New Museums and Creative Industries Toolkit

Across Northern Ireland museums and creative businesses - particularly craft and design - are increasingly working together, and the economic benefit of such collaborations is growing. The Northern Ireland Museum Council has created a toolkit to help these relationships grow and prosper.

By way of generating more partnerships between the creative industries and museums, the Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) has launched a pioneering toolkit to support such activity. It has developed a series of short and very practical ‘how-to’ guidance sheets, covering concept development, finding partners, overcoming practical and contractual hurdles, and funding sources. Find the toolkit on the NIMC website.

The NIMC Director, Chris Bailey, said: “Our toolkit will make it easier for museums and creative businesses to collaborate successfully. There are huge benefits to such partnerships, and both sectors see distinct economic value in working together. On the one hand museum objects are being used as an unparalleled source of inspiration for our artists, designers and those working with digital media. And on the other hand, we see museums drawing upon local, cutting-edge creative businesses to develop novel ways in which people can engage with their collections.

NIMC received funding for devising the toolkit through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Creative Industries Innovation Fund.

Lorraine McDowell, Director of Operations at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “At the Arts Council we want to put our support firmly behind both local companies and sector development bodies such as NIMC to help them develop and transform their creative ideas into commercial success.  The source of our wealth, job creation and economic competitiveness is shifting to our burgeoning creative sector and we need to make all those involved as best equipped as possible to compete at the forefront of the global market.  Investment in creative industries is generating high economic returns and the potential of the Museum and Creative Industries Toolkit is extremely exciting.”

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure invested £4m over the last four years to grow and develop the creative industries. The Creative Industries Innovation Fund provided support for innovative development of commercially viable content, products, services and experiences capable of competing in global markets. With the toolkit being available through the NIMC website, it can be used throughout the world, strengthening Northern Ireland’s position as a leader in providing imaginative and practical support for its creative industries.

The toolkit has four accompanying case studies to give you ideas including

  • Designer-maker Lesley Frew in residence at the Ulster Museum as part of the Craft NI making it programme 2009 (Image is 'Double Knotted Necklace' by Lesley Frew)
  • The Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, and the Thomas Ferguson Irish linen producers, to produce a range of linen products for the museum shop


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