museum and heritage professionals”.

8.10 Museums Change Lives is the Museums Association’s vision for the increased social impact of museums. It demonstrates that museums can be ambitious about their role in society. All museums, however they are funded and whatever their subject matter, can support positive social change. Some museums already pay great attention to this; others have as yet untapped potential. The time is right for museums to transform their contribution to contemporary life.

As public expenditure continues to be cut, it is more important than ever to have a strong sense of social purpose. Funders and policy makers expect museums to achieve greater social outcomes and impact.

Individuals and communities are under stress and every museum must play its part in improving lives, creating better places and helping to advance society, building on the traditional role of preserving collections and connecting audiences with them.

Museums Change Lives explores impacts under three headings, Wellbeing, Better Places and Ideas and People. Museums Change Lives aims to enthuse people in museums to increase their impact, encourage funders to support museums in becoming more relevant to their audiences and communities, and show organisations the potential partnerships they could have with museums, to change people’s lives.

8.11 In 2005 the Museums Association published their report ‘Collections for the Future’ (developed by Making Collections Effective, 2006 and Effective Collections, 2009-12). This report made proposals to ensure that more people have more opportunities to engage with museum collections. The key findings of the report encouraged museums to increase community engagement with their collection. The report also suggested that collections should be dynamic, with a renewed commitment to acquisition and that disposal should be seen as an integral part of collections development. The ideas expressed in this report have a direct impact on the strategic decisions we make within the museum service to ensure that in future years we are fit for purpose.

8.12 The cultural sector has also been identified as a significant partner in regeneration linking to areas such as employment, health, social change and neighbourhood renewal. In Tameside the museums and galleries form a central part of the cultural activity within the borough.

They engender a sense of civic pride and express the local distinctiveness of the area. However we must ensure that the facilities and services provided at our sites reflect the cultural background of all citizens. It is anticipated that Tameside’s tourism appeal will grow with improved transport links and increased leisure opportunities.

A tram service opened in 2014 linking Ashton with Manchester and other towns in Greater Manchester. The service must ensure that the product and service we offer is of a standard that can realistically compete with other leisure and tourism attractions.

8.13 Tameside Museums and Galleries Service is an active participant in the wider museum sector within the region. The service is an integral part of several organisations:

• Greater Manchester Museums Group (GMMG)
• North West Federation of Museums and Art Galleries (NWFED)
• The First World War Centenary Partnership Group (Greater Manchester)
• Museums Development North West (MDNW)
• Northern Military Curators Group

Each of these bodies enables the Museum Service to contribute to the development of the wider museum sector within the region and nationally. Moreover, involvement within each group brings specific and measurable benefits to the Museum Service via it staff, visitors, collections and organisational reputation. Particular emphasis is placed on the Museum Service’s participation in the Greater Manchester Museums Group (GMMG) Consortium.

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:

• Since 2007 the UK Museum Sector has experienced huge changes. The lead organisations are now Arts Council England (ACE) and the Museums Association. ACE is now the lead on Accreditation while the MA has reviewed its approaches to many topics. For example, the MA’s review towards disposals and the accelerating trend towards museums demonstrating a core role in delivering specific socio-economic improvements for their communities; Museums Change Lives and Museums 2020.

9 THE LOCAL CONTEXT

9.1 There are various national programmes and Tameside Council priorities and strategies that link to the work of the Museums and Galleries Service and help to provide a policy context. The Museum Service works to support these plans and strategies including:

• Corporate Plan (2013-2018). The Corporate Plan identifies People, Place and Resources as their overarching priorities with a clear vision for the Council.

• Community Strategy (2012-2022). The Community Strategy is the Council’s vision and plans to ‘improve the lives of residents in all our communities’. To achieve this, the strategy focuses on six aims across Tameside, summarised as Supportive, Prosperous, Learning, Attractive, Safe and Healthy.

• Cultural Plan (2013-2018). Since June 2013 the Museums and Galleries Service is an integral part of a new Cultural Services Department. Consequentially, the Museum Service actively contributes towards the Cultural Services plan. The plan echoes the Corporate Plan and highlights its part in developing the areas of People, Place and Resources.

• The Museum Service actively participates in further council wide plans and strategies that are developed within and across departments, and are aimed at meeting the goals identified in the Corporate Plan, such as the Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2013-2016).

 

Community Strategy Priorities Our Key Contributions
Supportive Tameside  • Working with community and voluntary groups.
• Actively collecting and documenting the heritage of the whole community.
• Providing a welcoming and inspiring environment for all visitors.
• Working with other services to provide events and facilities that promote understanding and good relations between different communities.
• Work with other services to provide engaging facilities for young people.
• Develop closer links with diverse community groups.
• Develop and provide facilities for older visitors
• Engendering a sense of ownership of the local heritage.
Prosperous Tameside • Ensuring high quality visitor services, attracting tourism into the borough, which in turn will attract new business investment and residents.
Learning Tameside • Continue to provide educational resources for Life Long learning
• Develop and improve education provision for Tameside schools.
• Use the ‘Arts Mark’ and ‘Arts Award’ initiative to create exciting and enjoyable learning experiences within all Museum and Gallery sites.
• Develop outreach and loan material for schools and community groups based on the collections.
• Encourage cultural understanding through a series of engaging community based exhibitions.
Attractive Tameside • Ensure a high profile within the borough, developing the sense of public ownership of the museums and galleries.
• Ensure that all sites are well maintained and sign posted.
• Ensure the highest quality and the range of exhibitions and activities within all sites.

Safe Tameside
• Ensure that all sites meet high health and safety standards.
• Ensure that all visitors feel happy, welcome and safe within Museums and Galleries.
• Review and address access requirements both intellectual and physical to ensure all visitors can enjoy facilities provided by the service.
• Develop and host activities and events for integrated communities.
• Developing understanding of the past to make sense of the present and influencing future choices.
• Developing a sense of pride and ownership within the local community which contributes to a reduction of anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
Healthy Tameside • Embrace the Health and Wellbeing strategy in all work we undertake on and off site.
• Offer culturally inspired opportunities that facilitate improved health and wellbeing for visitors.
• Allowing staff to point visitors in the right direction for additional services that could improve their health and wellbeing.


 

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:

• It is a fundamental strategy of the Museum Service to demonstrate its socio-economic and political benefit to Tameside MBC by explicitly linking to the range of agendas, strategies and plans that exist within the Council hierarchy. While this has always been the case this strategy is of paramount importance moving forward. Simultaneously, the Museum Service is committed to maintaining and developing its unique identity and offer, in order to achieve those broader goals.

 

10. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

This section looks at the headline performance indicators for the service. In the Tameside Citizens’ Panel Survey of August 2012 (sent out to all resident members of the Tameside Metropolitan Borough Citizens’ Panel) – 1201 completed surveys. 72.8% of respondents were either very or fairly satisfied with where they live.

11. THE CURRENT SITUATION

11.1 SWOT Analysis

 
Strengths

• Creative/Committed Staff
• Varied collections
• Sites
• ‘Can-do’ attitude
• Strong reputation
• Flexibility
• Adaptability

Weaknesses

• Lack of specialist staff; education leading to drop in educational activity/visits
• Poor capacity (lack of staff/time)
• Limited opening hours leading to drop in visitors

Opportunities

• Partnership Working across the Council (Arts & Engagement) and beyond (GMMG) in all areas; CPD, exhibitions, fundraising, events, activities, conservation, etc.
• First World War Commemorations and the Manchester Regiment collection
• Redevelopment of the Central Library Site

Threats

• Further Council funding reductions
• Lack of relevance to wider socio-economic agendas
• Loss of Café facility at Portland Basin
• Reduction in site maintenance levels
• Drop in staff morale

 

11.2 The Museums and Galleries visitor figures since 2001/02 are as follows:

2001/2002  2002/2003  2003/2004 2004/2005 2005/2006
152,125 142,707 154,437  161,997 190,846
2006/2007 2007/2008  2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011
199,785 221,331  234,925 253,206 228,493
2011/2012 2012/2013 2013/2014
215,440 147,419  146,770


Visitor figures are recorded through electronic door counters. The fall in visitor figures can largely be accounted for by the closure of 2 sites (Setantii/Waterworks and The Rutherford Gallery) in 2012.

The closure of Setantii has had a knock on effect on the visitor figures for the Museum of the Manchester Regiment, as the two were housed in the same building. Astley Cheetham Art Gallery saw a reduction in opening days to 5 days per year during the period 2012-2014.

11.3 Visitor figures broken down by year and site are as follows (2005-2013):

Year: Portland
Basin
 Manchester
Regiment
Astley
Cheetham
 Central
Art
2005/2006  96,094 24,808 21,583 12,342
2006/2007 90,534 26,874 30,962 17,003
2007/2008  94,270 46,862  20,615 22,364
2008/2009 83,489 56,999  20,765 21,291
2009/2010 101,524 59,694 15,160 23,688
2010/2011 91,445 56,229 13,799 21,088
2011/2012 88,028 50,437 16,058 22,498
2012/2013  94,724 31,959 759* 19,977
2013/2014 102,488 28,891 147* 15,244


*Open 5 days during the year.

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:

• Since 2012 two sites have closed, following a service restructuring.

• Reduced opening hours have been implemented at all 4 sites.

• These changes have had an impact on visitor numbers.

11.4 Portland Basin Museum

11.4.1 Portland Basin Museum has the highest profile within the Museums and Galleries Service. It has the largest number of employees and attracts the highest proportion of visitors. There was a peak in visitors in 2009/2010. This was followed by a service restructure. The restructure emphasized the use of Portland Basin as the main hub for museum activity in Tameside. Consequently, marked effort has been placed into increasing the site’s usage leading to a year on year growth in visitors.

11.4.2 The museum was redeveloped and opened to the public in 1999. It is located in a former canal warehouse and celebrates Tameside’s social and industrial history over the past 200 years. The attractive location of the museum, combined with its unique ambience, makes this a very popular amenity within the region. It is exciting and family friendly and is fully accessible to the public. The Ground Floor consists of foyer displays, shop and computer interactives, and a 1920’s street and popular changing exhibition area. The Lower Ground Floor explores the local industries of the area with many interactive exhibits appealing to all ages, including the Nuts and Bolts play area for pre-school aged children. School workshops are held within the street sets, specifically in the schoolroom and house.

11.4.3 Portland Basin Museum is well loved in the community. Customer feedback has revealed that visitors particularly enjoy exploring the 1920’s street and the various interactives on the ground floor. The many interactives and the ability to touch things within the museum ensure that there are plenty of fun things to do. The displays and changing exhibitions generate plenty of local interest and the museum encourages self-directed learning. School holiday craft activities, a changing programme of events and activities, plus free entry ensure a high number of repeat visits.

11.4.4 The museum is recognised as a prime site for families learning together and has the added appeal of parking, a picnic area and a reasonably priced gift shop. During the summer holidays and on Bank Holidays visitors can enjoy a canal boat trip from the museum wharf, organised by voluntary groups such as the Huddersfield Canal Boat Society.

11.4.5 Exhibitions often have a focus on community involvement, with visitors encouraged to contribute their memories and ephemera to the exhibition. This approach creates a sense of ownership and interest for the duration of the show.

11.4.6 Exhibitions change twice-yearly at Portland Basin Museum and over the past few years have included ‘Football Fever’, ‘Beside the Seaside’, ‘Dolls’, ‘Make Do and Mend’, ‘All in a Day’s Work’, ‘Jubilee Joy’ and ‘Hairlooms’. Exhibitions draw on the strengths of the reserve collection and very much have a family-friendly focus. Other exhibitions, such as ‘Dolls’ and ‘Object Of My Affection’, were made up entirely of objects loaned in from the public and this has proved a very popular way of engaging with audiences.

11.4.7 Throughout the whole service the importance of consultation has been recognised in the process of exhibition planning and community ownership. The Museums service is actively involved in local heritage forums, including the Heritage Consultation Group and Tameside Local History Forum. The relationships built have been invaluable and have helped the service to be more responsive to the needs and desires of local residents. The expertise that is found in these local groups has also improved the service’s historical knowledge of the local area.

11.4.8 In the next five years the service intends to widen its circle of community partnership and to build relationships with the broader arts and diverse cultures to ensure that the service remains relevant, responsive and dynamic. Recently the museum had its first ever artist-in-residence as part of a national programme of events to tie in with the theatre production of War Horse, as well as a Brownie sleepover to celebrate the Brownies’ Centenary. In 2012 the museum worked on a ground-breaking project on the issue of Hate Crime. Working with adults with learning difficulties, the project addressed this sensitive issue and gave people a public platform to share their often harrowing experiences for the first time. This project was highly acclaimed by the council and by partners in the community and is something we plan to continue to promote.

11.4.9 The building in which Portland Basin Museum is housed is not owned by the council, but by an independent landlord, Sanctuary Housing. This situation presents two challenges to the future of the museum. Firstly, the café, which is vital to the visitor experience, is owned and run by a private contractor. The Museum Service has no influence on the quality of the food or opening hours, and rightly or wrongly a negative experience in the café has a detrimental impact on the museum’s reputation. We need to ensure a good working relationship with the café. Secondly, the previous Forward Plan stated that the rent payable to Sanctuary Housing was due for review in 2008 and the service charges were the subject of a legal dispute, which created uncertainty in terms of future revenue costs. This has now been resolved. Following a Council wide re-organisation the maintenance of Portland Basin Museum became the responsibility of Carillion.plc with whom the museum has a viable working relationship providing a degree of security over the foreseeable future.

11.4.10 In 2016 an Access Audit of the site will be undertaken and recommendations factored into future work plans.

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:
• All Museum professional staff are now based at Portland Basin Museum.

• Since 2012 there has been a deliberate attempt to increase the usage of Portland Basin as a venue for cultural activities.
• Portland Basin Museum has seen a year-on-year increase in visitors since 2012-13, receiving it highest annual visit count in 2012/13 since pre-2005/06.

11.5 Central Art Gallery

11.5.1 Central Art Gallery is in Ashton-under-Lyne above the Central Library.

11.5.2 Central Art Gallery was opened in 1998 as part of the refurbishment of the Ashton Central Library. The gallery consists of three fine gallery spaces and adjacent meeting room for community groups, managed by the library service.

11.5.3 Central Art Gallery exhibits a rolling programme of special exhibitions within Galleries 1 and 2 with the third space being dedicated to showing a rolling display of artworks by the artist Harry Rutherford: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/central/exhibitions

11.5.4 The Art Gallery hosts an increasing range of activities. Since 2009 the Gallery has hosted a fortnightly Knit and Natter group: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/ knitandnatter. The gallery greatly benefits from the meeting room, administered by the adjoining library, for groups on a range of topics including a creative writing course, family history course and other support groups, attracting a wide range of people to the gallery space. Since the re-organisation in June 2013 the gallery spaces themselves have been increasingly used for other purposes including movie screenings and theatre productions, broadening our audience and relevance to the wider Cultural Services’ Department and the public.

11.5.5 During holiday periods the gallery holds a combination of booked and drop-in workshops for children and families. Adult Art Courses are also frequently hosted at the gallery.

11.5.6 In 2013 the gallery hosted eight exhibitions by local and regional artists. There are seven planned for 2014, including the first of four high profile exhibitions funded through the Arts Council’s Touring Grant scheme. The scheme has enabled the Museum Service to work closely with organisations in Burnley, Durham and Berwick on a series of exhibitions to engage families with contemporary art. The remaining exhibitions encompass a wide range of artists working in varied media. Exhibitions by local artists are particularly popular, as are annual exhibitions such as the ‘Open Art’ and Tameside Primary and Secondary School exhibitions. Most of our visitors to the art galleries come from Tameside, unless there is an exhibition by a more renowned artist, attracting visitors from the northwest region and central Manchester. Many regular visitors to the art gallery make repeat visits as the exhibitions change.

11.5.7 The gallery has beautiful rooms which are ideal spaces to relax in. Unlike many art galleries, visitors are encouraged to have fun and experiment. There is opportunity for drawing and creating artwork every day and staff engage visitors in discussion about the exhibitions on display.

11.5.8 Since June 2013 there has been a conscious effort to diversify and increase the usage of the gallery. This has been facilitated by working in partnership with colleagues from across the council and particularly from within the Arts and Engagement team of the Cultural Services Department. For example, the gallery has been used for corporate meetings, arts presentations, film screenings and theatre productions. It is planned that such activity will increase moving forward.

11.5.9 Following the restructuring in 2013 and the return of the Exhibitions Curator (following 9 months maternity leave) in October 2013 on reduced hours (3 days per week) it is necessary that the programming of the art galleries, including the need to increase the exhibitions budget to ensure that we can continue to attract exciting and popular art exhibitions for the local community, is made sustainable.

11.5.10 In 2016 an Access Audit of the site will be undertaken and recommendations factored into future work plans.

 

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:
• Central Art gallery is increasingly being seen as a perfect venue for delivering the cultural offer within Tameside.

• Since June 2013 there is no longer a full-time dedicated Art Curator. This role is now performed by the Museum Service’s part-time Exhibitions Curator.

• The exhibitions programme acknowledges the changes in staff levels and has reduced the number of exhibitions it hosts while attempting to increase the amount of positive publicity each exhibition/event receives.

• Visitor figures for CAG remained constant between 2007/08 and 2012/13.


 

11.6 Astley Cheetham Art Gallery

11.6.1 Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is located in Stalybridge above Stalybridge library.

11.6.2 Astley Cheetham Art Gallery opened in 1932, following a donation of money for the building of a library and art gallery in 1910 by the Cheetham family of Stalybridge and the subsequent receipt of the Cheetham family bequest of paintings. The original collection has since been added to and now comprises over 500 paintings and illustrations. It is widely acknowledged as being one of the finest collections in the Northwest. The gallery was totally refurbished in 1996 and redecorated again in 2002.

11.6.3 The previous Forward Plan detailed that the permanent collection was displayed at Astley Cheetham in selected exhibitions twice a year. Following a service review in June 2012 the gallery’s opening hours were reduced to 5 days (10am-3pm) in 2013. In 2014 the gallery extended its opening days to 20 in total.

11.6.4 The visitors to the gallery have declined year-on-year since 2011-12 primarily due to the reduction on opening hours following the service review.

11.6.5 There is always a craft activity available for family visitors.

11.6.6 Following the restructuring in 2013 and the return of the Exhibitions Curator (following 9 months maternity leave) in October 2013 on reduced hours (3 days per week) it is necessary that the programming of the art galleries, including the need to increase the exhibitions budget to ensure that we can continue to attract exciting and popular art exhibitions for the local community, is made sustainable.

11.6.7 Astley Cheetham Art Gallery is an integral part of the Museum Service, highly valued by its local residents. We intend to continue investing in it, both in terms of time and resources. This is demonstrated by our commitment to increase the opening hours at the first available opportunity (2014) and to the re-entry into the VAQAS scheme for the gallery. Moreover ACAG is increasingly seen as a venue that can host a varied programme of activity, including film showing and theatre productions.

11.6.8 In 2016 an Access Audit of the site will be undertake and recommendations factored into future work plans.

 

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:


• Astley Cheetham Art Gallery reduced its opening hours in 2012/13 as part of a service review.

• The opening hours were increased in 2014-15 and the site invested in with regards an increase in activity and re-joining the VAQAS scheme.

• It is anticipated that the use of the gallery will increase during the life of this Forward Plan to offer a broader range of cultural activity such as film screenings and theatre productions.



11.7 Museum of the Manchester Regiment

11.7.1 The museum, situated in Ashton Town Hall, is run by the Museum Service on behalf of the trustees of the Manchester Regiment. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Colonel-in-Chief of the Manchester Regiment and the King’s Regiment, opened the original museum in 1987. Part of the museum was redeveloped in 2002 and reopened by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The Forshaw Gallery was completely redeveloped in 2006 and gallery improvements continue to be made.

11.7.2 The Museum displays the history of the Regiment from the foundation of the 63rd Regiment in 1758 to the eventual amalgamation with the King’s Regiment in 1958. The Ladysmith Gallery tells the story chronologically, emphasising the campaigns and prominent actions, whilst also highlighting the importance of the social and political history of the soldiers’ home communities. The Forshaw Gallery was refurbished in 2006 and the new display concentrates on the soldiers’ life, displays include a jeep, costumes and interactives. Thanks to a productive and dynamic relationship with the Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum and the Leader of the Council a great deal of investment has been made in the museum, all of the capital funding for these two refurbishments has been found within the Council.

11.7.3 A five year temporary exhibition plan has been devised and approved by the Regimental Advisory Committee in which educational activities will be developed as well as new material collected for the permanent collection.

11.7.4 Significant numbers of people use the museum as a starting point to begin their family history research. Procedures are in place to deal with basic enquiries and highlight the partnership with Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre.

11.7.5 Although the focus the museum is military history, which is not strongly represented on the National Curriculum, we make every effort to provide educational sessions and interpretation that is relevant to school aged children.

11.6.6 The museum’s location in the Town Hall on the Market Square has many advantages of ease of access and prominence. The museum is fully accessible, though the entrance for disabled visitors is through a side entrance, which can be easily missed by the first time visitor.

11.7.7 The challenges which lie ahead for the museum are to ensure the galleries are maintained to their current high standard and the ability to develop exhibitions and events which appeal to a wide family audience.

11.7.8 Following the 2013 service review there is no longer a full-time dedicated Regimental History Curator. Collection care issues are now the responsibility of the Collections Curator while the exhibition programme is delivered by the Exhibitions Curator.

11.7.9 The museum hosts a fortnightly prize winning sewing group called Stitch in Time: http://www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/stitchintime This group has been recognized nationally and has been featured in the Museums Association’s ‘Museums Change Lives’ publication. The group has also been acclaimed in the Museums Journal for its contribution to the health and wellbeing of participants.

11.7.10 The museum holds ‘Meet Tommy Atkins’ sessions every Wednesday during the school holidays, where visitors can meet a costumed First World War character.

11.7.11 Between 2011 and 2013 the Museum secured funding to undertake a major research project, The Men Behind the Medals. Over 800 men were comprehensively researched and a 9 volume compendium of their life and times published alongside a new website. www.themenbehindthemedals.org.uk. This work has been widely celebrated among other UK Regimental and Corps Museums and the wider museum sector. It was seen as a flagship project by the funders and has attracted much interest as a potential model. The project has also provided a lasting legacy to deal with future donations and stories that can be promoted over the coming years.

11.7.12 In 2016 an Access Audit of the site will be undertaken and recommendations factored into future work plans.

 

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:
• Fundamental progress was made in the management of the museum between 2005 and 2013 which resulted in major improvements to the collection’s documentation.

• Between 2005 and 2013 the reputation of the museum grew with new developments including the exhibition programme, media/regimental relations, events programme, educational offer, website development and volunteers.

• Following the 2013 service review changes occurred in the management of the site and its activities. Moving forward, plans and procedures are in place to maintain and grow the reputation of the museum and the activities it offers.


11.8 Education and Learning

Number of pupils (aged 4 to 16 years) visiting in organised school groups. (2005-2013)

Year Portland Basin Museum Museum of the Manchester Regiment Astley Cheetham Art Gallery Central Art Gallery Setantii & Waterworks Museum Rutherford Gallery All Sites Total
2005/2006 4,737 651 2,720 1,060 1,964 N/A 11132
2006/2007 3,218 402 2,486 601 1,473 N/A 8180
2007/2008 4,237 1,049 2,453 1,431 1,178 N/A 10348
2008/2009 4,794 954 2,455  2,002 1,323 675 12203
2009/2010 3,625 921 2,422 2,000 1,127 1,665 11760
2010/2011 2,463 607 1,759 1,346 1,115 613 7903
2011/2012 2,196 456 1,047 1,205 591 394 5889
2012/2013 2,929 121  63 992  N/A N/A 4105
2013/2014  3,094 175 0 481 N/A N/A 3750

    

11.8.1 A museum or gallery is a unique resource as it is based on first hand experience of ‘real’ objects. The service has the valuable position of bringing history and the visual arts to life with the museums providing access to the past and the galleries offering an insight into the artistic processes, giving greater understanding of the social and economic place of art within the community.

11.8.2 For a long time the service has believed that the learning experiences within the museums and galleries extend far beyond formal education. We aim to create those special moments of inspiration and excitement for all our visitors no matter what their age. Our commitment to such ‘Moments of Magic’ is celebrated in two of our publications of the same title: www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/momentsofmagic

11.8.3 During the life of the previous Forward Plan, the Museum Service received an annual grant from TMBC Education Department to support the development and delivery of education provision within the service. Following changes in education funding this was removed effective from July 2011 and the funding was given directly to schools to administer. From September 2011 a charge was introduced for Tameside MBC schools for facilitated education sessions across all sites. School provision is now self sustaining.

11.8.4 All facilitated sessions are now delivered by freelance facilitators, booked as and when needed.

11.8.5 School visits to Portland Basin Museum have remained fairly consistent since 2010. The Rutherford Gallery and Setantii/Waterworks were closed in 2012 and Astley Cheetham Art Gallery now has limited opening hours. This has inevitably affected school pupil figures a cross the Museum Service, and there has been a knock-on effect on school visits to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment.

11.8.6 During 2014 Cultural Services has worked to embed Arts Award in our working practices
and as a result has been awarded the status of good practice centre for Arts Award delivery by Trinity College, the awarding body for 2014-15.

Arts Award is a national qualification and arts programme for children and young people aged five to 25 and is supported by Arts Council England (ACE) and managed by Trinity College. It provides a learning pathway in arts and culture and has become a major success for Tameside as a whole. The cultural services team support the programme in schools, colleges, community settings and with harder-to-reach groups through training and development days for leaders and advisers, and also by providing bespoke learning logs with support from Curious Minds – the bridging organisation for ACE in the North West.

Uptake since June 2013 has been unprecedented with more than 90 per cent of the borough’s schools taking up the offer which allows them access to resources which highlight Tameside’s cultural assets such as its military history and countryside. The service has also trained an infrastructure of more than 150 advisers in schools, cultural organisations and in community settings. There is a robust strategic plan to support the development of the offer in Tameside over the next four years. The Museum Service plans to continue this work and embed Arts Award in our schools offer.

11.8.7 In addition to formal education we also provide a series of adult education workshops, an out of schools workshop programme, museum trails and worksheets, a range of outreach talks and lectures.

11.8.8 The Museum Service offers a comprehensive loan box service, with boxes on a wide range of topics, including First World War, National Service, Domestic Life, Toys, Victorian Schoolroom, Local Artists and Seaside Holidays. A charge was introduced in 2011 of £30 per week for schools and £5 per day for community groups. The boxes continue to be well used and there are plans to expand the range of topics and review the activities within the boxes.

11.8.9 The provision of family friendly events across all sites is now seen as an established part of the service’s work. We hold large family friendly events on bank holidays and a series of interactive drop-ins, demonstrations and talks throughout the year at all sites. We have begun working more closely with local children’s centres and during the course of this Forward Plan aim to increase and diversify family provision at all sites.

11.8.10The education and learning provision is central to the service’s aims and ambitions. The education function has been considered in the planning of all displays, exhibitions and interpretation. Consideration is made of how exhibitions and permanent displays relate to the school curriculum and the general interest of the visiting public.

11.8.11In the next five years it is of vital importance that the education and learning provision is strengthened. We anticipate that this will be achieved by increased partnership working with colleagues from across Cultural Services and through partnership projects with the Greater Manchester Museums Group. We aim to use the collections and the specific history of Tameside to provide a unique learning experience for all ages and market these resources to raise awareness of their value in supporting learning.

Review (2007-13) – Key Points:

• Since 2010 school visits have been self sustaining, through charging all schools for facilitated sessions and using freelance educators.

• A part-time Learning and Access Officer is now employed to work across Cultural Services.

• The closure of two sites in 2012 and restricted opening hours at a third has led to a drop in education visits and contributed to an overall drop in visitor figures.

• The embedding of Arts Award in to our schools offer will present exciting opportunities for the Museums Service over the life of this Forward Plan.


11.9 Museum and Gallery Storage and Collections Management

11.9.1 Collections are held in trust for public enjoyment, inspiration and learning. The Museums and Galleries Service supports and strives to achieve national standards in collections care, namely Accreditation, to ensure the preservation and appropriate acquisition of collections for the benefit of future generations.

11.9.2 The reserve collection of any museum is a vitally important part of the service offered to the public. It acts as a repository for the heritage of the region and plays a key part in long-term preservation of collections.

11.9.3 The Council built a new archive centre for the borough, which opened in 2005. As part of this plan it was decided that the museums store would remain at Heginbottom Mill (the adjacent building). The original intention was to move the museums collections into the ground floor accommodation, which the archives had vacated. The long-term future of this building is under question and the situation will be monitored closely moving forward. Other options are being looked at for museum storage that would be more accessible, environmentally sound and cost effective. Ongoing work to record, rationalise and generally organise the reserve collection will enable the collection to be moved in the future, if the need arises.

11.9.4 A certain future for the storage of the collection would enable us to increase access to the reserve collections and would help raise the profile within the borough creating an increased sense of public ownership. We must ensure we have dynamic collections, identifying priorities for acquisition where there are collection gaps and objects for disposal or handling purposes.
11.10 Conservation

11.10.1 The Museum Service’s Care and Conservation Plan details many of the artefacts that have been treated in recent years and the sources of funding acquired. It also prioritises areas for treatment moving forward.
11.11 Documentation

11.11.1 In the past few years a great deal of work has gone into rectifying our documentation backlog. Images are now being added to the MODES catalogue and it is hoped that the information stored on the collection will be made available to the public digitally within the next five years. Together we have prepared a new Documentation Plan. The new Documentation Plan is seen as a ‘live’ document and will be amended if needed as we progress through the backlog. There is a very small backlog in the Manchester Regiment Collection and the Astley Cheetham Art Collection. It is in the areas of ‘Documentation Enrichment Activity’ that these collections will be developed. There is a documentation backlog in the Social/Industrial History collection which is being addressed in the Documentation Plan.

12. SERVICE AIMS

12.1 The key aims of the service are to provide the following:

a) Access to Services. Ensure that all our sites are accessible, friendly and have the highest standards of customer care.

b) Access to the Community. Respond to the needs and the demands of the local community, and to participate fully in the life of Tameside, contributing to the cultural, social and economic activity of the borough.

c) Access to Learning. Offer visitors enjoyable, inspirational and educational experiences.

d) Access to Collections. Ensure that the borough’s museums, galleries and collections are cared for and added to, for future generations.

13. SERVICE OBJECTIVES & ACTION PLANS

13.1 Key Objectives

The service has seventeen objectives that fall under the themes of the Service Aims. The following objectives are headline priorities for the service over the life of the Forward Plan:

• To retain Accreditation for all Museum and Galleries sites.
• To increase the amount of grant funding brought into the Museum Service over the next 5 years.
• To secure and improve the storage provision for the permanent collections.
• To increase our education and event provision, increasing all visitor figures to all sites.

13.2 Action Plans

Certain assumptions have been made in costing the following activities. Nil includes those areas that are mandatory as we are part of a Council Structure and where staff time will be used but is not an additional cost. Revenue is used to describe those projects that may be funded from the Museum Service’s core budget. Grants are used to indicate that external funding could be sought to release these objectives. The work will be carried out over all those years marked with a ‘X’

13.2.1 Access to Services
Ensure that all our sites are maintained to a high standard, accessible, friendly and have the highest levels of customer care.

Ensuring the highest quality of customer service is central to the business of the Museums and Galleries Service. It is important that every member of the public feels welcome within any of our sites. To ensure that this level of service is maintained and improved there are a series of action plans which need to be achieved over the next three years.

Objective 1

To ensure physical and intellectual access for all visitors to museums and galleries sites and services

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
1.1 Undertake Access Audits for all sites and action recommendations where feasible.
Who – Museum Manager
X Nil
1.2 Maintain current levels of physical and intellectual access
Who – Museum Manager and Curators
X X X X X X Nil
1.3 Maintain and develop content for the council website and associated websites; GMMG
Who – Museum Manager, Curators and Culture Business Support Officer
X X X X X X Nil
1.4 Ensure the Men Behind the Medals resources are maintained
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
1.5 Deliver Documentation Plan objectives including placing selected records on-line
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil

Objective 2

To ensure that all sites demonstrate the highest levels of Customer Care.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
2.1 Ensure all Council-wide equalities training is fully implement and actively seek added-value training for all staff; GMMG training
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
2.2 Ensure all staff have up to date Customer First Training
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
2.3 Complete Annual Development Reviews and progress agreed training
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
2.4 Ensure Casual Front-of-House Register is maintained in relation to service’s needs
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
2.5 Monitor absence levels
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
2.6 Review and develop Operational Manuals for all sites
Who – Museums Manager
X

Objective 3

That all sites and services uphold the highest health and safety standards, minimising risks for both staff and visitor.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
3.1 Maintain annual VAQAS status and action recommendations where feasible
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Revenue & Grant
3.2 Ensure all new staff have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and investigate retrospective checks with HR Dept.
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Revenue
3.3  Review service wide Emergency Plans
Who – Museums Manager and Collections Curator
Nil
3.4  Complete Health and Safety audits at all sites
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil

Objective 4

To ensure we provide high quality visitor services attracting tourism into the borough, which in turn will attract new business investment.

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
4.1 Plan a series of maintenance and replacement of interactive models throughout the service
Who – Museums Manager and Technician
X X X X X X Revenue & Grants
4.2 Re-carpet reception area at Central Art Gallery X Nil
4.3 Create a Marketing Strategy for the Museum Service as part of Cultural Services Dept
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
4.4 To actively contribute to any future tourism developments within the borough, when required
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil

13.2.2 Access to the Community
Respond to the needs and the demands of the local community, and to participate fully in the life of Tameside, contributing to the cultural, social and economic activity of the region.

Objective 5

To develop closer links with community groups.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
5.1  Meet with leaders of Black & Minority Ethnic communities to consult on service provision Who – Museums Manager and Exhibitions Curator X X X X X X Nil
5.2 Continue active membership of community forums and establish new links with emerging groups
Who – Museums Manager and Curators
X X X X X X Nil
5.3 Work with local heritage groups to record and preserve Tameside's Heritage
Who – Museums Manager and Curators
X X X X X X Nil
5.4 Maintain relationships and nurture developments with existing users; Knit & Natter, Stitch-in-Time & Quilting Bee PB Café and other site users.
Who – Exhibitions Curator and Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
5.5 Investigate increasing volunteering opportunities
Who – Museums Manager, Curators and Culture Business Support Officers
X X X X X X Nil

Objective 6

To work with other services to provide events and facilities that promotes understanding and good relations between different communities.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
6.1 Contribute towards community based activities in partnership with Arts and Engagement team
Who – Museums Manager and Curators
X X X X X X Grants

Objective 7

Ensure high quality exhibitions and activities within all sites.

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
7.1 Obtain additional funding for exhibition programming
Who – Curators, Museums Manager
X X X X X X Grants
7.2 Ensure all programming has a clearly defined Impact aim as per ‘Museums Change Lives’ initiative
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
7.3 Work with GMMG to develop joint exhibitions and loans, regionally and internationally.
Who – Exhibitions Curator
X X X X X X Nil
7.4 Create and deliver a range First World War commemorative activities across sites & in the community
Who – Curators, Museums Manager
X X X X Grants

Objective 8

Ensure a high profile within the borough and region engendering a sense-of ownership within the borough and a positive reputation within the region.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
8.1 Consult with Marketing and Communications Department on maximising press impact
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
8.2 Gain press coverage for all significant activities undertaken by the Service; grant funding, exhibitions, events, activities, etc
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X X X X X Nil
8.3 Investigate the removal of redundant brown signs
Who – Museums Manager
X Revenue
8.4 Direct mailings of publicity material to local community groups and individuals using centralised marketing database in development
Who – Culture Business Support Officers
X X X X X X Nil
8.5 Conduct familiarisation visits for all new staff members of Cultural Services
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
8.6 Ongoing review of website content and services
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X X X X X Nil
8.7 Ensure a maximum number of council departments/initiatives are fully aware of the Museum Service’s offer and abilities; eg Health & Wellbeing.
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X X X X X Nil
8.8 Actively contribute to wider museum sector discussions and initiative; Museums 2020 and GMMG
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X X X X X Nil

13.2.3 Access to Collections
Ensure that the borough’s museums, galleries and collections are cared for and added to for future generations.

Objective 9

To maintain Accreditation for all Museum and Galleries sites

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
9.1 Complete Accreditation Return for all sites expected in approx. 2017
Who – Museums Manager
X X Nil
9.2 Review all policies/plans as timetabled in Accreditation Returns and action recommendations as feasible
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Nil
9.3 Manchester Regiment Collection Loan Agreement renewal due in 2017
Who – Collections Curator, Museums Manager
X Nil

Objective 10

To ensure that the collections are relevant to the needs of the community and actively collect contemporary and Twentieth/Twenty First Century objects which will benefit the future generations of Tameside residents.

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
10.1 Identify additional funding for active/contemporary collecting
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
10.2 Pursue an active collecting policy to plug gaps in the collection especially in relation to anticipated future programming needs; First World War commemorations
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X Grants


Objective 11

To develop a documentation system which will give curators and the public quickly accessible and accurate information about any accession within the collection.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
11.1 Ensure Documentation Plan is kept up to date and timescales met
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
11.2 Ensure Documentation Policy is kept up to date
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
11.3 Ensure Documentation Procedural Manual is kept up to date
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
11.4 Continue to process all new acquisitions within 28 days of receipt
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
11.5 Complete ‘online’ collections project via MODES for Windows upgrade
Who – Collections Curator
X Grants
11.6 Investigate new technology (applications and funding streams); 3D printing, Mobile Devices, QR Codes, etc
Who – Museums Manager, Collections Curator
Grants

Objective 12

To ensure the preservation of objects within the collection to the highest standards.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
12.1 Use Benchmarking for Collections Care to audit standard of collections management & action recommendations where feasible
Who – Collections Curator
X X X Nil
12.2 Identify and programme priority conservation of objects and paintings as per the Care and Conservation Plan
Who – Collections Curator, Exhibitions Curator
X X X X X X Grants
12.3 Actively seek additional funding for conservation treatments
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Grants
12.4  Actively seek written quotes for object treatments in line with Care and Conservation Plan
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
12.5 Monitor environmental conditions in Heginbottom Mill
Who – Technician
X Nil
12.6 Action improvements which are needed for store conditions
Who – Museums Manager, Collection Curator, Technician
Nil

Objective 13

To secure and improve the storage provision for the permanent collections.

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
13.1 Monitor developments with Heginbottom Mill storage facility
Who – Museums Manager, Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
13.2 Continue rationalisation of the collections as per approved plans
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
13.3
Continue store improvements as per approved plans
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil
13.4 Implement storage improvement plans
Who – Collections Curator
X X X X X X Nil

Objective 14

To ensure that the service maintains the highest level of security at all sites for the collection.

Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
14.1 Implement recommendations identified in Security Review (2014) across all sites
Who – Museums Manager
X X X X X X Revenue & Grants
14.2 Undertake Collections Valuations Programme for all collections
Who – Museums Manager, Collections Curator
X Revenue

13.2.4 Access to Learning
Offer visitors enjoyable, inspirational and educational experiences.

Objective 15

Increase our education and event provision, increasing the number of school pupils visiting our sites.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
15.1 Review schools programme in light of National Curriculum changes (Sept. 2014) with Cultural Services Learning and Access
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X Nil
15.2 Review teaching packs and information in light of National Curriculum changes (Sept. 2014) with Cultural Services Learning and Access Officer
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X Nil
15.3 Develop new teaching packs and supportive material in light of National Curriculum changes (Sept. 2014) with Cultural Services Learning and Access Officer
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X Nil
15.4 Develop new Exhibitions Policy for Museum Service
Who – Exhibitions Curator, Museums Manager
X Nil
15.5 Develop new Education Policy for Museum Service with Cultural Services Learning and Access Officer
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X Nil
15.6 Actively seek funding opportunities to develop educational offer
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X X X X X Nil
15.7 Contribute to Cultural Services offer including Arts Award/Arts Mark
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X Nil
15.8 Consult with formal education sector as to their needs and investigate potential changes aimed at increasing usage.
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X Nil
15.9 Develop adult learning programme for Museum Service with Cultural Services Learning and Access Officer
Who – Museums Manager, Cultural Arts and Engagement Manager, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X X Nil
15.10 Monitor educational visits on a monthly basis and produce annual report on developments. Action recommendations for improvements as feasible.
Who – Museums Manager, Culture Business Support Officer
X X X X X X Nil

 

Objective 16

Ensure that the service continues to provide information in an interesting and stimulating way for all ages and abilities.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
16.1 Review interpretation across sites
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X Nil
16.2 Review and develop interactive data at museums (Viewpoint)
Who - Culture Business Support Officer
X X X X X X Nil
16.3 Develop community exhibition and outreach programmes
Who – Exhibitions Curator
X X X X X X Nil
16.4 Review 'early years’ learning across all sites
Who – Museums Manager, Exhibitions Curator
X X Nil
16.5 Develop learning opportunities within Heginbottom Mill, using the reserve collection
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X X Nil
16.6 Investigate new technologies and their potential applications; podcasts
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X Nil
16.7 Develop further loan boxes - outreach material for schools and community groups
Who – Museums Manager, Curators, Culture Learning and Access Officer
X Nil

 

Objective 17

To meet the aims and objectives as identified in the Culture Business Plan 2013/14 and subsequent plans. Several of these aims and objectives overlap with the Museums and Galleries Service Objectives identified in Objectives 1-16. These Objectives are reviewed on an annual basis as the Culture Business Plan is amended.

No Action Timescale Cost
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
17.1  MG1 Implement improvements from Standpoint/Viewpoint 2013-14 (Community Objective 2)
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X Nil
17.2 MD2 – Identify learning outcomes for all activities (Community Objective 5)
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X Nil
17.3 MG3 – Develop learning and access programme (Community Objective 5)
Who –Learning and Access Officer, Museums Manager
X Nil
17.4 MG4 – Develop and deliver temporary exhibition programme (Community Objective 1)
Who – Exhibitions Curator
X Nil
17.5 MG5 – Maintain targets set in Documentation Plan (Community Objective 8)
Who – Collections Curator
X Nil
17.6 MG 6 – Maintain VAQAS status for all sites (Community Objective 4)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.7 MG 7 – Maximise customer figures (Community Objective 5)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.8 MG8 – Monitor environmental conditions (Community Objective 1)
Who – Technician
X Nil
17.9 MG9 – Progress Collections Review (Community Objective 8)
Who – Collections Curator
X Nil
17.10 MG10 – Retain Accreditation Standards (Community Objective 3)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.11 MG11 – Research and address new proposed National Curriculum changes (Community Objective 5)
Who – Museums Manager, Learning and Access Officer
X Nil
17.12 CUL1 – Work with colleagues in Greater Manchester to increase efficiency (Community Objective 2)
Who – Museums Manager, Curators
X Nil
17.13 CUL2 – Maintain and develop website (Community Objective 8)
Who – Culture Business Support Officer
X Nil
17.14 CUL3 – Complete ADR’s for all staff (Community Objective 1)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.15 CUL4 – Monitor commissioning contracts (Community Objective 3)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.16 CUL5 – Review & update risk assessments and Emergency Plan (Community Objective 6)
Who – Museums Manager
X Nil
17.17 CUL6 – Manage service within budget (Community Objective 4)
Who – Culture Operations Manager
X Nil

14 CONSULTATION AND ANALYSIS OF VIEWS

14.1 The Museum Service’s main consultation tool is Viewpoint (previously Standpoint), a touchscreen interactive which records the experiences of visitors to Portland Basin Museum and the Museum of the Manchester Regiment. The Museums Service regularly meets with the Heritage Consultation Group (HCG) (representatives from local history groups, councillors and council officers) and Tameside Local History Forum (TLHF) (Federation of Borough-wide history groups). The service also liaises with the Manchester Regiment Advisory Committee (management board for the Regimental Trustees). Prior to the Service Review in 2012, the Museum Service consulted with the public through the TMBC’s Big Conversation.

14.2 Furthermore, we listen to the comments made by our visitors about our sites and the services we offer, both through informal conversations and visitor comments books.

14.3 Portland Basin Museum in particular attracts much positive feedback via Trip Advisor and we received their Certificate of Excellence for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

14.4 The Museum Service is making increased use of social media as a way of interacting with the public and promoting our activities. We regularly appear on the council’s Facebook page and since May 2013 we have had our own Twitter account @tmbc_culture. We are also on Pinterest and regularly check mentions about our sites on-line through Google alerts. We plan to develop our use of social media during the next five years.

15 BUDGETS AND FUNDING

15.1 The service increasingly draws in funding from various external sources to deliver programmes of work while the core budget covers staffing and other costs. It is anticipated that this trend will increase in the future.

15.2 The individual schemes and their proposed programming would be dependant upon availability of funding from within existing resources and from obtaining grant funding from such bodies as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England (ACE).

15.3 The Museums and Galleries Service core budget has fallen in recent years, but we have increasingly bolstered this through external funding.

15.4 Since 2009, the Museum Service has successfully obtained almost £130,000 of funding through 23 separate projects. Funders have included Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Esme Fairbairn, AMOT and TMBC’s Health and Wellbeing Service. We plan to build on this and continue to seek new funding to enable us to deliver exciting and innovative projects at all of our sites and in the local community.

15.5 The Museum Service has benefitted from much greater addtional funding through parntership working within the region and beyond.

15.5.1 As a member of the Greater Manchester Museums Group the service has benefitted from a part of £400,000 of external funding over the past 2 years. Such funding has provided the service with conservation treatments, international touring opportunities for the art collection, training opportunities for front-of-house, curators and museums manager, website developments, marketing opportunities and the development of learning resources.

15.5.2 The Museum Service is also a partner in an ACE Touring Grant Scheme project. The scheme has enabled the Museum Service to work closely with organisations in Burnley, Durham and Berwick on a series of exhibitions to engage families with contemporary art with a share of £150,000 of additional funding for the period 2014-2016. Such additional funding has provided unprecedented opportunities for related events and activities within Central Art Gallery.

15.5.3 As part of Tameside Cultural Service Department, the Museum Service works increasingly closely with the Arts and Engagement team who work extensively on generating income through external grant applications and commissioning works. The Museum Service benefits from this connection in many ways. For example, the Museum Service has been allocated £12,000 from a successful Armed Forces Community Covenant bid. This distributed funding will enable the museum service to develop and deliver a bespoke learning pack for schools and lifelong learning by the end of 2014. It is anticipated that this type of allocated funding will increase into the future.

16 MONITORING AND REVIEW

16.1 The Forward Plan will be the basis for the next five years for developing new programmes for work and for bidding for new sources of income. The proposals in the strategy will be monitored annually, and the full strategy reviewed in 2020.