Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas visited St Fagans National Museum of History today.
The Minister was accompanied by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales Director General, David Anderson. The hugely ambitious redevelopment of St Fagans, which has been supported by Welsh Government as well as the Heritage Lottery Fund, is due to be completed in October 2018. The new facilities and events are already proving popular, which bodes well for the future of the site as a world-class museum of international importance.
Dr Simon Thurley’s review, which is also published in full today, describes Amgueddfa Cymru as one of the ‘great museums of the UK’ and a ‘successful and thriving organisation’.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord-Elis Thomas, said:
“Dr Thurley’s review is one of the best reports of a public body that I have ever read, and is a key step to help the Welsh Government and Amgueddfa Cymru identify the most appropriate ways in which the organisation can thrive in the future, in what continue to be challenging financial times. As also outlined in the report on Historic Wales, the Welsh Government remains absolutely committed to enabling our heritage institutions to maximise the economic benefits that they bring to the people of Wales. The developments at St Fagans are an excellent example of the ambition and vision of Amgueddfa Cymru – and what can be achieved by working in partnership.”
Dr Thurley’s recommendations look at relations between Amgueddfa Cymru and Welsh Government; opportunities for commercial development as well as policy and governance, and future vision. Work is already underway between Welsh Government and Amgueddfa Cymru to address some of the challenges raised in the report, and determine how best to take the recommendations forward.
With the support of Welsh Government, Amgueddfa Cymru has enjoyed a number of successes since the report was commissioned. This includes record visitor figures, learning and inclusion programmes that are recognised as a beacon for the museum sector in the UK, and high-profile and award winning marketing campaigns, such as the one linked to the Dinosaur Babies exhibition at National Museum Cardiff in 2017.
David Anderson, Director General said:
“It is a pleasure to welcome the Minister to St Fagans today, at the beginning of an exciting year for Wales’ best-loved museum. The Thurley Review of Amgueddfa Cymru is a positive endorsement of the work of the organisation and its staff, as well as its future ambitions. We look forward to working with the Welsh Government on taking the recommendations forward in the coming months.”