Independent review of local museums published (Welsh Government)

The following is taken from a press release issued by Welsh Government on August 25th.

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, has today welcomed the publication of an independent report on the future delivery of local museum services in Wales.

The Deputy Minister commissioned the Expert Review of Local Museum Provision in Wales last October to look at the impact funding cuts and organisational changes by local authorities were having on local museums.

The Panel was chaired by Dr Haydn E Edwards, Vice-President of National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru and the retired Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Menai who has a background in education and science.

The Panel were tasked with producing an all-Wales report, with research, analysis and comment on the current delivery of local museum services and identifying potential sustainable future models.

The final report makes 10 recommendations for securing the future delivery of local museum services, including creating three Regional Bodies to provide operational direction, management and support for locally delivered museums, and the establishment of a national Museums’ Council to provide collective leadership and co-ordinated activities at a national level for the museum sector.

Other recommendations include establishing Collections Wales, to develop and safeguard collections across the country and that museums operated by local authorities should be given relief from National Non-Domestic Rates on the same basis as museums operated by charities.

The Welsh Government and museum governing bodies are also asked to review the current policy and practice of charging for museum entry.

The Deputy Minister said:

“Local museums are an important part of healthy and vibrant communities. They encourage active participation in culture, protect our heritage, provide educational opportunities and contribute to our tourism industry. However, most rely heavily on local authority funding, making them particularly vulnerable in times of decreasing budgets.

“This is why I called for a widespread and independent review of the delivery of local museum services in Wales, to give a picture of the current situation and to make recommendations of sustainable future delivery, so that we can ensure these important services and the national heritage they care for, can be protected for future generations.

“I would like to thank the panel for their work in completing this report. I will take time to consider the recommendations and respond in due course.”

As part of the Review the panel obtained information from a wide-range of sources through regional meetings, interviewing representatives from the sector and issuing a call for evidence.

Dr Hayden E Edwards said:

“Local authority museums provide an important and valued service to their communities. Their collections are part of our local and national history and our report recognises this.

“I’m grateful to all who have contributed to this report and hope that through the implementation of the ten recommendations the foundations for a resilient, flourishing and well-supported new museum sector will be established.”

The full report can be found at:

http://gov.wales/topics/cultureandsport/museums-archives-libraries/museums/review/?lang=en

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