All major UK visitor attractions, science centres and museums have all been considering, planning and taking action for what the next weeks and months may hold in relation to Coronavirus. It is clearly a fast moving topic and the guidance changes rapidly.
To support members, ASDC have been bringing members together by conference calls and zoom calls each week to share plans, income modelling, impacts and information on staffing, furloughing, and financial planning as we navigate this difficult time.
On Monday March 16th, the Prime Minister updated the Government advice, saying that people should avoid social venues and work from home where possible.
For your organisations, this meant a temporary closure to the public.
Each week, we will Chair a Coronavirus Response Zoom Call for the Sector. Around 40 - 50 people from over 30 organisations have joined these each time.
We have also added information to this section of our website, as individual pages, to assist you with
Government Financial support
Legal information about postponing AGMs
Flexing the March 31 2021 deadline
Submissions to Government
We will gradually add to the sections on 'learning from other science centres in other countries' and supporting your community during this time
In time, we also hope to share all your digital and exhibition resources
Coronavirus Response Weekly National Meetings
Each week, we will Chair a Coronavirus Response Zoom Call for our members and invited members of the wider Sector.
These calls are for you to share with other senior managers of the UK's charitable science centres and museums what the next weeks and months may hold, and to share your plans in relation to operational, staffing and financial resilience and furloughing during temporary closures and for the coming year.
The next meeting will be:
Virtual Meeting 4 will take place on Wednesday April 1st at 2pm
Two days before this meeting, on Monday March 16th, the Prime Minister updated the Government advice, saying that people should avoid social venues and work from home where possible.
For most your organisations, you were planning staffing following an immediate temporary closure to the public.
This call is for you to share with other senior managers of the UK's charitable science centres and museums what the next weeks and months may hold, and to share your plans in relation to operational, staffing and financial resilience during temporary closures and for the coming year.
Virtual meeting 1 : March 11th 2020 Coronavirus: Preparedness and Contingency planning for UK Science Centres and Museums
On March 11, ASDC invited all members to take part in a conference call chaired by The ASDC CEO.
This meeting was to share approaches and plans that UK science-based attractions have currently, in relation to Coronavirus, both in terms of health of staff and visitors, and making your organisations financially resilient.
50 members of staff from 30 organisations took part in this call to share knowledge, planning and advice.
The areas covered the following areas:
How is your science centre or museum responding to Coronavirus?
What plans do you have in place to increase protection for your visitors and school children?
How are you protecting your staff and do you have home-working contingency plans in place?
Do you have a list of which of your staff are more vulnerable?
Where are the best sources of the latest advice, science and data?
Will your insurance cover you for significant revenue loss if visitor numbers fall or you need to close to visitors?
How will this affect your organisation's Easter holiday plans?
Have you seen any impact bookings already?
What can we do together and what would help your organisations at a national level?
Are you engaging people with the science of Coronavirus and do you have resources to share?
The following points were discussed by members
Income modelling with the anticipated drop in schools bookings, public visitors and corporate hire events
Business continuity planning
Cancellations of overseas groups and those from further afield
School and event cancellation
Staffing in the event of a shut down
Issues around March 31 2020 and 2021 deadlines
Future planning for larger events
Insurance cover for business disruption due to a pandemic, and the issue around COVID-19 not being on the insurers list of notifiable diseases.
Policies around refunds and re-booking
All centres have for many weeks have been following government and Public Health advice. They have also increased cleaning regimes of their exhibits and centres, and have extra hand-washing facilities / handgel for staff and visitors.
The following organisations took part in the first or other calls: