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National Strategy

National Strategy: Going Further

The National Strategy​ aims to unite the sector in purpose to work towards a more sustainable future.

Museums Galleries Scotland developed Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries  in consultation with Scotland’s museums sector, and it was launched in March 2012. The compelling and inclusive shared vision has greater public value firmly at its heart. 

The vision

Scotland’s museums and galleries will be ambitious, dynamic and sustainable enterprises: connecting people, places and collections; inspiring, delighting and creating public value.


The national strategy aspires to:

  • maximise the potential of collections
  • strengthen the connections between collections and communities
  • develop skills
  • foster a culture of collaboration and enterprise
  • enhance sustainability
  • encourage a global perspective

Delivery plans

To work out a structured approach to achieving the aims and objectives of the national strategy, we have produced two delivery plans since 2012. Each has involved extensive consultation with Scotland’s museums sector.

The first delivery plan was drawn up in 2012. From Strategy to Action: A Delivery Plan for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries 2013–2015 addresses priorities and outlines specific actions developed from the consultation.

In 2015, we reviewed progress and set out a second delivery plan, Realising the Vision: Delivering Public Value through Scotland’s Museums and Galleries 2015–2019. This details how Museums Galleries Scotland and the sector will work together to maintain the momentum to build a sustainable future for the sector. In October 2019 we examined the progress in meeting the objectives of the delivery plan and created a report, Realising the Vision Together. This evaluation highlights the challenges faced by Scottish museums whilst also celebrating many of their achievements over the last four years. 

The delivery plans are call to action for Scotland’s museums and galleries to take part in every aspect of delivering the national strategy – from alignment and investment to evaluation and advocacy. The third and final delivery plan supporting the National Strategy will be launched to the sector in early 2020.

Current Delivery Plan 

In March 2020 we launched the third and final delivery plan in support of the National Strategy, Delivery Plan for the National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries 2020 – 2022. Working over 2020 to 2022, the plan clearly sets out how MGS will work with museums, galleries and partners across Scotland and beyond to celebrate impact, develop skills, nurture progression and reinforce aspiration. The Delivery Plan includes a range of actions which highlight our role in the delivery of this work.

We have also identified four areas of strategic focus that will help address the current needs of Scotland’s museums and galleries. These areas are: Develop Sector ResilienceWorkforce DevelopmentRespond to the Climate Emergency and, Increase Digital Capacity.

We created a mini report, Museums and Galleries in Action, March 2021, to help mark a year on since we launched the third Delivery Plan. The report highlights just some of the many achievements of Scotland’s museums and galleries despite the enormous challenges over the last year. The featured projects underline the impact of Scotland’s museums and galleries on our communities at a time when it was most needed, as well as the huge appetite for the sector to embrace new and innovative approaches to their work.


Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries​ (PDF, 1MB) Delivery Plan For The National Strategy For Scotland's Mueums And Galleries (PDF, 1MB) From Strategy to Action: Delivery Plan 2013-2015 (PDF, 3MB) Realising the Vision: Delivery Plan 2015-2019 (PDF, 917KB) National Strategy Delivery Plan 2015-2019 (excerpt) (PDF, 6MB) Realising the Vision Together: Evaluation of the Second National Strategy Delivery Plan (PDF, 771KB)