Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Simon Critchley Tiverton Museum © Amanda Harman Photography © Simon Critchley


MDN’s overarching goal is to support diverse, inclusive and innovative museums that welcome people from all backgrounds. Together we create a thriving museum sector by raising standards, driving excellence and supporting people working in museums.

Museum Development Network aims to:

  1. Ensure that everyone can experience and be inspired by museums. From the teacher planning a class visit, the student seeking work experience, families visiting during holidays, community groups using galleries for creative activity, to the volunteers who help keep the museum running: we promote museums as safe, inclusive and accessible spaces for all to enjoy.
  2. Ensure that excellence is at the heart of the museum sector. That means supporting museums to deliver quality exhibitions, events, activities and services and to maintain sector-recognised professional standards and legal requirements.
  3. Support skills development for people working in museums. MDN delivers a range of training and professional development opportunities for the museum workforce. We are committed to working with appropriate partners to deliver specialist training to build staff confidence, and delivering training on equality, diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias.
  4. Support museums to deliver quality services for communities. In order to thrive, museums need to be relevant to the communities across the UK. We support governance work on Equality and Diversity planning so that organisations represent the communities they serve. We also help museums understand their visitor market to develop programmes to grow and diversify their audiences.
  5. Help museums manage their collections ethically and creatively. Holding art and museum collections in trust for future generations is a central activity for museums. We promote best practice for managing cultural assets and help museums communicate the stories that connect their collections to visitors and the communities.
  6. Deliver grant programmes to strengthen museum services. In addition to providing advice, guidance and training, we support all of the above through small grants programmes.