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Trust Wins Funds to Strengthen Customer Relationships

August 4th 2016

It was announced this week that Woodhorn Charitable Trust (Museums & Archives Northumberland) has been successful in securing a significant grant from Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund. 

The Trust is one of 94 museums and organisations across England receiving support from a pot of over £12.2 million in the second round of the Museum Resilience Fund. The fund aims to support museums to become more sustainable and resilient businesses.

Woodhorn’s Interim Director, Jo Raw, explains how the funding will help.

“We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid to the Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund for £205,000 to develop and implement a new customer relationship management system (CRM) which will integrate with a new EPOS till system for retail, café and venue hire use. 

“The CRM will enable us to centralise our contact databases across the Trust meaning that we will have the capability to keep in touch with all our visitors efficiently and effectively. We will be able to see how they use of our facilities and services and so be able to improve our communications with them targeting their specific interests and monitoring their feedback.

“The financial support will also allow us to professionally re-evaluate and grow the Trust’s online presence as well as fund the development of a new improved website, which will be much more interactive and user friendly.”

Speaking about the fund, John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at Arts Council England said, “The focus of our investment approach for museums in 2015-18 is on building a more resilient sector. The Museum Resilience Fund is a key part of that, providing vital support to museums right across the country. The fund responds directly to the challenges facing museums, and also supports major strategic initiatives such as the Museums Association’s Transformers programme.”

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said, “We have a world-leading museums sector that protects and preserves our history, while also attracting millions of visitors every year.

“We want our museums to continue to thrive and this important fund will help them become more resilient and sustainable in the years to come.”

The programme complements the Arts Council’s investment in Major Partner Museums, the Museum development fund and national programmes, and will focus on any gaps (geographical or otherwise) or development opportunities across the sector.

In the last two rounds the Arts Council has awarded museums £30 million through the Museum Resilience Fund.


Notes to editors

Arts Council England is the development organisation for English regional museums.  At a challenging time for funding in the sector, the focus of our approach for 2015-18 is on building a more resilient museums sector. As well as the Museum Resilience Fund, our total investment approach includes:

£22.7 million per year of funding to 21 Major Partner Museums – key organisations that provide excellent museum services and regional and national leadership

£3 million per year to fund a national network of museum development, providing support and advice to the widest range of museums right across the country

Around £5 million per year to fund national programmes and activities to help develop the profile and resilience of the museum sector. These include the Accreditation and Designation Schemes; and our investment in Collections Trust. This also includes around £1.7 million per year set aside for investment strands such as Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Designation Development Fund and the PRISM Fund.

We champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We 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. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.