Welsh government outlines progress on local museums review - Museums Association

Welsh government outlines progress on local museums review

Government plan for museums due in early 2017
Profile image for Geraldine Kendall Adams
Geraldine Kendall Adams
Progress has been made on most of the recommendations made by the Expert Review of Local Museum Provision in Wales, according to the Welsh government.

The government responded after concerns were raised in the museum sector that the review, which published its findings in August 2015, had been kicked into the long grass.

The Museums Association's director Sharon Heal was among those calling for clarity following the government's publication of its vision for culture last December, which made no mention of the review. Heal said at the time that local authority museums in Wales were in "dire need" of a strategic approach to funding and support from government. 

A statement issued last week by Ken Skates, the cabinet secretary for economy and infrastructure, outlined the actions that had been set in motion regarding the review’s 10 recommendations.

On the recommendation to provide clarity on the Welsh government’s support and development of museums, Skates said he was expecting to receive a new government plan for museums in early 2017, which will set out its support over the next five years.

In addition, Skates said that the government was working with museum officers on a study to identify opportunities and challenges that could be addressed by regional working, in response to the review’s recommendation to create three regional bodies.

“It is, of course, for local authority members and chief executives across Wales to decide whether and how they work in this manner, and I am sure they will carefully consider the evidence that comes from this study,” he added.

Skates confirmed that a draft museums’ charter was in the process of being drawn up, setting out what the public should expect from their local museum service and how museums can enhance the visitor experience.

He said that work was also underway to develop an action plan for establishing Collection Wales, a distributed national collection. The plan will be presented to officials in February, he said.

“I am encouraged by the progress so far and that the museum sector in Wales is engaging whole-heartedly with this work,” said Skates.

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