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Museums Galleries Scotland announces the recipients of two unique funds

Museums Galleries Scotland announces the recipients of two unique funds

Museums Galleries Scotland has announced the ten recipients of two one-off rounds of funding provided by the Scottish Government. The Vocational Pathways Fund saw £100,000 allocated to address the need for good quality, affordable vocational training in Scotland’s museums, opening up new routes of entry and more diverse career paths within the sector. A special round of Capital Funding has also seen over £110,000 invested in the strategic development of five museums.

The recipients of the Vocational Pathways Fund range from the Scottish Crannog Centre in Aberfeldy, to the National Trust for Scotland and National Museums Scotland, with the final two awards claimed by Glasgow Life and the University of Glasgow. Each of the funded projects is unique, reflecting the diversity of successful organisations, however they will all be working towards a common goal of diversifying the sector workforce and addressing skills gaps to ensure a thriving museums sector in Scotland in years to come.

The one off round of Capital Funding sees museums making the most of unique spaces. Scapa Flow Museum is located within the remaining naval buildings which made up HMS Proserpine. Orkney Islands Council’s award of £15,000 will fund the creation of new video exhibit within the former oil tank. Meanwhile, Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum will be creating a new, accessible archive space within a Nissen Hut.

John McLeish, Interim CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“These funding streams are a valuable addition to our core programme of investment and development of the Scottish museums sector. The Vocational Pathways Fund has been a significant addition to MGS’s long-term commitment to the development of vocational skills within Scotland’s museums, while the Capital Funding will enable the completion of five crucial renovation and construction projects.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“There are some excellent and rewarding career opportunities in Scotland’s museums, and I’m pleased that Scottish Government funding will enable more people to move into the sector. This Vocational Pathways Fund also helps museums by bringing in fresh talent and giving new recruits the skills they need. This round of capital funding will give targeted support for five projects across the country, each of which will help to enhance the experience of visitors long into the future.”

Full List of MGS Funded Projects:


National Trust for Scotland / Pathways to Success: Accrediting the Volunteer Experience / £16,628

The National Trust for Scotland will use their MGS funding to become an assessment centre to deliver the SQA Volunteering Skills as well as to train assessors and internal verifiers for the course. The project is targeting those looking to develop a career in the heritage sector and those who have previously disengaged from a formal learning environment. It will appeal to those who are looking to make the most of their first volunteering experience by providing an opportunity to gain an accredited qualification.

National Museums Scotland / New vocational pathways / £20,000

This project will create three opportunities for new modern apprenticeships (MAs) with National Museums Scotland, as well as three for existing staff from the visitor experience team. All the MAs will all be registered for an SVQ in Customer Services. NMS will recruit with the assistance of the Edinburgh Guarantee, who specialise in supporting individuals with barriers to employment.

Glasgow Life, Glasgow Museums / Employee development options (entry-level) and employability programme / £19,928

Glasgow Museums, in partnership with the City of Glasgow College, will be exploring the development of an entry level Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) rated course.  The creation of the new entry level qualification will allow Glasgow Museums to address skills gaps, diversity and ensure they are able to harness innovation that can be exchanged between employers for the good of the entire sector. Implementation of this vocational training will ensure a more capable museum team and improve the visitor experience.

The Scottish Crannog Centre / Dig The New Breed- Guardians of the Galaxy / £20,000

The Crannog Centre will be training 6 assessors and 2 verifiers to deliver and assess aspects of the SQV in Cultural Heritage. They also wish to become an SQA approved assessment centre. This project will put the development of a young, diverse workforce at the centre of the Crannog Centre’s priorities, for the benefit of both the Centre itself and the museums sector more widely.

University of Glasgow / Employee development options (mid-career) / £19,500

The Hunterian, in partnership with the City of Glasgow College, will be exploring the development of mid-career level Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) rated courses.  They will run consultation events to establish what the courses should look like, seeking to create a tailored qualification to improve the performance, viability and service quality of the museums sector during a period of change when skills gaps are becoming apparent.   


East Lothian Council / Reimagining Prestongrange Museum: Visitor Centre / £25,000

This MGS funded project will improve the appearance and condition of the Prestongrange Museum Visitor Centre, creating better facilities and a warmer welcome for visitors. The museum is currently well supported by the local community and this project will build on that making use of volunteer support.

Orkney Islands Council  / Scapa Flow Museum restoration and development project / £15,000

The listed museum buildings of Scapa Flow Museum are undergoing major restoration in 2018. This MGS funding will be used to purchase specialist AV equipment and commission a film which will form a major new exhibit in the Oil Tank. These improvements will help to tell the story of Orkney and Scapa Flow's role in the two world wars in both local terms and its role on a national strategic stage, made all the more resonant because those stories are told in the remaining naval buildings which made up HMS Proserpine.

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd. / Shedding Light On The Subject / £24,407

This MGS funding will enable a major upgrade of a key gallery space in the Low Parks Museum with a new bespoke lighting system and audio visual equipment. The project will create a multipurpose space which the museum plans to use to stage touring exhibitions as well as objects from their Recognised Collection.

Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum / Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum Archive Building Project / £7,485

The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum has secured a grant from MGS to build a Nissen hut to house the museum’s archives. The restored wartime Nissen hut will provide safe and accessible storage for the extensive records and archives held by the museum, which include log books, notebooks, printed materials and photographs. The current archives are bursting at the seams, making it hard to locate or properly care for items. The new archive building will allow better access for both volunteers and visiting researchers, as well as freeing up space in the listed control tower building for new exhibitions and displays.

Caithness Horizons / Museum Exhibition Renovation Project Phase 1 / £40,000

Caithness Horizons will use their MGS funding to restructure their existing exhibitions based on visitor feedback. The new displays will bring a focus on objects and stories that are most relevant to the local area to ensure that the centre is a vibrant and essential part of the community.

Published 26 April 2018