Museums mean business in Kirklees

Working with local private sector employers to invigorate our business style


Johnstone’s Paint, based in Birstall, and part of the global PPG Industries group, is a major local employer and supporter of Kirklees Museums.

Johnstone’s have had informal links with Oakwell Hall for some time, because they have recognised its value for the health and wellbeing of their staff. They have generously provided funding for community programmes, and volunteers for some much-needed maintenance work at the hall.

More recently we approached them, asking if in addition to their welcome financial support, they might allow us to tap into some of their business and commercial expertise. This is a valuable skillset which can be difficult to acquire for people working in the cultural sector.

This involved one day of site visits and one day looking at how some of their processes and approaches might be adapted to our own needs.

We also learned a lot about their use of quick and effective communication and empowering staff at all levels. Given the current local government environment and our pressing need to maintain great services with reduced funding, this has been invaluable.

We took away ideas from the sessions and have applied them to our own projects. We have also shared our progress with friends in Johnstone’s for ongoing feedback. This has deepened and enriched our relationship with an important local employer, while also nourishing the morale and sense of empowerment of our own staff, as well as our approach to how we engage with visitors and customers into the future.


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