ITP UK Partner Meeting in Glasgow: Day 2

Written by Claire Messenger, International Training Programme Manager

Each year the ITP team meets with our UK partner museum colleagues to discuss plans for the summer programme. This year Martin Bellamy, Research & Curatorial Manager, and Patricia Allen, Curator of World Cultures, invited us to Glasgow and we were delighted to be joined by Clare Pickersgill (Keeper, University of Nottingham Museum), Andrea Martin (Exhibitions and Interpretation Manager, The Collection: Lincoln), Jackie Bland (Training and Governance Officer, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums), Louise Smyth (Training & Development Advisor, National Museums Northern Ireland), Ronan Brindley (Head of Learning, Manchester Art Gallery) and Campbell Price (Curator of Egypt and Sudan, Manchester Museum).


The group met at the Riverside Museum – a transport collection of over 3,000 objects of national and international importance. The museum opened in 2011 in an amazing building on the banks of the River Clyde designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. In 2013 the Riverside Museum won the European Museum of the Year award and it annually welcomes over 1.3 million visitors.

The meeting gave our partners the opportunity to share information and ideas for the summer programme and to be able to help and support each other with suggestions on what had worked well for them in 2018. They were also able to tell us about their projects and programme for this year, to help us to decide which of our ITP participants 2019 will go to which of our partner museums. We discussed how this year’s Object in Focus project would work and partners thought about how they could integrate this project into their programmes to give additional support and guidance to the fellows 2019. And partners also came up with ideas on how they could embed social media and digital engagement in this summer’s programme.


The ITP team gave an update on the various ITP legacy projects. We looked at lessons learnt from the ITP+ course in Aswan and the visit to the Museums Association Conference in Belfast. We also updated the group on the ITP+ course in Mumbai, the online exhibition Bristol: The Bigger Picture, the Rodin spotlight loan and the Collaborative Award.

Finally, in preparation for my panel participation at the ICOM UK Working Internationally conference, I asked the partners for their thoughts on a question related to the panel, and they offered some lovely comments that we wanted to share with you:

What does being part of a heritage network allow you to do that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise?

  • Creating new international links and meeting international colleagues – it’s really nice to see what they’re doing in the sector around the world.
  • Learning what other projects are going around the UK and around the world on can inspire you for things in your own region.
  • I enjoy having the chance to work outside of my own specialism. It’s easy to get together with other people in my specialism but these ITP partner meetings are the best snapshots to see what is happening in the wider sector.
  • The creativity; the space for thinking and discussing. 
  • The global perspective, inviting people into our site and seeing how they view what they’re seeing. It opens our eyes to what we have that’s really good and what we have that needs to be challenged as well.
  • It’s an opportunity not to be blinkered, isolated or insular.
  • We are learning as much from the ITP network as they learn from us.
  • It’s the perfect antidote to the atmosphere of division at the moment.
  • The inspiration, constantly learning and coming up with new ideas: it gives you energy.
  • The opportunity to find out what other people are experiencing. It puts your own experience into perspective.

We finished the day with a tour, guided by Martin and his colleague John Messner, of the Riverside Museum. It was fascinating to learn more about the collection but having Martin and John lead the tour meant we were lucky enough to hear the stories around the displays, design and how many of the incredible objects came to be in the collection.

Thank to you to Martin, Pat and all our UK partner colleagues. It was wonderful to see you all and your continued support and enthusiasm for the ITP is so very appreciated.