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North East England museums get grant for community work

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  February 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

Local residents are to have the chance to get involved in museum decision making

Residents living near 12 North East museums are to have a greater say in how they are run thanks to a £150,000 grant.

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums has been awarded the money by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to fund new methods of working with local communities.

It means local people will have the opportunity to get involved in decision-making and the project will be jointly led by museum staff and community members.

Among the galleries and other exhibition spaces managed by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums are Newcastle’s Discovery and Great North Museums.

Iain Watson, Director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, says: “The grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation totals £150,000 over three years and will help us to find out more about the needs of local communities and work closely with residents who live near our 12 museums and galleries.

“Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums already has an extensive programme of community engagement but we are keen to find out more about what people want and need from their local museums and galleries.”

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums already works with its Children’s Panel and Museums and Galleries Disabled Access Group. Each group has an active say in the provision of facilities for young people and disabled visitors.

The funding is part of a £3.2m programme of organisational development led by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, called Our Museum: Communities and Museums as Active Partners.

The initiative is working with a group of museums and galleries around the UK to find new ways of collaborating that will place communities at the heart of their work.

Alongside direct funding will be a programme of training and peer-review as the group works together to develop ideas.

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