The policy column

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Heledd Fychan
On 25 October, the Museums Association (MA) joined forces with the Federation of Museums and Galleries in Wales to hold an advocacy event at the Senedd – the National Assembly for Wales. The event was sponsored by the minister for culture, tourism and sport, Dafydd Elis Thomas, and museums of all sizes came to showcase their work. Politicians from all of the main political parties attended, alongside key stakeholders.

Bringing the MA’s Museums Change Lives to life and making the case alongside the federation for investment in museums at the heart of government in Wales was a powerful statement of ambition by the sector.

The focus of the event was on the value of museums, and what they are delivering for Wales in all areas of policy including cultural tourism, lifelong learning, tackling poverty, skills development, volunteering, social cohesion and inclusion, as well as health and wellbeing.

Wales was the first of the UK’s nations post-devolution to have a museums strategy, and the sector is now consulting on a new one. Events such as these are an important reminder to government that what we do matters, and that museums need and deserve strategic support and investment if we are to continue to deliver for our communities.

But though helpful in making the case, such events by themselves are not enough. So let’s keep talking and promoting our work, and engaging decision makers in what we do. And let’s continue to work together to secure the funding that’s needed to continue this work.

Heledd Fychan is the head of policy and public affairs at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) and a Museums Association board member

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