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Programming and Activites

Programming and Activities


Museums Galleries Scotland strives to increase the skills of the sector’s workforce and address barriers to accessible training through a programme of inclusive, tailored and accredited activitiesThe Workforce Development Programme provides a range of skills development opportunities for staff and volunteers within the sector. The team provide monthly skills updates and you can read about our progress in December by clicking here.

Workforce Development is one of our four priority areas of strategic focus for our current business plan between 2020 and 2022. We will be undertaking several actions to support the sector in the next three years that help further the aims of Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries.  

MGS Skills Academy 

We deliver both formal and vocational, skills-based courses through our MGS Skills Academy. These are facilitated by MGS andpartner organisations, as well as signposted opportunities that are relevant to museum professionals and volunteers.  

MGS Knowledge Exchange  

The MGS Knowledge Exchange helps museum professionals and volunteers to share their expertise though peer to peer learning and support. Covering a variety of areas relevant to museums in Scotland, these online events are held regularly and encourage participants to develop a strong network with those also working and volunteering in the museum sector.  

Skills for Success Legacy 

Skills for Success, part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Skills for the Future programme, built on the capacity of the sector to deliver accredited vocational qualifications by creating an MGS assessment centre and training sector professionals as assessors and internal verifiers. These assessors and verifiers will help deliver vocational qualifications for the benefit of the sector now the project is completed. 

The Skills for Success Legacy programme involves training four former Skills For Success learners who are currently working in the sector to be Workplace Assessors 

Board Development Programme  

MGS partnered with Social Enterprise Academy to jointly fund and develop a long term board development programme for independent museums across Scotland. The 18 month programme provides support to museum board members in their own venues over a longer period of time, maximising impact to the individual museums and the sector.  

By the end of the programme the participating boards will be more aware of governance good practice and the opportunities available to support this. Participants will also be more robust, resilient and have greater confidence about their future.  

Business Support Programme 

The NLHF funded Business Support Programme, 'Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Sustainable Scottish Heritage Businesses',(StT) has been developed by Museums Galleries Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, and greenspace Scotland to support major investment in building the resilience of the heritage sector.

Sector feedback highlighted the immediate need for support and strategic investment to help heritage organisations to develop sustainable business models, improve their ways of working, and evidence the impact of their role within Scotland’s communities.

The partnership will deliver an 18-month project that will commence early 2021, will provide Scotland’s heritage organisations and businesses with support through a programme of training that will build sustainability with immediate and long-term impacts on their organisations and the sector as a whole. Leadership is the overarching theme of the programme and there are four main areas of training in the programme, which have been identified through sector feedback: board development, community engagement, financial planning, and business resilience.

The programme has committed to support up to forty organisations and upskill up to eighty people within the sector. Each attendee will be paid a bursary and travel costs to attend the programme. The programme will be delivered in line with COVID-19 guidance.

Forum Connections: Building Capacity for Scotland's Museums Forums 

Forum Connections is a 4-year, NLHF-funded project designed to build the capacity of Scotland’s museums for partnership working through investment in Scotland’s geographic forums. Commencing in 2020, Forum Connections will offer training courses and facilitated support in key areas of need— including forward planning, fundraising, relationship building, and evaluating projects— and will upskill key staff and Forum leads. Additional support will be offered for collaborative project development, funding applications, and audience development initiatives. 

Steps to Sustainability – Building a Sustainable Heritage Sector

The Social Enterprise Academy have opened applications for their new National Lottery Heritage Fund project - Steps to Sustainability!

This opportunity will provide a pathway for 60 heritage organisations across the UK to be ambitious, forward thinking and deliver exciting new projects.

Participants will bring a business idea to the programme which they will develop throughout the duration of the programme before unlocking funding of up to £10,000.

Key Dates and information

  • Round 1- delivery online - applications now open and close 21st December 9am
    • 5 programmes in Round 1 starting early February 2021. We are inviting applications from Scotland, North West England, Yorkshire and North East, Midlands and Wales
  • Round 2 – delivery online – applications reopen January 2021
    • 5 programmes in Round 2 starting early May 2021. We are inviting applications from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, East England, London & South East, South West England.

Full programme details can be found at the Social Enterprise Academy website or email