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Geographic Forums

Find out about regional museum forums in Scotland to support those working in museums

Geographically based forums offer voluntary peer-support for museums of all sizes, providing opportunities for collaboration, as well as a space to share news and discuss matters of mutual interest. Each forum is run independently and are unique in their approach to supporting their members. While most forums focus on their local museums, membership is often open to other heritage organisations within the area. 

Each Geographic Forum has an assigned MGS Forum Representative. The forum representative acts as a main point of contact for the forum and offers ongoing support.  

In 2020 MGS launched Forum Connections. This four-year project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF),  focuses on developing the capacity of forums for sustainable partnerships through training, facilitation, and knowledge exchange. The project concluded in 2024. 

Find further information on each forum below. While much of Scotland is covered by one or more geographic forums, some areas do not yet have one. If you’re interested in working with other museums and heritage groups to start a peer support group for your area, please contact us

For networks and support groups based around a common collection theme, visit our Subject Specialist Networks page. 

Argyll & Bute

Argyll & Bute Museums and Heritage Forum

Website: http://www.argyllheritage.org.uk
Contact: abmhforum@gmail.com

Argyll & Bute Museums & Heritage Forum (ABMHF) has recently registered as a SCIO (SC050209) to enhance and develop its support of the individuals, volunteers, and professionals who work in heritage in Argyll and Bute. ABMHF has a broad range of members, including people who enjoy local history and genealogy as a hobby, those who work or volunteer in museums, those who run businesses connected to the local history of the area, who organise and attend walks, talks, activities and events, and those who care for specific sites and collections. Membership is free.

The Forum has recently worked in collaboration with Dig It! TV  to reach new audiences and highlight the heritage offerings in the area. You can see the result on YouTube. You can find the Forum on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @argyllheritage

MGS Representative: Diana Morton

Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Museums and Heritage Network

Website: https://dgmuseumsnetwork.org.uk 
Contact: contact@dgmuseumsnetwork.org.uk

The Forum shares information and best practice, with regular network meetings hosted by museums across the region. The Network also develops and supports joint marketing initiatives, working across the region to promote the area’s diverse heritage offerings.

MGS Representative: Jacob O’Sullivan

Fife

Fife Museums Forum

Contact: Jane.Free@onfife.com

Fife Museums Forum provides an informal, welcoming atmosphere for members to discuss museums matters relating to the management of museums in Fife and to work for the mutual benefit to the museums represented by the membership. Membership is open to Accredited and non-Accredited museums in Fife; elected Councillors in Fife members also sit on the forum.

Recent collaborative projects include an MGS-funded Management Training programme for Fife and Tayside Museums Forums staff. As well as the publication of a brochure on Learning in Fife for primary teachers across the region, showcasing the Learning resources and facilities at each member venue.

Download Learning in Fife Museums – PDF

MGS Representative Loretta Mordi

Highlands

Museums and Heritage Highland

Website: https://museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk
Contact: nicola.henderson@museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk

Museums and Heritage Highland is a supportive voice for heritage in the Highlands. Members include museums, galleries, and heritage organisations of all sizes from across the region. Museums and Heritage Highland work to promote collaborative working and capacity building. They also promote partnership opportunities that support their members to be sustainable and resilient.

MGS Representative Gillian Simison

Lanarkshire

Lanarkshire Heritage Forum

Website: lanarkshireheritageforum.org.uk/
Contact: earcher286@aol.com

The Forum brings together a range of organisations, including Accredited and non-Accredited museums, family history groups, and local heritage organisations, to share the common goal of promoting local heritage. Regular meetings offer opportunities for discussion and support.

MGS Forum Lead: Heather Doherty

Lothians

Lothians Heritage Forum

Contact: curator@nationalminingmuseum.com

The Lothians Forum provides a welcoming, collaborative space to support and develop local heritage organisations.  The forum works to organise partnership projects, training, and events in the local community.

MGS Representative: Victoria Hawkins

North Ayrshire

North Ayrshire Museums Forum

Contact: leannalennox@north-ayrshire.gov.uk
North Ayrshire Museums Forum is open to heritage organisations of any size in North Ayrshire to come together to share resources, ideas, projects, training, and information. Meetings are friendly, informal and approximately every 2 months, held in different venues around North Ayrshire.

MGS Representative: Loretta Mordi

North East Scotland

North East Scotland Heritage Network

Contact: bruce.mann@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
This forum is a community of Accredited and non-Accredited heritage organisations across Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, and Moray who share professional knowledge and expertise and collaborate to raise awareness of their services with a view to increasing access and engagement and maximising public benefit. A Committee exists to support this work.

MGS Representative: Jacob O’Sullivan

Outer Hebrides

Outer Hebrides Heritage Network

Contact: eriskayheritage@gmail.com
The network is open to any organisation in the area with an interest in heritage – including museums, archives, community organisations, charities, and others. An annual conference is organised by the local authority on behalf of the network.

MGS Representative: Lucy Neville

Shetland

Heritage Connections

Contact: heritageconnections@outlook.com

Shetland Heritage Association and Shetland Amenity Trust are working in partnership to create a Shetland forum to connect and support museums, heritage centres, heritage organisations, charities, special interest groups and individuals all sharing a common interest in caring for, developing, sharing and celebrating Shetland’s unique cultural and natural heritage.

Heritage Connections is providing a platform for Shetland’s heritage community to explore connections, strengthen relationships, exchange news and experiences, access training and events, and explore what it wants and needs from a recognised forum, to ensure it is sustainable into the future.

MGS Representative: Jacob O’Sullivan

 

Tayside

Tayside Museums Forum

Contact: secretary@museumofabernethy.co.uk; dawn@hospitalfield.org.uk
Tayside Museums Forum offers membership to Accredited and non-Accredited museums across the region. They provide peer support, joint working initiatives, and an annual Christmas meeting for its members. Recent projects have supported staff development (in Partnership with Fife Museums Forum) and explored skills sharing within the Forum.

Find out more about Tayside Museums Forum using their Microsoft Sway link.

MGS Representative: Heather Doherty

West Lothian

West Lothian Museums and Heritage Forum

Contact: Emma.Peattie@westlothian.gov.uk

West Lothian Forum offers an opportunity for heritage organisations and museums to and discuss shared issues around protecting and promoting heritage in the region. The Forum includes small independent museums, heritage organisations, the local authority museums service, and the area’s larger museums. New members are welcome to join.

MGS Representative: Jenny Youngson

Forum Connections

Forum Connections encourages greater partnership working in Scottish museums through investment in Scotland’s geographic forums.

Forum Connections