04 May 2007

The winners of this year’s Bravo awards were announced at an event sponsored by Manchester Airports Group. Wigan resident, Derek Tyrer, a marketing consultant , won the Manchester Business School Skills Bank Adviser of the Year Award 2006 for a forward planning and marketing project he undertook with the Atkinson Art Gallery and Botanic Gardens Museum in Southport.

Derek is a management volunteer with Business in the Arts:North West (BIA:NW) and it was through the BIA:NW Skills Bank that he advised, guided and transferred his skills to Jo Jones, Arts & Cultural Services Manager with Sefton Borough Council, as she embarked on forward planning and a review of marketing activity.

Jo says, “Our adviser, Derek Tyrer, has enabled us to write a forward plan, develop a new website and brand identity, develop a more commercial approach to operational activities, identify our audiences and improve our marketing. None of this would have happened without Derek’s expertise, ideas and time. And he makes learning fun. Over the past year our visitor figures have increased by over 10,000 people.”

Derek says, “It was a learning experience for me too. I had to learn how to operate in a multifaceted environment; how to exploit commercial opportunities in a sympathetic way and how to deliver – with virtually no budget. The gallery and museum are hidden gems, the problem wasn’t identifying their potential, it was about controlling it.”

Vivienne Tyler, Manager, Business in the Arts:North West said: “We are delighted with this year’s winners who have all demonstrated that through management volunteering with Business in the Arts:North West, they have not only contributed a huge amount to the arts and museums, but also gained immeasurably from the experience themselves.”

Derek received a stylish glass platter commissioned from Wirral artist, Verity Pulford and a cheque for £750 which he is donating to the art gallery.

The Atkinson Art Gallery has increased visitor figures by 48%, the largest ever increase from April 2006 - March 2007. The figures rose from 21,200 to 31,306. The increase was due to improved opening hours, especially at weekends, improved exhibitions and events and our new website.

For further information, please contact Jo Jones - Arts & Cultural Services Manager:
T: 0151 934 2111

MLA North West
Ground Floor, The Malt Building, Wilderspool Park, Greenalls Avenue, Warrington WA4 6HL
Tel: 01925 625050 | Fax: 01925 243453