Press Release

Museums Policy Under Scrutiny In Guildhall

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Thursday, 02 October 2008

Reference: CAL 06/08

The development of a museums policy was under scrutiny today as the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure (CAL) took evidence in the Guildhall.

The Committee is investigating the current strategic approach to museums services and is considering Departmental guidelines currently used in place of a formal policy.

Committee Chairperson Barry McElduff MLA, said, “The Committee is pleased to be visiting Derry and to be holding this meeting in the historic surroundings of the Guildhall.

“Museums play a vital role in our communities and it is important that we ensure that any policies brought forward provide for a joined up strategy that benefits the community in cultural, educational and economic terms.”

After the evidence taking session, the Committee visited the Tower Museum.

Commenting on the museum, Mr McElduff said, “The Committee was very pleased to be here in what is a very important cultural, educational and tourist facility. I am particularly pleased to see the way that the museum is preserving a record of local history and heritage in the North West.”

Notes to Editors:

The Committee for Culture Arts and Leisure is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his responsibility as Minister in charge of the Culture Arts and Leisure.

Committee Membership: -

Mr Barry - McElduff MLA - Chairperson -
Mr David McNarry MLA - Deputy Chairperson

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

Terms of Reference for the Inquiry

The Committee will examine the current strategic approach to museums services in Northern Ireland.

In particular the Committee will:

  1. 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;
  2. To examine/consider the Departmental guidelines currently used in place of a formal policy.
  3. To examine levels of public 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;
  4. To draw on research and evidence on best practice on policy for museums which results in building a joined-up museum sector that will, over the long-term, deliver real benefit to individuals, communities and the economy and the associated outcomes;
  5. To seek input from the museums sector and stakeholders to establish views on a way forward for museums in Northern Ireland;
  6. To report to the Assembly making recommendations to the Department and/ or others.

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