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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Assembly Member welcomes £40,000 museum boost

* Valle Crucis Abbey

Local Assembly Member Ken Skates today welcomed news that Llangollen Museum is to receive nearly £40,000 from the Welsh Government.
The money, announced as part of a £200,000 fund to make the nation’s treasures more accessible to the public, is a joint initiative between the Welsh Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who have contributed £105,766 and £99,900 respectively.
Llangollen Museum has been awarded £39,650 under the Sharing Treasures scheme to bring to life the story of the Valle Crucis Abbey/Eliseg Pillar site and create an exhibition based on finds from archaeological excavations.
Mr Skates, member for Clwyd South, said: “I’m delighted that nearly forty thousand pounds is being allocated to Llangollen Museum to help celebrate and recreate the history of the Valle Crucis Abbey.
“The Abbey tells reflects back to us an important part of how Llangollen came to look the way it does.  I’m really looking forward to learning more about the history of the nine hundred year old architecture and about the Cistercian monks who lived and worshipped there.
“Making our local history more accessible to the public in North East Wales and helping local museums like Llangollen to establish partnerships with larger national museums will hopefully allow more exciting and interesting artefacts to come to Llangollen so they can be put on display.
“The story of Llangollen, the town and the abbey is a fascinating one and I’m hoping more people will come to this stunning part of the world to see the exhibition and learn more about our local heritage and the town itself.
“We have such a rich treasure trove of archives and libraries and we need to make sure more of those interesting pieces go on display in local museums like Llangollen.”
The funding will assist with the costs of setting up the exhibitions as well as alterations and improvements to the museum to make it suitable for loaned exhibits.
Other museums to benefit are:

·       Cyfarthfa Castle, which will receive £50,000 to create a permanent exhibition space within Cyfarthfa Castle Museum. The new gallery’s first temporary exhibition will be a display of works from the National Library of Wales’ collection of paintings by Sir Kyffin Williams., one of Wales’ most well-known artists.
·       Buckley Museum, which will expand its collection of excavated Buckley pottery with items borrowed from National Museums Liverpool. The funding of £49,817 will allow the museum to improve interpretation elements to tell the story of the Buckley potteries from the medieval period to the Second World War and to explain their relevance to the people of Buckley today.
·       Wrexham Museum, which will receive £16,200 for a project that will explore the cultural impact of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s Grand Tour of Italy and France in the 18th Century. It involves the creation and staging of a fine art exhibition featuring the work of those artists he sponsored on his return.
·       Abergavenny/Chepstow Museums which are jointly undertaking a three year project to explore the cultural impact of Tintern and Llantony Abbeys culminating in two concurrent exhibitions at Chepstow and Abergavenny Museums. The project has been made possible with funding of £50,000.

Announcing the funding,Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said: “Sharing Treasures is an excellent project that will allow artefacts belonging to national collections to be displayed in the communities whose stories they tell.

“Increasing access to our history to all in Wales is an important commitment for the Welsh Government and this project will achieve just that. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we all work together.
“I look forward to seeing the exhibitions when they are ready and wish all the museums the best of luck with their projects.”
Jennifer Stewart, Head of HLF Wales, said: “We are delighted to support the Sharing Treasures scheme and in doing so to have encouraged a wider range of museums and libraries to plan exhibitions using national collections.  Our funding will also support activities around the exhibitions which will help local communities learn and get involved in the project, sharing it with future generations.”
David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said: “Amgueddfa Cymru works with local museums in Wales in many ways, supporting them in presenting and interpreting the history of different regions across the country. Our involvement in Sharing Treasures helps to strengthen our relationships with partner museums, ensuring that expertise is shared and the national collections are as widely available as possible. The national collections do, after all, belong to the people of Wales!”

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