Independent museums in the 21st century

HMS Gannett at the Historic Royal Dockyard, Chatham
There are over 1,200 independent museums around the UK. Between them they attract roughly nine million visitors each year, provide almost 6,000 jobs, and are supported by close to 100,000 volunteers.

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) is a membership network which connects these institutions, and has been helping them to achieve their purposes and ensuring their needs are recognised and addressed, for 40 years.

Each year AIM hosts a national conference to bring together its members and other sector policy makers, funders and stakeholders.

One of the key themes at this year’s conference – held at the HLF-supported Chatham Historic Dockyard - is resilience within independent museums and how they can stay sustainable in the 21st century.

HLF Chief Executive Ros Kerslake was invited to speak about the issues facing museums, and highlighted how we are keen to see our funding used to contribute to wider social agendas such as creating a sense of belonging to attract and retain museum visitors.

She said: “Museums have a key role to play in helping people understand identity.  And at a time when that role has never been more critical, they need to continue to develop ways of operating in a sustainable fashion, as cultural businesses rather than cultural institutions.”

Read our news story to find out more about Ros’s speech.

Many past and present recipients of HLF grants featured at the 2017 AIM national conference, as speakers, delegates and project case studies, including:

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