Press Release

CAL Committee calls for new Museums Policy

Session: 2007/2008

Date: Thursday, 22 May 2008

Reference: CAL 03/08

The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure today announced that it will carry out an inquiry into developing a museums policy for Northern Ireland.

The Committee will consider the impact on museums in Northern Ireland as a result of the lack of a formal Departmental policy on Museums.

Commenting on the proposed inquiry, Barry McElduff MLA, Chairperson of the Committee said, “Museums play a very important role in our cultural life. That we do not have a formal museums policy may mean that we are missing out on a sector that can deliver real benefits to people, communities and within a tourism strategy.

“The Committee believes that we can benefit from making comparisons with the way other regions and societies deliver in their museums sector so that we may take advantage of best practice and value for money activities.

“Because this is such an important and wide ranging subject we wish to encourage any individual or organisation with an interest in this matter to submit written evidence to the Committee. We look forward to this inquiry producing a positive, forward looking strategy that will benefit our society for years to come.”

Notes to Editors:

The terms of reference for the inquiry will be:

  • To consider the impact on museums in Northern Ireland resulting from a lack of a formal Departmental policy on museums over a number of years;
  • To examine/consider the Departmental guidelines currently used in place of a formal policy;
  • To examine levels of public interest and private sector investment in museums in Northern Ireland and to compare with other UK regions and the Republic of Ireland and to assess how the associated impacts on individuals, communities and the economy are measured and analysed;
  • To draw on research and evidence on best practice on policy for museums which results in building a joined-up museums sector that will, over the long-term, deliver real benefit to individuals, communities and the economy and the associated outcomes;
  • To seek input from the museums sector and stakeholders to establish views on a way forward for museums in Northern Ireland; and
  • To report to the Assembly making recommendations to the Department and/or others.

Memoranda (guideline length up to 2000 words) should be submitted in a Word file or by e-mail to

A single additional hard copy should also be sent by post addressed to the Clerk of the Committee at the address below and should arrive by 10 June 2008.

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Barry McElduff MLA. 
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr David McNarry MLA.

The Committee has a further nine members: 
Mr Dominic Bradley MLA 
Mr Francie Brolly MLA 
The Lord Browne MLA 
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA 
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA 
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA 
Mr Pat Ramsey MLA 
Mr Ken Robinson MLA 
Mr Jim Shannon MLA

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