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Small Scale Development Programme

Online: Small Scale Development Programme (SSDP)

Starts 13 July 2020 - Please email if you're interested in the next SSDP

Surviving the Covid crisis as an organisationi

The Small-Scale Development Programme has moved online-only and the content has been revised to address the pressing issues currently facing leaders of small organisations. 

You will get 18 hours of face-to-face training and support over a 3 week period, covering 5 modules. The course is structured to spread the learning in such a way as to fit in with your “day job”, with approx 1.5 hours learning each day, 4 days a week. The course is delivered by three “best in class” trainers. The programme is subsidised by Arts Council England and we offer 3 price tiers to reflect your business’ current situation.

Each module is made up of an online workshop followed by group sessions with up to 20 peers, also hosted online. The programme closes with a session to reflect on the programme and discuss your next steps, to help you make immediate plans for practical impact.

Module 1:

Relevance and Value

Go through a situational analysis and explore implications and expectations for your organisation over the next 3, 6 and 12 months. Think about business model shifts and income sources.

Module 2:

Business Strategies for Recovery

Look at the components of a Recovery Plan. Develop scenario plans and find the right strategies to get your business through the current crisis – and beyond – while staying true to your purpose.

Module 3

Audiences post-Covid

Understand who your audiences and stakeholders are pre/during/post Covid. Engagement models are shifting – explore new ways of thinking to sustain audiences and income.

Module 4:

Brand and Experience

Organisations have responded in varying ways during this crisis, with some brands emerging as winners, and others suffering purpose drift. What makes the difference, and how can you articulate your brand in a way that builds real value for your organisation?

Module 5:

Managing Change

Managing change is about managing people, and there are tough decisions being made. What do you need to know to handle this? How can you take stakeholders with you on the journey – and make sure you are supported yourself?


Mel Larsen

Mel Larsen is an experienced marketing strategist, business coach and trainer, having worked in the arts, culture and business sectors for over thirty years. She has been core consultant on seminal national studies such as ‘Not For the Likes of You’ and ‘Open Up: museums for everyone’.  Her training, speaking and consulting work takes her to many parts of the world including, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, The Caribbean, Scandinavia and across Europe. She helps individuals and organisations articulate their true vision, and then design the right strategies to turn it into a measurable reality.

Helen Palmer

Helen is a marketing and audience development consultant, as one half of PalmerSquared with her twin brother Andrew, where she has consulted with a diverse range of small to large-scale cultural organisations, networks and partnerships throughout the UK and internationally, helping them to become more audience focused. Helen & her brother are also Directors of CTConsults, specialising in working with destinations to unlock their potential through place brand development, strategic insight, place marketing, tactical delivery and practical support.

Guy Turton

As a Director of MHM, Guy leads MHM’s cause-led division, which encompasses everything from heritage organisations to charitable causes, as well as leading on MHM’s innovation strategy. But he also leads on MHM’s most complex and strategic consultation projects, such as segmentation, membership and branding, across the cultural sector.

Mel Larsen photo
Picture of workshop trainer Helen Palmer who is Director at Palmer Squared.
Guy Turton headshot


This programme is heavily subsidised by Arts Council England. Under the funding terms we are required to make an income contribution, and usually SSDP would cost £95 + VAT. We know that this is a difficult time to be asking for money so we’re offering a range of prices to make sure everyone who needs this course can afford to join. Whatever you pay, you will get access to the full course.

£27 exc VAT – My business has been very badly impacted

£47 exc VAT – My business has been substantially affected

£95 exc VAT – My business has been moderately impacted

Hear from previous participants*

*Please note, participants attended the residential SSDP – the online SSDP has been developed from this in a format that will work remotely.

“The course was thorough, relevant throughout and above all easily applied in the real world… I have already recommended it to several of my peers.”
Mark Tattersall
Artistic Director
Dorchester Arts

Interested in other funded programmes?

You might like:

* Digital Heritage Lab

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