University of Oxford

Follow us @OxfordASPIRE

Capacity Building(s)

Creative approaches to hiring out cultural spaces and managing events

Lecture Theatre, Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PP - 10.15am - 3.30pm

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 10:30

Have you ever been to a wedding in a museum, a concert in the grounds of an historic house or watched a dance performance in an art gallery? 

Museums and cultural organisations are becoming more adept and increasingly creative when it comes to utilising their buildings for venue hire, and when managed successfully this can provide an important revenue stream.  It can also provide unusual and exciting opportunities for bringing cultural spaces to life and encouraging different audiences to see and use them in new ways .

Through presentations, discussion and debate, this one-day seminar will explore how museums and cultural organisations are developing their venue hire offer, experimenting with different uses for their buildings to generate income, and creating unusual, and often quirky places to inspire and delight public and commercial audiences, whilst remaining sensitive to the primary purpose of the space. 

This seminar has been designed to share and spark ideas. It aims to help delegates identify the steps they need to take to maximise the effectiveness of their venue hire offer.  Our speakers come from a  diverse range of cultural organisations and will share with delegates, their experiences of how organisations can take a different perspective on their buildings and produce an offer which is commercially viable and supportive of their organisation’s culture and philosophy.

If your organisation is thinking of developing its commercial offer or you already have a busy programme of events and are looking for fresh ideas join us on the 28th July for a chance to network, debate and discuss.


10.30 - 10.45 - Arrivals

10.45 - 11.00 - Welcome and Introductions - Lucy Shaw, Head of Oxford University Museums Partnership and Yvonne Cawkwell, Commercial Manager, Pitt Rivers Museum

11.00 -11.30 - Keynote - Playing a blinder: Diversifying Income Streams @ BCLM - Laura Wakelin, Deputy Chief Executive (Communications and Marketing), Black Country Living Museum

11.30 - 12.00 - From Butterflies to Owls - Unlocking Hall Place and Gardens to increase income - Caroline Worthington, Chief Executive, Bexley Heritage Trust

12.00 - 12.30 - Be Our Guest - Ruthanne Baxter, Edinburgh Museums and Galleries

12.30 - 13.15 - Lunch

13.15 - 13.45 - Keynote - Believing in Serendipity - Janet Dugdale, Director of Museum of Liverpool & Merseyside Maritime Musem, National Museums Liverpool

13.45 - 14.15 - Transforming Spaces - Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes, National Musuems Scotland

14.15 - 14.45 - York Museums Trust - Eve Haynes, Wedding and Events Coordinator, York Museums Trust

14.45 - 15.00 - Tea

15.00 - 15.30 - A Difficult Balance: The Changing Use of Venues at Colchester + Ipswich Museums - Jessica Dowdell, Collections and Learning Curator, Colchester + Ipswich Museums

15.30 - 15.45 - Debate

15.45 - Ends

Pitt Rivers Museum

Booking Details: This session costs £50 to help cover the costs of venue hire and refreshements.

Booking can be made through the University's Online Store.

For queries please contact or call 01865 613784

Sign up for our newsletter


Keep in touch

Follow us on Twitter @OxfordASPIRE

Email us

Phone 01865 613783