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Major Partner Museum

Plymouth and Exeter Museums: Major Partner Museum consortium

Reach South West is the consortium name for a Major Partner Museum partnership between the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) in Exeter and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

Reach South West is one of 21 Major Partner Museum Services nationwide funded by Arts Council England to support excellence and resilience within regional museums, and activity is funded up until March 2018.

They are connected by a shared journey of exploration and discovery, and as a result the two museums’ combined experiences make them natural partners in the south west peninsula.

Arts Council England’s Major Partner Museum investment in Reach South West reflects the close bond that the two organisations have developed. Their continued collaboration enables them to lead and influence new work to interpret world class collections and engage diverse audiences. You can watch a short film for some highlights..

National leadership role

As Major Partner Museums the Partnership also has broader sector responsibilities, with a national leadership role around the themes of early career development, digital development, cultural tourism and artistic and creative engagement.

Early career development

The partnership has been exploring how to create a ladder of opportunity for those at the start of their career and those who are emerging cultural professionals.

Award winning

The early career development co-ordinator for the RAMM and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery partnership, Sam Jackman,  won the Creative and Cultural Skills Museum and Heritage Award 2017. Judged by leading employers in the creative and cultural industries, the awards give recognition to outstanding contributions.

Partnership with Prince’s Trust

One of the highlights so far has been a new partnership with the Prince’s Trust which involved running a bespoke module for their national ‘Get into’ scheme, which aims to get young people into work or training by providing a taster of what it’s like to work in a particular sector. ‘Get Into Customer Service (Arts, Culture and Heritage)’ ran with 16 participants who received training and work experience in the sector. Hear from some of the participants on the scheme in this short film.

Find out more by clicking on the articles below.

Joe Woolley, Prince's Trust participant and trainee at Plymouth Museum, supported by the British Museum.

Joe Woolley, Prince’s Trust participant and trainee at Plymouth Museum, supported by the British Museum.

Jo Correa, Prince's Trust participant.

Jo Correa, Prince’s Trust participant.



Pathways to Arts Heritage and Culture

20 students from the University of Exeter participated in ‘Pathways to Arts Heritage and Culture’, an innovative internship and training programme led by RAMM in partnership with the University of Exeter which benefitted 16 cultural organisations in the south west.

Find out how the students and cultural organisations got on.

Gateway seminars

A series of ‘gateway seminars’ are available to view on the RAMM youtube channel. These include:

  1. Pricing in the arts – do you know how to realistically cost your work as an artist?
  2. Digital gateways – how can make the most of digital media to develop your work as an artist?
  3. Finding an audience – how do you connect with your audience and how do you develop your brand as an artist?
  4. Funding – find out about what makes a good Grant for the Arts funding application with this presentation from Ceri Johnson at the Arts Council.
  5. Project management – what makes a successful project? How can this help you in your career as an emerging artist?
  6. The open gateway – this seminar explores how RAMM works with artists. Hear from Creative Programmer Martin Thomas about his role at the museum.

Helen Creedy, a stained glass maker, describes how the Gateway seminars have benefitted her practice.

Digital developments

South West Collections Explorer

The partnership have developed South West Collections Explorer, which enables you to search collections from different museums in the south west.

If your museum is interested in adding its collection please visit our join us page.

A visitor using South West Collections explorer to complement a museum visit.

Using South West Collections explorer to complement a museum visit.

Creative engagement

The partnership is taking a lead role in stimulating important conversations around artistic creativity and also around diversity. You can watch a short film about creative collaborations here.

The creative case for diversity

A two day seminar called Hidden Histories was held in Plymouth on 29-30th November, and brought together funders, sector professionals and stakeholders from diverse communities for networking and presentations exploring histories that are hidden in the context of the creative case for diversity. Delegates described it as, “Inspiring, challenging, thought – provoking”, “Transformative” and “Challenging, accessible, stimulating, varied”.

You can watch a short film on our take on the creative case for diversity here.

Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery refurbishment

The Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery building is currently closed for the development of The Box, which opens in 2020. The museum is on tour throughout the city.

Contact us

For enquiries related to early career development work please contact Sam Jackman, Leadership Coordinator for early career development at sam.jackman@plymouth.gov.uk


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