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Friday, 23 January 2015

Brent Museum and Archive Strategy Published

I was puzzled by the long delay in producing a Brent Museum and Archives strategy.  It is finally going before the next Brent Council Cabinet meeting on Monday

These sort of heritage services are non-statutory and therefore particularly subject to threat in the financial climate caused by central government cuts.  Brent is doing much better than many Boroughs, in opening its new facility the Willesden Green Cultural Centre.  This reproduces the museum and improves the archives (particularly in document storage).  It is therefore a welcome area where the Council has a good story.  There is also plenty of innovative stuff in the report, for instance relating to digitization and outreach. 

I note that one of the weaknesses of the current museum service is on marketing and communications.  This is an area that could be shared with the library service, which also has long had a need for better marketing.  I wanted to address this as part of the Libraries Transformation Project, but was stymied by lack of funding.  Perhaps a joint approach across Libraries, Arts & Heritage might be better. 

One great unmentioned in the report is the future financing, with just some vague stuff about "options" being considered.  I speculate that this may have been the cause of the delay in publishing, as finance is likely to be a thorny issue in this as so many other areas. 

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