MRL and the black country living museum

Black Country Living Museum runs MRL, it provides the administrative base and the teaching spaces for two of the workshops on finance and enterprise. BCLM is unique is using a proportion of its Major Partner Museums funding to develop and run the MRL leadership programme.  

Andrew Lovett, Director and Chief Executive of the Museum is a member of the core Faculty team with Stephen Feber and Nick Winterbotham

See history for the genesis of the Programme.

BCLM is a Major Partner Museum with Culture Coventry in the West Midlands Museum Partnership (WMMP). The Museum is one the few in the UK which are self financing in revenue terms and it therefore has to have a fundamentally entrepreneurial focus. 


The Museum operates ten surplus generating business units across the site and these are essential for the financial health of the organisation. Entrepreneurship for BCLM means more than running the museum as a social enterprise; it has a wide ranging 'opportunity radar' looking for funding sources to develop projects and programmes. It has a fundamental belief in the power of self determination to fulfil its social purpose.

Experiences shown that lessons learned from running a successful surplus making and reinvesting trading charity, a social enterprise, are applicable to a wide range of cultural and heritage organisations.

Arts Council England

ACE has a 10-year strategic framework plan, 2010 -2020, Great Art and Culture for Everyone which has 5 goals. Goal 3 is:

That the arts, museums and libraries are resilient and environmentally sustainable

In pursuit of this ACE suggests:

  • Arts organisations, museums and libraries can demonstrate an ability to adapt to their external environment
  • Arts organisations and museums have increased the share of their income that comes from a wider range of contributed or earned income sources 

The Programme's Directors and BCLM have designed the MRL Programme specifically to fit this Goal.