GEM launches project to strengthen its sector role following lottery funding

Main Image: Young Producer Programme. © National Gallery

The Group for Education in Museums (GEM) has launch a new 18-month project: A Stronger GEM for a Stronger Sector following a £68,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as part of its Resilient Heritage programme

The Stronger GEM for a Stronger Sector project will enable GEM to create ‘effective change, with a renewed organisational vision and structure’. Under the new project GEM says it will transform its governance; create an effective business plan for the future and support improving relationships and services for all four countries of the UK, enabling the organisation to give more effective support to you, our fantastic heritage learning community.

National Lottery Heritage Fund support will cover the cost of a project manager, who will take on directorial responsibilities including working closely with GEM’s small staff team, area representatives and Board of Trustees.

GEM will consult with its members across the UK, providing training and development for staff, trustees and the many volunteers, all of whom are an essential part of GEM’s work.

“A strengthened GEM will be better positioned to support everyone delivering learning programmes in museums and heritage settings,” said Caroline Marcus, Chair of GEM’s Board of Trustees. “Engaging and inspiring learning can be transformative. With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can continue to support every museum in the UK to develop its learning offer for a wider range of people to enjoy.”

As part of the new project, GEM will also focus on developing new partnerships and advocacy.

A Stronger GEM for a Stronger Sector will:

  • Support heritage organisations and education practitioners in developing and sharing best practice in heritage learning.
  • Develop innovative projects that contribute to sustainable development in heritage learning.
  • Work in partnership with other organisations to contribute to important government agendas and the cultural economy.
  • Advocate the benefits of heritage learning in terms of individual and social welfare.

David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said this was an important milestone to future-proff GEM: “GEM is the beating heart of museum and heritage learning, in a sector that has changed almost beyond recognition during the past 20 years, since I started in the profession; it has continued to champion the needs of our sector and our audiences against a relentless tide of budgetary cuts and changing sector priorities. This is why I feel passionately about the need to future-proof GEM as an organisation, ensuring its long-term resilience and sustainability.”