Cash windfall for county museums to boost kids’ cultural experiences

MUSEUMS in parts of South Yorkshire are to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds to help develop work with schools.

Arts Council England has announced that Barnsley Museum Service is one of ten regional museums and schools partnerships that together will be awarded £3.6 million until 2015 through the Museums and Schools programme.

The museum will work with groups of schools and national museums.

The aim is to increase the number of high-quality educational visits by schools in areas which currently have ‘lower than average cultural engagement’.

In Barnsley plans include holding cooking sessions inspired by the service’s Dutch and Flemish old masters collections, sleepovers at Cannon Hall Museum and Takeover days where children and young people will suggest how they would run Barnsley’s museums for the day.

Barnsley Museum Service has also established a link with the Wallace Collection, in London, which looks after a range of 18th Century paintings by old masters.

Coun Linda Burgess, Barnsley Council cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture, said: “We are delighted that the Arts Council has decided to invest in our museum school programmes to enable more local schools to experience the wonderful collections we have in Barnsley and to learn in a fun and inspiring way out of the classroom.

“We are delighted to have been partnered with the Wallace Collection in London for this programme and to have the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.”

Cluny Macpherson, regional director at the Arts Council England, said: “Museums are a fantastic resource.

“One of our aims is to ensure every child or young person can experience arts and culture, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the museums and schools programme will stimulate school children and enable them to enjoy the opportunities on offer.”