Flodden’s 500th anniversary project receives timely boost

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researching the Battle of Flodden for its 500th anniversary in 2013 will be among the work to be done by the successful candidate for a paid museum and gallery internship on offer with Scottish Borders Council.

Twenty paid internships are being offered by Museums Galleries Scotland nationally and Scottish Borders Council has successfully secured one of the placements in the Borders.

Recruitment is currently underway for the £15,000, year long post which starts in October this year.

A museum’s spokesperson told The Berwickshire News: “This internship, along with all the others offered by museums across the country, is a fantastic opportunity for graduates to gain valuable experience helping them to develop their career path.”

The trainee hosted by Scottish Borders Council willget the opportunity to work in a number of venues in the Scottish Borders run by the council’s museum and gallery service.

It offers a range of opportunities to learn museum skills by working closely with established members of staff while developing their core collections management skills, and delivering services to the public. 

The intern will assist with: collections audits and documentation projects; the installation of local history and visual art exhibitions; research for Flodden 500 anniversary exhibition projects; and help to prepare a marine themed diorama for Year of Nature 2013 display.

Work is already underway on both sides of the England Scotland border to ensure that the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden is commemorated in style and this couldn’t be a better time for the creation of an intern post to be involved in such a project.

Among the many ideas of the Flodden 500 group is the provision of an eco musuem - a museum without walls - linking the many parts of the Flodden story across Northumberland and the the Scottish Borders.

Initially it would link together a total of 11 sites with strong associations with Flodden, including: Flodden Field, Norham Castle, Etal Castle, Heatherslaw Corn Mill, Barmoor Castle, Twizell Bridge, Ladykirk Church, Branxton Church, Coldstream Museum, Coldstream Priory, Weetwood Bridge and the Fletcher Monument in Selkirk.

Delivering children’s activities linked to learning projects and community events and assisting with touring exhibitions will also be part of the intern’s remit.

SBC‘s museum and gallery service operates 11 museums, galleries and heritage attractions located throughout the region plus Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre.

The collections tell the story of Borders people from the earliest times to present day and also explore the Borders’ world famous textile industries, the Coldstream Guards and the lives of the famous such as Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Walter Scott and Jim Clark.

The service will support the trainee in their acquisition of skills while working across a wide range of collections and helping to deliver important learning and access programmes for schools and communities.

“ This is a great chance for a recent graduate to work with a wide range of collections at a number of venues throughout the Borders region,”   said Scottish Borders Council’s senior curator Fiona Colton.

“I am delighted that Scottish Borders Council museum & gallery service will have the opportunity to participate in this new initiative.

“The internship programme is fully funded through the Heritage Lottery award secured by Museums Galleries Scotland, so it represents a significant new development for the Scottish Museum’s sector.

“ Scottish Borders Council has a strong commitment to workforce development and training, and I view this as a fantastic opportunity for us to support a recent graduate towards gaining valuable experience of museum work.

“My staff will also benefit through extending their management and coaching skills while passing on their knowledge to someone new to the museum and gallery sector.”

Jane Robinson, head of museums development at Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Although we did anticipate a huge interest from the sector to host an internship, we were impressed by the high quality of internships being offered by museums and galleries all across the country.

“The host museums have thought deeply about the learning experience that they could offer to an intern.

“The response demonstrates just how keen the sector is to welcome young people with fresh ideas and, in exchange, experienced, long-time museums professionals being able to pass their specialist knowledge on.

“We are just about to start recruiting the interns and we know we will receive a high amount of interest from graduates.

“It is encouraging to know that through our work to create the interns programme we are opening up exciting career opportunities for 20 young people across Scotland.”

Joanne Orr, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland added: “We are delighted to reach such an important stage of our intern programme.

“Knowledge and skills transfer is such an important area and there is nothing better than actually learning from an experienced person in the workplace.

“At Museums Galleries Scotland we believe that this type of programme is essential for the sustainability of our sector and we want to encourage more ways of working like this in the future.”

“This is as much an investment into developing Scotland’s people as it is an investment into the museums and galleries sector.

“The skills that our interns learn will not only benefit them if they eventually choose to work in the sector but will also stand them in good stead whatever career path they decide is right for them.”

Recruitment is now underway to fill the 20 internships.Preference will be given to people from less affluent backgrounds and people with disabilities or from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Interns will receive a tax-free bursary of £15,000 and travel costs will also be covered.

There will be learning and training opportunities provided by Museums Galleries Scotland and the host organisation throughout the year including events that encourage career development and networking opportunities.

They created the interns programme to help the industry address sustainability issues around skills sharing that could face the sector in the future and help it diversify the workforce in future.

At its heart, the programme encourages the passing on of skills and knowledge essential for the successful management of museums and galleries with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future programme which is supporting similar new training places with grants ranging from £100,000 to £1 million.

For information on all the internships and how to apply visit the Museums Galleries Scotland website http://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/.