Cultural Associations

See below our list of Cultural Associations who have a wealth of experience providing services to and supporting the cultural sector.

Archives & Records Association (ARA)

The ARA is the leading professional body for the record-keeping sector. We welcome all with an interest in archives, records management and conserving records to join us and drive the sector forward.

Association of Independent Museums (AIM)

AIM was established in 1977 to address the needs of the growing independent museum sector, providing a network of mutual help and support that would share good practice and create a singular voice for hundreds of organisations.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.

Culture 24

Culture24 was an independent charity who between 2001 and 2023 helped arts and heritage people drive positive change inside their organisations, building resilience and capacity. They are now part of The Audience Agency having merged their two charities in December 2023.

English Heritage

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses is a cooperative, not-for-profit, association. They’re comprised of well over a thousand independently owned and operated houses, castles, and gardens of major historical importance. Most of their members are privately owned, lived-in, homes. Many others are charities, museums, businesses, or institutions.

International Council of Museums (ICOM)

Over the years, ICOM has evolved in accordance with international museum professionals’ needs worldwide, keeping in mind its main mission. More than 60 years after its creation, the organisation continues to represent the global museum community.

Museum Development – United Kingdom

Museum Development UK (MDUK) is a network of national Museum Development providers and practitioners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Museum Development UK’s goal is to collaborate to enable equitable, and innovative museums that welcome people from all backgrounds. Together we create a thriving museum sector by raising standards, driving excellence and training people working in museums.

Museum Development Midlands (MDM)

Supporting the delivery of the Museum Development programme across England are newly created national roles within ACE around coordination and communication, data insights, national training and programme development.

Museum Development North (MDN)

The MD North partnership is funded by Arts Council England to deliver museum development activity in the North of England from 1 April 2024 until 31st March 2026. This new partnership brings together Museum Development in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, and builds on the team’s experience of collaborative working across the north of England since 2018.

Museum Development South West (MDSE)

Funded by Arts Council England, Museum Development South East is a partnership between Norfolk Museums Service and Brighton & Hove Museums, building on their joint track record of delivering regional museum development support. Their mission is to support and develop a thriving and inclusive museum sector which reflects the distinctive cultural heritage of the South East. 

Museum Development South West (MDSW)

Museum Development South West exists to support museums and heritage organisations to develop and improve across all areas of their operation. We provide trusted, local and relevant development services to support museum and heritage organisations to improve, innovate, collaborate and celebrate. We understand the specific context and priorities of museums at both a regional and local level.

Museums Association

Museums Association are a dynamic membership organisation that campaigns for socially engaged museums and a representative workforce. They work ethically and sustainably and collaborate with partners where they have common aims and values. They advocate for and support museums and everyone who works in and with them so that the value and impact of museums and their collections is realised.

National Trust

The National Trust protects and cares for places so people and nature can thrive. Many millions share the belief that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. They look after the nation’s coastline, historic sites, countryside and green spaces, ensuring everyone benefits from visiting the different locations.

National Trust Scotland

Since 1931, National Trust Scotland have pioneered public access to and shared ownership of some of the most magnificent buildings, collections and landscapes in Scotland. They care for ancient houses, battlefields, castles, mills, gardens, coastlines, islands and mountain ranges, as well as the plants, animals and birds that live there. Without their involvement, many of these places and things would have been lost forever to the passage of time, development and the elements.

The Association for Cultural Enterprise

Cultural Enterprises is the only charity and trade body for the arts, heritage and cultural sector that brings together learning, experience and best practice in revenue generation, representing over 1,650 sites across the UK and beyond.

The British Association of Friends of Museums (BAFM)

BAFM helps, encourages, informs and advises friends, supporters and volunteers of museums, galleries, and other cultural organisations in all sections of our UK heritage.

The Heritage Alliance

Established in 2002, the Heritage Alliance is England’s largest coalition of heritage interests. We are a membership body that brings together over 200 independent organisations, who represent the full breadth of the sector. We work to champion the needs, aspirations, and achievements of our members and the wider heritage sector – influencing policy and legislation, bringing diverse groups together, and helping heritage practitioners to innovate and grow. Our vision is for a society in which England’s historic environment and wider cultural heritage are valued, supported, and able to enrich everyone’s lives.

UK Registrar’s Group (UKRG)

The UK Registrars Group is a non-profit association set up in 1979. It provides a forum for exchanging ideas and expertise between registrars, collection managers and other museum professionals in the United Kingdom, Europe and worldwide.

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