The Museum Development Network (MDN) brings together Museum Development (MD) providers across England and the Home Countries and allows for a shared understanding of the national picture. This is made possible through sector data collection, which not only provides key statistics on the operational context of the Accreditation Scheme and museum closures, but also offers a clear demonstration of the collective social and economic value of museums in key areas such as volunteering and visitor spend in the local economy. A great example of the advocacy built on this core sector data is the Cornwall Museum Partnership’s Cornwall Museums Matter video.

This sector information enables MD to promote and influence policy and funders to ensure the whole of the museum sector is represented when key issues are discussed at a local, regional or national level. Due to the nature of our work, Museum Development has a practical understanding of the challenges and opportunities museums face in developing resilient and vital services. Although the MDN is not strictly a lobbying or advocacy body, it seeks to support the sector in demonstrating the unique value and contribution of museums of all shapes and sizes to their communities, their audiences and the wider public.