Upgrading skills for industrial museums in Scotland
A new training program is launched to ensure the preservation of Scotland’s industrial heritage for generations to come.
Industrial Museums Scotland’s Powering Our People project will see new recruits trained in specialist techniques such as preserving paper and maintaining historic machinery.
The £ 230,000 scheme is being introduced in response to a skills review which found that funding cuts in recent years have led to a reduction in staff and a growing shortage of specialist training in the sector.
It is hoped that the move will help ensure the preservation of artifacts and collections at major museums and conservation sites such as Discovery Point in Dundee, the National Mining Museum in Midlothian and the New Lanark World Heritage Site in South Lanarkshire.
Announcing the project, David Mann, President of Industrial Museums Scotland, said he will ensure that his museum’s collections can be enjoyed by generations to come.
He said: “We are grateful to the funders for supporting this major legacy project for Scotland’s industrial museums.
“Key skills will be learned and shared across the workforce and the care of Scotland’s incredible and important industrial heritage will become more sustainable in the future. ”
The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museum Galleries Scotland, the Pilgrim Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, the Headley Trust and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.
It will see a restorer and an industrial conservation intern hired to work alongside 100 staff and volunteers to develop skills in the care of large industrial objects, important paper records and historic engines.
The program will use the expertise of groups such as the Scottish Railway Preservation Society.
Industrial Museums Scotland hopes to ensure that its 14 member museums have a trained and skilled workforce, equipped to care for their collections of national significance in the future.
The program will also benefit the industrial heritage sector at large by creating online resources and enabling workplace exchanges and observation of trained personnel.
Caroline Clark, Scottish Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Scotland’s industrial heritage, from shipbuilding to coal mining, is an essential part of our country’s history, and it is essential. that we maintain the skills necessary to care for the important industrial heritage collections that we hold across the country.
“We are delighted that, thanks to funding from National Lottery players, we were able to support the Powering Our People project to ensure the continued preservation of traditional collections and know-how for years to come. ”
Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, added: “We are delighted to support Industrial Museums Scotland in this important project which focuses on building the skills of their teams.
“This focus on workforce development will help build the resilience of their member museums and will continue to tell the story of Scotland’s industrial past.
“Increasing training opportunities for staff and volunteers will help support the dissemination of skills and knowledge, which will benefit the sector.”
Sue Bowers, director of the Pilgrim Trust, said she was eager to see the broader lessons of the project and how it can “help close the skills gap in the heritage sector”.
She added: “The Pilgrim Trust is delighted to support the Powering Our People project. Preserving specialist conservation skills and promoting conservation training is one of the Trust’s priorities. These skills and knowledge are integral to the conservation of Scotland’s rich industrial heritage. ”
Amy Eastwood, Grants Officer at Historic Environment Scotland, said the organization was happy to contribute £ 14,712 to the project through its Historic Environment Support Fund.
She added: “By training the next generation, we are helping to ensure that our historic environment is protected for the future. ”
Industrial Museums Scotland is a federation of independent industrial museums with sites across Scotland.
It aims to ensure that the country’s industrial heritage continues to play an important role in inspiring the future and safeguarding the past.
Its members look after 13 collections recognized as being of national importance by the Scottish Government.
These include artifacts from a multitude of Scottish industries including fishing, shipbuilding, textiles, agriculture, coal and lead mining, engineering, iron production and steel and transport.