Ace news: Mallards joins the Association for Cultural Enterprises

We’re delighted that Mallards has become an Associate Member of the Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE). This means we’ve become part of a group of like-mined organisations who provide high quality commercial services to the heritage sector.

ACE is the UK’s only organisation for those who work in cultural and heritage commerce. It brings together companies who provide commercial services for these sectors, which includes everything from consultants to confectionary – and bespoke jewellers!

A gift shop is an essential part of any attraction’s finances – and its appeal to its visitors. ACE works with companies like Mallards (plus producers of other bespoke gifts, toiletries, publications, cards, branded clothing and so on) to create professional standards, share skills, offer workshops and talks, and provide networking opportunities. There’s an emphasis on quality and professionalism; and membership or associated membership of ACE is a hallmark of quality for heritage commerce providers.

ACE was launched in 1979 as the Group for Museum Publishing and Shop Management. This was a time of great change for museums, as they moved away from selling a few postcards and pens from the counter to running real commercial enterprises. This was partly due to the rise of independent museums that relied on their shops and cafes as a major income stream, a trend that has increased in both private and public museums. The organisation became ACE in 2002, dedicated to encouraging excellence in cultural enterprises and has close links with the Museums Association (the body that supports heritage professionals).

How will this help Mallards? It’s always good to share knowledge and experience with colleagues in similar fields, and ACE brings us all together. Creating bespoke gifts for heritage shops is a bit of a niche occupation, so the chance to network with those in similar roles is great! With most of the UK’s top attractions and heritage sites full members of ACE, it simply makes sense to build good working relationships with them; and we’ll also get access to ACE services from trade shows to training.

We’re so pleased to have this mark of quality, and we’re looking forward to working with fellow ACE members! If you’d like to find out more about our bespoke heritage gifts, please get in touch with us at Mallards.