The Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) supports local museums across Northern Ireland in maintaining and improving their standards of collections care and public services.

Northern Ireland Local Museum context

  • There are 40 Accredited local museums in Northern Ireland, 21 are local Council run, and 19 are from the Independent sector.
  • 23 museums have a free admissions policy.
  • Local museums in the region attract around 636,952 visits per year.
  • Visits to museums help contribute £9,077,651 annually to the regional economy.
  • There are around 927 volunteers in the sector contributing approximately 127,648 hours annually.
  • The sector provides 478.65 direct, indirect and induced local jobs.

NIMC’s Role

Northern Ireland Museums Council is the lead body for the support and development of our local museums and the principle advocate for the sector. We are the main conduit for the government’s support for non-national museums, receiving funding from the Northern Ireland Assembly through the Department of Communities.

NIMC Programmes

  • Managing the Museum Accreditation Scheme in Northern Ireland, which is the sector standard for museums in the UK.
  • Providing Grant Assistance to Accredited museums.
  • Running an Acquisition Fund to help museums purchase objects for their collections.
  • Strengthening the skills of knowledge of people working and volunteering in museums through our Training Programme and the delivery of the HLF funded Skills for the Future programmes.
  • Promoting museums and their collections as sources of learning, enjoyment and personal development and the delivery of HLF funded Playful Museums Programme
  • Undertaking research and demonstrating the benefits and impacts of museums.
  • Providing advice, guidance and information to the sector and the general public.

Our work falls under four main headings:

  • Collections Development, Care, Management and Use
  • Developing Audiences
  • Education and Learning
  • Infrastructure, Investment and Resources


Chris Bailey, Director
Karen Magowan, Business Executive Officer
Tríona White Hamilton, Development Officer (Collections and Museums)
Rachel McCance, Development Officer (Education and Learning)
Beth Frazer, Project Co-ordinator for HLF funded ‘Playful Museums’ project.