What We Do

The South West Museum Development Programme offers a range of advice, support and development opportunities to Accredited museums and those working towards Accreditation across the South West.

To see a list of organisations who are part of the scheme in the South West please see our Accreditation page.

Museum Development Officers
Museum Development Officers (MDO) provide high quality professional sector support and advice to help museums and heritage organisations in their area. They can provide support across all aspects of their operations.

The local MDO service is delivered through an enquiries service, site visits, meetings and joint museum project work. There are 11 MDOs based locally across the South West, find your local MDO.

New for 2015-2018. Targeted support for museums, working with them to collect, understand and apply audience data more effectively to inform engagement, business planning, fundraising and marketing. This will be in partnership with the Audience Agency and led by our Audience and Insights Officer Rachel Kavanagh.

Conservation and Collection Care
Led by the Conservation Development Officer, Helena Jaeschke, the service provides specialist advice and support to help museums improve the care and management of their collections.

Digital Engagement
New for 2015-2018. Our Digital Engagement Officer Sarah Madden provides a specialist advisory service to support museums to maximise the benefits presented by digital and social media to broaden engagement and make more collections and stories available online. This post is currently being covered by Victoria Hopton.

Volunteering and Workforce

Led by Sustainable Volunteering Officers, Eleanor Moore and Jan Horrell, who act as the regional coordinators for the dissemination of good practice and support for volunteer involvement. The SVOs convene the Museum Volunteering Forum, a community of practice for those with volunteer involvement as a key part of their museum role.  The Forum’s current activities include chaired peer discussion sessions – ‘Question Times’ and network meetings around the region, as well as themed seminars.  Recent themes have included linking volunteering to well-being and forging higher education partnerships, reflecting current priorities in museum volunteering in the South West.

Small Grant Big Improvement grant scheme
This scheme is available to Accredited museums those or working towards Accreditation and offers grants for museums to achieve development work. Find out more about the Small Grant: Big Improvement scheme.

South West Museum Skills Programme
This programme provides free training across a broad range of subjects to anyone who works in the museum and heritage sector in the South West. Courses run throughout the year and can be booked here.