Copeland MP Jamie Reed has today called on the Government to improve access to Museum exhibitions for children living in remote parts of the country.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jamie Reed called for a ‘Children’s Exhibition’ of “exciting, interesting and inspiring” exhibits to tour rural constituencies like Copeland.
In his letter, the Copeland MP explains that children in his constituency should have the same opportunity as their counterparts in major cities to access exhibitions that inspire them. Currently, children in Whitehaven face a six hour round trip to visit Eureka! – the National Children’s Museum in Halifax, and a five hour round trip to a Museum in Manchester if their parents are able to take them by car and pay for entry.
This news comes after a Parliamentary Question tabled by Jamie Reed revealed that the Government has not taken sufficient action to improve access to inspiring exhibits such as the Natural History Museum’s ‘Dippy the Dinosaur’ or ‘Earthquake Simulator’.
Jamie Reed has offered to work with the Government and National Museums, with the input of children, to arrange a meaningful and successful ‘Children’s Exhibition’.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed MP said:
“The Government must ensure that all children, regardless of geography, can have the opportunity to access exhibitions that they find exciting, interesting and inspiring.
“Whilst there are some excellent museums in Copeland, it is clear that local children are unable to access many of the exciting exhibits that their counterparts in cities such as London or Manchester can.
“The Government must now work with me, with the input of local children, to deliver a meaningful, successful Children’s Exhibition. ”
Full text of letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:
Dear Secretary of State,
Access to Museum Exhibitions for Children in Remote Constituencies
I write to you further to my Written Parliamentary Question 8186 of 21st July 2015 concerning access to national museum exhibits for school children living in remote constituencies.
Whilst I was pleased to learn that the Natural History Museum has been working to send an exhibition to venues across the UK, my concern is that a Wildlife Photography exhibition is unlikely to inspire children in the same way as the ‘Dippy the Dinosaur’ cast or the ‘Earthquake Simulator’ would.
All children, regardless of geography, should have the opportunity to access exhibitions that they find exciting, interesting and inspiring. Museums like Eureka! in Halifax do a fantastic job of creating these sorts of exhibits. However, children in Whitehaven would face a six-hour round trip to visit Eureka! Even to visit a museum in Manchester, they would be looking at a five-hour round trip – and that is based on the presumption that their parents are in a position to take them by car and in some cases pay for entry.
Whilst there are some excellent museums in Copeland, it is clear that children in my constituency are unable to access many of the exciting exhibits that their counterparts in cities such as London or Manchester can. That is why I am writing to suggest that your Department arrange a ‘Children’s Exhibition’ to tour rural constituencies like Copeland.
My suggestion would involve working with major city museums, with the input of children, to create and facilitate a meaningful and successful tour. I would be more than happy to work with you on this project. If you would like to meet to discuss this suggestion, please do not hesitate to contact my office to arrange.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Member of Parliament for Copeland