Derby Museums Business Model Case Study

Derby Museums Business Model Case Study

By Mark Robinson


Discover how Derby Museums has strengthened its offer and developed its staff structure to build customer relationships centred on co-creation.

Introducing Derby Museums

Derby Museums is a limited company and independent charitable trust. It was formed in 2012 when what had previously been the Museums Service of Derby City Council was moved to trust status.

The organisation currently manages 3 sites in Derby: Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Silk Mill and Pickford’s House Museum and their associated collections. It has a particular specialism in work by or relating to artist Joseph Wright of Derby.

The Silk Mill building stands on the site of the world’s first factory and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also contains the Midlands Railway Study Centre.

It is currently going through a process of development, with investment from Heritage Lottery Fund and Derby City Council, to create a Museum of Making opening in 2019 - 2020.

The trust holds a 30-year lease on the buildings it manages and manages collections under a funding agreement with the City Council.

It is a Major Partner Museum of Arts Council England, in a partnership with Nottingham City Museums, reflecting its importance in the East Midlands.

Derby Museums’ mission is to positively affect the way in which Derby is understood, the way in which the city projects itself and the way in which people from all places
are inspired to see themselves as the next generation of innovators, makers and creators.


The Business Model

Derby Museums’ business model falls mainly into the ‘free’ category. It receives money in the form of grants from particular Customer Segments while subsidising free offers to other segments.

There are elements of Derby Museums’ business model that reflect an openness to influence from both partners and customers. This is due to the collaborative nature of much of the activity and to the large proportion of income derived from Derby City Council.

Innovation has largely been centred in the Value Proposition and finding new uses for Key Resources. A more compelling use of the collection and building has been developed around a narrative that positions Derby as a city with a past, present and future rooted in making, creativity and innovation. This has been an important part of the relationship with the two key customers, the funders Derby City Council and Arts Council England. The activity and high quality delivery of the Value Proposition leads to funding so that the organisation can maintain free entry, education work and increased visibility.

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Derby Museums Business Model Case Study (PDF)

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2016