Agenda and draft minutes

Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - Thursday 15th December, 2022 1.30 pm

Venue: Learning Area , 1st Floor, Dorman Museum

Contact: Susie Blood 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no Declarations of Interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - 17 November 2022


The minutes of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel held on xxxx were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Middlesbrough Museum service- Service overview- Setting the Scene

Gaye Kirby, Creative Programmes and Partnership Manager and J.R Bowes, Museums General Manager will provide the panel with a service overview.


The Chair welcomed Gaye Kirby, Creative Programmes and Partnership Manager and J.R Bowes, Museums General Manager to the meeting to provide a service overview of museums.


The Museums General Manager advised that he has commenced his role in March 2021 and that the Creative Partnership Manager had taken up her post in February 2022.


To begin with the General Manager provided some context surrounding the museums advising that Middlesbrough own two museums- the Dorman and Captain Cook birthplace.


The Dorman Museum: Established in 1904 with large collections of natural history, archaeology, and ethnography, the museum has developed a remit that reflects the life and interests of the town and its people.

The museum had extensive redeveloped in 2002, and currently houses eight galleries covering social history of the town, the natural world, decorative arts, and world cultures.


Captain Cook Birthplace museum: In 1978 on the 250th anniversary of Cook’s birth the museum opened. It is housed in a purpose-built museum close to the site of Cook’s birthplace cottage in Stewart Park.

The museum tells the story of Cook, his 3 voyages and the cultures he encountered through themed displays and artefacts.


The Manager advised that there were 13 members of staff covering the two museums, however currently there was only 1 learning and engagement officer in post due to long term sickness.


The service worked with a number of partners including:


• Tees Valley Museums Group NPO

• Arts Council England

• Teesside Archives

• British Museum

• National Portrait Gallery

• Schools

• Museum Development Network NE

• Captain Cook Trust

• Friends of Dorman Museum

• Middlesbrough Mela

• Taste of Africa

• Curious Arts

• Barefoot Kitchen

• South Tees Arts & Health

• Whippet Up


The ambition of the service was as follows:

Attracting and retaining audiences through the creation of fresh and dynamic programming, expanded museum promotion and deepening our connection to the community and beyond.


This would be achieved by the following steps:


1. Connect with communities

2. Relevant and transformative museum

3. Think differently and create unique and distinctive experiences

4. Playful museum

5. Added value to the visit


In terms of the Dorman museum, the Manager outlined that it currently housed over 300,000 objects, however some were on loan. Structurally, the museum was fit for purpose, however there has always been challenges with the roof and the museum sadly suffers with guttering and leaks when there is strong wind and rain.  The majority of the budget goes on maintenance, however in the future, a new roof would perhaps be the only option to protect the collections.


In terms of the ambition, the museum had also outlined a transformation plan, which was as follows:


Changing Lives

• Socially purposeful and engaged

• Enhance lives

• Breaking down barriers

• Active community participation

• Engaging with diverse communities

• Sharing collections and knowledge



• Increase a sense of wellbeing

• Help us feel proud of where we have come from

• Inspire, challenge  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/24


Chair's OSB Update


The Chair provided a verbal update in respect to the Overview and scrutiny meeting held on 13 December 2022.


AGREED- That the update be noted.


Chairs update- visit to Northern School of Arts

The Chair will provide a verbal update following the visit to the Northern School of Arts on 24 November 2022.


The Vice Chair provided feedback from the recent visit to the Northern School of Arts. Those who attended found the visit useful and very informative.


AGREED- That the information be noted.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.


No items