Museums Association: measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic

After careful consideration, the Museums Association (MA) is introducing a number of measures in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We've taken this decision in the interests of the health and wellbeing of our staff, members, partners and contractors. 


We are postponing the following three one-day conferences:

  • Future of Museums: Curation, 25 March at the Wellcome Collection, London
  • Amazing Spaces: Designing Great Exhibitions, 30 April at the Wellcome Collection, London
  • Museum Tech: A Digital Festival for Museums, 25 June, Museum of London

The MA will provide a full refund to anyone who has booked on to these events. Alternatively, if you wish to keep your booking, it will be honoured when the event is rescheduled or can be transferred to any of the MA’s other upcoming one-day events.

We will continue to assess the situation in relation to our other events, including our annual conference and exhibition in Edinburgh on 5-7 November.

Please contact Lorraine O’Leary with any events queries.

Tel: 020 7566 7840

Office closure
The welfare of our staff is paramount. As such, staff will begin mainly working from home this week and the MA office will be fully closed from Monday 23 March until further notice. Our phone lines are still up and running and we request that all contact with the MA is made via phone or email. We will not be able to pick up or send out any post.

We will be able process any membership package purchased via our website and provide a digital confirmation of membership. However, we will be unable to send out a welcome pack or membership card at this time.

Please contact Sophie Lawson or Dan Laverick with any membership queries.

Email: /
Tel: 020 7566 7880

Funded projects
We will take a flexible and supportive approach to all projects funded by the MA and we will honour our funding commitments.

Please contact Sally Colvin or Sarah Briggs with any queries about funded projects.

Email: /
Tel: 020 7566 7851 or 0114 245 0001

Professional Development

Our AMA and FMA programmes will continue to run and be delivered remotely, including professional reviews. We understand your plans and activities might need to change and we will ensure our programmes are flexible to manage this.

Please contact Tamsin Russell or Jacqui Buscher if you have any queries or concerns.

Tel: 020 7566 7860

Supporting the sector

At this difficult and uncertain time, the MA is committed to advocating for the interests of the museum sector with government agencies and funding bodies. We will produce advice, guidance and offer support to members and museums throughout this period.

MA director Sharon Heal said: “We are calling for an emergency fund to be created to support museums through this difficult period. The government had earmarked £120m for a ‘festival of Britain’ in 2022; we believe this should now be made available to support museums at risk of permanent closure as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic.

This is a difficult time for everyone who work in museums and our communities. The MA is supporting our members and the wider sector by discussing with government, sector funders and other bodies what form the best advice and support might take. We have surveyed our members and we know that many are already taking the correct precautionary measures to protect staff, volunteers and visitors.

 “The bigger issue will be the medium and long-term impact if travel restrictions are applied and public gatherings banned. Many museums operate with tight financial margins and even a few weeks loss of income could seriously undermine their business models. We would appeal to government and funders to provide financial support and emergency funding for institutions that are effected by the epidemic; and also ask funders to operate flexibility in terms of delivery of currently funded projects.”

Please contact Alistair Brown with any queries about the MA’s policy and advocacy work.

Tel: 020 7566 7850