Enterprising Museums


Current Programme - 2023/24

Enterprising Museums is a programme of activity supporting museums to review current approaches to retail within their organisation and assisting them to implement realistic plans for further retail practice.

The programme is being delivered by The Association for Cultural Enterprises and is helping North East museums to become more retail focussed, demonstrating:

In June 2023, 25 museums in the Northern region attended a one day Retail Essentials Masterclass; a practical workshop providing a thorough grounding in the basics of profitable retail, from financial KPIs to product selection and visual display.

Four museums from the North East were subsequently selected to participate in a one to one support session in their venue with Jill Fenwick from The Association for Cultural Enterprises. Jill worked with them in their own retail space to provide highly individualised advice and ways to improve their sales.

The museums selected to take part in the programme were:

These museums will share the impact of the programme with us in Autumn 2023 and give us insight into the improvements they have been able to make.

Previous Programmes

These museums were previously supported to develop commercial opportunities, business confidence and entrepreneurial skills:

Each participant reported positive progress in their organisation. Examples of this progress included:

  • More team and personal motivation;
  • More responsive systems;
  • Better understanding of commercial best practice;
  • Clearer strategic focus.

Support will continue in to 2024/25 to build on the work of the previous year and to ensure that museums involved are supported to realise recommendations and implement effective performance management. We will also be extending the programme, providing opportunities for more museums to participate and offering seminars that will cover relevant themes/topics.