Arts Council England Project at The Rochdale Pioneers Museum: Pioneering Funding Through New Governance Models – please tell us your views!
The Co-operative Heritage Trust (CHT), which manages The Rochdale Pioneers Museum (RPM), was recently awarded Arts Council Funding from the Museum Resilience Fund to carry out a project looking at potential ways to achieve greater overall long-term resilience and impact for museum and the National Co-operative Archive (NCA). Funding was awarded to enable two main research strands of work to be carried out in relation to governance models and fundraising strategies. The funding proposal undertook to carry out a stakeholder questionnaire as part of this project.
The project team are now inviting comment from all those who have an interest in the work of The Co-operative Heritage Trust (covering both The Rochdale Pioneers Museum and also The National Co-operative Archive) including those within the museum’s local community in Rochdale as well as across the UK and Global co-operative movement.
The outcome that the project aims for, is to ensure that The Rochdale Pioneers Museum achieves greater overall resilience and impact through its fundraising strategy and governance model, ensuring stakeholder engagement, diversity and ownership are embedded within all its activities. This will build on the current work of the RPM and feed into its longer term vision in line with the charitable objectives of The Co-operative Heritage Trust.
No proposals have been made to change anything from the current governance structure. The award of the funding to carry out this questionnaire has provided an excellent opportunity to seek views from all those who are interested in the work of The Co-operative Heritage Trust. All input will be given consideration as part of this project and will also inform the long-term strategic planning carried out by the Trustees.
Please can you give your comments by clicking the link which will take you to the online questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/F7JZVNQ
The closing deadline for response is noon on 29th March 2016
If you have any queries relating to any aspect of this, or wish to submit your views in a different way, please contact the project co-ordinator Elena Rowe firstname.lastname@example.org
The RPM is housed in the building in Toad Lane, Rochdale where the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society began trading in 1844. This marked the development of a model of co-operation that inspired groups of people throughout the UK and the world to form their own co-operatives, a movement which now involves 1 billion members globally and employs 250 million workers. Rochdale is known as the “birthplace of co-operation”. Today this museum is visited by co-operators from all over the world. The National Co-operative Archive holds over 200 years of co-operative records.
The Co-operative Heritage Trust is an Arts and Heritage charity (charity registration number 1121610). The CHT is responsible for maintaining and making accessible the movements’ key heritage assets – The Rochdale Pioneers Museum and The National Co-operative Archive – and using them to educate and inspire today’s and tomorrow’s members and the wider public. The trust was established in 2007 with a £3million donation from the Co-operative Group as an endowment fund for investment purposes where sums arising can support the work of the Trust. A separate fund (The Toad Lane Museum Fund) was established in 2008 by Co-operatives UK. The charity is governed by a Trust Deed and The Co-operative College manages the day-to-day management of The Co-operative Heritage Trust under a management agreement. The trustees of the charity are nominated by The Co-operative Group, Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative College.
The RPM has Accredited Museum status and the NCA has Designated Collection status – recognising the value of Co-operation to the nation’s heritage and its global significance.
Whilst the trust does not receive regular core funding, the museum presently provides opportunities for supporters and organisations to make regular donations to the museum. The New Pioneers Fund also provides an opportunity for 28 businesses to become ‘New Pioneers’ under a major donor strategy – each linked to the original 28 Rochdale Pioneers of 1844.
The funding awarded by the Arts Council for this project, provides an opportunity to research and consider what the best approach might be for securing a long term resilient structure within a museum and heritage organisation. One consideration will be to look at whether a co-operative, stakeholder approach/model will provide a long term sustainable model for not only the CHT, but potentially as a model that could be replicated by the wider museums and heritage sector.