outline of the programme

VENUES & Timing

The workshops generally run on a Friday between 9.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. however, this MRL programme there are two exceptions - September 2018 and January 2019, both of which have been moved to Thursday. Remember that attendance at all workshops is a condition of your acceptance on the Programme. Exceptional circumstances may of course arise and you should discuss these with your MRL Mentor if you are accepted onto the Programme.  If you already know about a clash then tell us in your application. We're flexible and there are ways to catchup via material posted on the MRL shared server, in discussion with your Mentor and through your year's cohort.

MRL is under continuous review by the Directors and whilst Programme dates are fixed, content, speakers and location may vary from those described here.  


MAY 09, 10, 11

Workshop 1 - Residential - Centre for Management Creativity, High Trenhouse, Malham, North Yorkshire

  • The art and science of leadership in culture, business and politics - a 360° examination of leadership with exercises and masterclasses taught by the Directors Nick Winterbotham and Stephen Feber, BCLM CEO Andrew Lovett, Dawn Yates-Obe and Arnie Skelton
  • Self reliance for you and your organisation
  • Your MRL year
  • Mentoring, coaching and MRL evaluation
  • Planning your Overseas Study Visit

11:30 a.m. Wednesday May 09 to 3 p.m. Friday May 11


Workshop 2 - Enterprise in Action - Black Country Living Museum, Hobbs and Sons Fish and Chip Shop and Loaf, social enterprise bakery, Stirchley, West Midlands

  • Hands on sessions - making fish and chips and making bread + the financial realities of these businesses in the surplus creating not for profit distribution sector
  • Know the numbers, see the patterns - running a museum as a surplus generating social enterprise - the view from Andrew Lovett, BCLM CEO and Mark Reeves manager for food and drink operations at the museum

There is significant emphasis on enterprise in the cultural sector - but how do you go about making genuine surpluses on trading and events? This workshop is designed to provide answers.  Independent social enterprises make money but they also raise capital from many sources; the workshop will explore how this has happened successfully at BCLM and the bakery.

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Workshop 3 - Leadership, mapping and growing networks. Plus - developing a museum site - Manchester Museum of Science and Industry - how to rise to the challenge of urban change as Manchester evolves around the MOSI site

  • With Sally McDonald, director of MOSI
  • Development challenge I - how is Manchester and Greater Manchester changing? What impact does the new Mayor have? How does MOSI fit into the 'Northern Powerhouse' idea? 

Sally will be offering insights into her leadership journey, the development of the museum and the urban developments around the site which include residential, commercial and cultural.  How to map networks, develop a cultural organisation and develop connection.

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

July, AUGUST, September

Overseas Study Visits (OSV)

  • Museums and cultural organisations - worldwide
  • Financial, structural and cultural resilience journeys
  • Interviews, visits, journeys 


Workshop 4 - OSV Pecha Kucha presentations -Think Tank, Millennium Point, Birmingham - part of Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT)

  • Resilience lessons from other countries - cultural, financial, organisational and personal
  • Development challenge II - how the changing landscape in Birmingham affects BMT

HS2, the Games, the new Mayor, infrastructure investment - how do these affect BMT - what are the opportunities?  Should science, technology, engineering and maths be part of everything the Trust does?  Birmingham historically was a pre-eminent STEM city; what of its future? 

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Workshop 5 - Governance, Boards, Purpose - British Museum (TBC)

  • The Board, Chairman and the CEO - case studies of the good, the bad and the ugly
  • With Michael Day former Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces and international museum consultant Elaine Heumann Gurian
  • How the social and civic purpose of the museum is defined, shaped and led

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Workshop 6 - Social Entrepreneurship – Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Birmingham

Should museums broaden their reach and routinely work with partner organisations? A day with leaders and entrepreneurs from the cultural and social enterprise sector from the West Midlands, including:

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Workshop 7 - The social purpose of museums - National Holocaust Centre, Laxton and The  National Civil War Centre, Newark 

MRL examines the purpose of museums from a number of angles the National Holocaust Centre and the National Civil War Centre provide links and contrasting explorations of this topic.

  • In depth tours of both location to examine the social, cultural, political dimensions of the museum and cultural centre 

9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

See The English Civic Museum.



Workshop 8 - Leadership in Politics and Art

  • With Tristram Hunt at the Victoria & Albert museum (TBC)
  • With Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the DCMS

9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.


Workshop 9 - Site Development Safari - Bletchley Park

  • Putting the resilience lessons into practice - development masterclass for a museum site
  • How to make money running a cultural business

This is a whole day, in depth examination of a significant site on the outskirts of London.  Q&A with Iain Standen Director  of the Trust and Chairman of the Board Sir John Scarlett (TBC). Sir John is a retired British senior intelligence officer. He was Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service from 2004 to 2009. Prior to this appointment, he had chaired the Cabinet Office Joint Intelligence Committee. 

9.30 a.m. - 5.00  p.m.

MARCH 13, 14, 15

Workshop 10 - Conclusion - Final residential - Centre for Management Creativity, Malham, North Yorkshire

Exercises and masterclasses taught by the Directors Nick Winterbotham and Stephen Feber, BCLM CEO Andrew Lovett, Dawn Yates-Obe and Arnie Skelton, including:

  • Resilient leadership over the long term
  • Your MRL year - retrospective
  • Your personal strategic plan
  • Active coaching in group exercises
  • The art of the leader

11.30 a.m. Wednesday March 13 to 3 p.m. Friday March 15