News - 05 September 2023

Derby Museums publishes report revealing the impressive social impact of the Museum of Making capital project

Derby Museums has published the findings of a Social Return On Investment (SROI) report investigating the social impacts of the Museum of Making as a major capital project.

The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, a building widely recognised as the site of the world’s first fully mechanised factory, was developed to be a place of public pride representing the ‘soul of the city’ with over £18m of grant funding from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England alongside support from Derby City Council, Rolls-Royce and a range of charitable trusts and foundations.

The Museum of Making is one of three museums operated by Derby Museums as an independent charitable trust. Uniquely designed and created by the people of Derby to tell the city’s 300-year history of making and innovation, the museum is proving itself to be an attractive and invaluable built heritage asset for Derby that sustains a range of learning and community development programmes.

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, said: “This new report shows clear evidence of the significant impacts the Museum of Making project has had on Derby, its communities, visitors, participants, staff, volunteers, makers and artists, as well as Derby Museums itself, and the museum sector more widely.”

Social Return On Investment methodology is an outcome-based measurement tool that helps organisations identify, understand and monetise the net economic and social value they create through their activities.

Report shows project impacts on wellbeing and health

As Tony Butler explained: “Counting numbers tells us nothing about the quality of experience or a project’s impacts on the lives of participants.  This sort of activity has positive impacts on health and wellbeing, and builds vital skills and confidence, which can help people be more economically active or contribute more to their communities.”

More than 40,000 volunteer hours have been contributed to the project and participants have been involved in every aspect, from working alongside architects and designers to advising on spatial layouts for galleries, decanting and recanting collections, undertaking historic research, and supporting public events.

According to the report, 52 full-time equivalent contracted jobs have been created through the project, as well as a further 153 jobs indirectly. The Annual Economic Impact to Derby is estimated at almost £4 million per year and, for every £1 invested in 2021/2022 museum operations, there’s a social return of £5.86 lasting over the next 5 years.

Will Morlidge, Chief Executive of D2N2 said: “We were delighted to co-fund the redevelopment of the museum. You only need to look around the city at the investment being made in new homes, businesses and leisure facilities to confirm that Derby is on the rise, and the Museum of Making is at the city’s cultural heart.”

The findings of the report illustrate the importance of culture to the social and economic wellbeing of the city.  An Executive Summary can be found on Derby Museums’ website here, together with a downloadable copy of the full report with an outline of the SROI methodology used and a list of key findings.

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney, Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

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