This month has brought several items of ‘good news’ for museums and visitor attractions; The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) reports that August brought record numbers of visitors to English museums, the Welsh Government are promoting the first Welsh Museum week and National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has announced the launch of a regional ‘conservation conversation’ event showcasing heritage of Fife, the Lothians, Stirling and Perthshire.
The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) writes:
August saw the highest ever visitor numbers to DCMS museums and galleries in England, according to official statistics published today. A total of 5,899,043 visits were recorded in that month, the highest monthly total since records began.
Visits to the museums and galleries in August 2014 were up by more than half a million, 10.5% higher than in August 2013.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: ‘This is outstanding news. Our museums are world beaters with their priceless collections, their scholarship and their impeccable customer service, so it is fantastic to see that this is matched by visit numbers. We have invested so that the big national museums and galleries offer free entry for all, and these figures provide a glorious vindication for that policy.’
The Welsh Government writes:
The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, has encouraged people to discover what treasures await in their local museum as part of the first Welsh Museum Festival.
This week museums across Wales are holding special events and exhibitions designed to attract people of all ages to visit and learn more about what some of Wales’ world-class museums have on offer.
The Deputy Minister kick-started the week with a visit to the National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon and will be at St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, later this week to promote and celebrate Wales’ outstanding cultural offer.
The Deputy Minister will also address the Museums Association conference, which is in Cardiff for the first time in over fifteen years, in which he will talk about the vital role museums play in engaging the public with Wales’ culture and history.
The Deputy Minister said ‘We are fortunate to have a rich culture and heritage here in Wales which is showcased and celebrated in National and local museums across the country. Understanding and remembering our past is important in recognising who we are and in making decisions about our future. Culture also plays a crucial role in supporting learning for young people, adults and families, and provides valuable volunteering opportunities to learn transferable skills. Unfortunately museums are often imagined as stuffy and quiet places, but it is time to shake this image. This week I am launching an innovative new interactive programme at National Roman Legion Museum, which uses cutting-edge technology to enable people to find out more about the collections as they walk about the site.
‘I will also be at St Fagans, which tops Wales’ list of heritage attractions. With support from us and the Heritage Lottery Fund it is undergoing an exciting redevelopment programme which will make big improvements to the current facilities and will make it even more inviting for people of all ages and backgrounds to immerse themselves in Welsh history. The project will provide many opportunities for volunteering, as well as giving a huge boost to the tourism economy.
I’d encourage people to get out and visit museums across Wales to see how they are changing and be inspired!’
The NTS writes:
The National Trust for Scotland is showcasing its heritage work across Fife, the Lothians, Stirling and Perthshire at a special conservation conversation on Saturday 25 October. This is the latest in a series of informal, local events aimed at anyone with a passion for the built, natural or cultural heritage of Scotland.
Taking place at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Birthplace Museum, the programme will share some of the developments at Trust sites across East and Central Scotland.
Experts will also share their insights on:
- Stopping voracious beasties snacking on ancient artefacts
- Inspiring the next generation through learning and outreach
- Caring for the countryside.