York Museums Trust

Museum Development Yorkshire

Museum Development is funded by Arts Council England (ACE) as part of a national programme.  In Yorkshire, Museum Development is delivered by York Museums Trust through Museum Development Yorkshire (MDY).

Museum Development Yorkshire supports museums across Yorkshire to manage their resources, look after their collections and provide services to their audiences in ways that meet or exceed recognised standards within the museum sector.

To achieve this the team offers every eligible museum access to high quality information, advice, guidance, consultancy and strategic programmes. We aim to help museums become more resilient and sustainable and ensure a thriving and vibrant sector that enhances the lives of the people it serves.  Museums Development Yorkshire is a one-stop shop for every eligible museum in the region. We have achieved the following:

  • £3.1m raised for museums since 2013
  • 93% of museums supported since 2013
  • 259 instances of individuals benefitting from CPD opportunities across a range of specialisms in 2014-15
  • 50 programmes of detailed advice and support benefiting 23 museums delivered in 2014-15
  • £22,500 awarded to 16 organisations in 2014-15 levering in over £66,000

We have been awarded c. £330,000 of ACE funds to produce a Museum Development programme which is a key element of both York’s regional remit and ACE’s museum support.

Our work is bounded by funder requirements and we operate within professional and ethical standards.


Small Grants Fund

The Small Grants Fund for 2015/2016 is now open for applications. This is available for projects requiring up to £3,000 investment and is part of our ongoing support programme until 2018.

The Museum Development Yorkshire Small Grants Fund can provide funding for a variety of projects in your museum.  Our Small Development Grant Scheme assists museums to implement advice, test new ways of working and make good things happen. It also supports personnel to attend training courses and conferences.  Last year we invested £38,000 into 23 museum organisations through 27 grants.

For more information, please look at our guidance notes and online application form.


Accreditation Support

The Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. There are currently just under 1,800 museums participating in the scheme, demonstrating their commitment to managing collections effectively for the enjoyment and benefit of users.

Museum Development Yorkshire provides Accreditation support to regional museums.  This is for new applicants, organisations meeting the Standard and those preparing an Accreditation Return. The following services are available

  • Email and phone based Q&A – accreditation@ymt.org.uk
  • On site needs/gap analysis for all museums 6 months prior to submission of an Accreditation return
  • Quarterly Accreditation workshops on specific focus areas
  • Quarterly Accreditation surgeries


All Museum Development Yorkshire publications and those inherited from Renaissance Yorkshire are available without charge.  You can browse through them in this folder.



This fortnightly e-newsletter contains information about programmes, opportunities, key resources and other helpful information. Join our mailing list to receive it, or if you want to submit an article, contact mdy-bulletin@ymt.org.uk


Members of the team provide the lead contact role in their local areas and work together to use their skills and experience to provide specialist support for museums, projects or initiatives across the region.

Michael Turnpenny – Museum Development Manager (South Yorkshire)
Email: michael.turnpenny@ymt.org.uk  Tel: 07917 220227

Alan Bentley – Museum Development Officer (West Yorkshire, Harrogate and Craven)
Email: alan.bentley@ymt.org.uk  Tel: 07595 609782

Liz Denton – Museum Development Officer (East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire)
Email: liz.denton@ymt.org.uk  Tel: 07785 458220

Dieter Hopkin – Museum Development Officer (Moors and Coast, Dales and York)
Email: dieter.hopkin@ymt.org.uk  Tel: 07970 977217


Helen Thornton – Regional Accreditation Adviser 

Email: accreditation@ymt.org.uk  Tel: 01904 650321