Skip to main content
Be Digital to be Strategic in the Museums Sector: Surviving the Pandemic

Be Digital to be Strategic in the Museums Sector: Surviving the Pandemic



Project team

Dr Alessandro Merendino
Professor Maureen Meadows

Duration of project

1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021

Project overview

There is an urgent need to support museums to find alternative strategies, not only to survive but also to remain resilient during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Some UK museums are under an immediate threat of closure (BBC, 2020); many were financially struggling even before COVID-19 due to a decrease in the availability of public funding and a lack of appropriate digital strategies (Warwick and Cov Uni Report, 2017).

Digital strategies are vital for creating and delivering creative and cultural activity and content for audiences (AHRC); yet, museums are not currently maximising the benefits and the opportunities digital strategies can offer. ACE Let’s Create (2020) calls for enhanced digital infrastructure and greater use of technology; hence, digital strategies to revamp the museums sector.

Project objectives

The objective of this project is to co-design digital strategies with and for museums at a time of COVID-19, developing policies to help museums survive and thrive during and beyond the current pandemic.

Impact statement

This project addresses particular economic and social issues museums in Coventry and West Midlands are facing, whose issues have been exacerbated by the current pandemic.

The project will create unique opportunities to support the development of museums in designing and implementing their digital strategies, including in the context of Coventry City of Culture 2021. By directly engaging with museums, this project will secure long-term positive impact for museums through the design of digital strategies – building on and going beyond events such as City of Culture.

The project directly addresses unresolved issues identified by DCMS, Arts Council of England and the UK Government; i.e. which digital strategies museums need to develop to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


  • Recommendations for museums and policy-makers
  • Scientific Publications
Report front cover

The Museums Sector: Be strategic to be digital report

‘The Museums Sector: Be strategic to be digital’ report identifies the main digital strategies that museums can adopt to remain resilient in turbulent times. The report draws on a comprehensive survey of over 2,100 visitors and non-visitors, focus groups and strategic workshops with directors of museums based in the West Midlands.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023