Northern Ireland Museums Council launches Creative Industries Toolkit

The Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) has launched a toolkit to help museums collaborate with creative industries.

Across Northern Ireland museums and creative businesses are increasingly working together; digital media developers are assisting with the interpretation of collections, film companies are using museums as locations, and designers are drawing on museum collections for inspiration. The economic benefit of such collaborations is growing.

By way of generating more partnerships between the creative industries and museums, the Northern Ireland Museums Council has launched a pioneering toolkit to help these relationships to grow and prosper. It has developed a series of ‘how-to’ guidance sheets, covering concept development, finding partners, overcoming practical and contractual hurdles, and funding sources.

The toolkit resources have wider applicability and relevance for public libraries and archive services.

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.

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