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Arts minister Alan Howarth has announced the details of two new ...
Arts minister Alan Howarth has announced the details of two new

half million pound challenge funds aimed at turning England's museums

into 'dynamic centres of learning'.

The seven English Area Museums Councils, which aid the work of local

and regional museums, can apply to a£500,000 Museum Education

Challenge Fund, for cash to develop education work in museums and

galleries in their regions.

A further£500,000 is also available from the DCMS Challenge Fund for

IT to help museums devise ways to use new technology to display and

interpret collections, and find new ways of interesting the public.

Announcing details of the two funds at the Museums Association

Conference on Museums Education, Mr Howarth said:

'Museums have a key role to play in educating young and old about the

past, the present and the future.

'These two funds will help to develop educational programmes and the

use of new technology, so that museums can open up their collections

in new and exciting ways.'

Today also saw the publication of the second edition of 'A Common

Wealth - Museums and the Learning Age' a report to the DCMS by David

Anderson, head of Education at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Developments within the museums sector are reflected in new chapters

'The Emerging Cultural Network', which focusses on the importance of

new media and technology in museums, and 'Museums and Creativity'.

Welcoming the new edition of this key work Alan Howarth said:

'Many museums in the United Kingdom were originally created with a

clear educational purpose yet this is the first comprehensive report

to examine museums' educational role in full. It is important that we

recognise their rich potential to contribute to learning

'Museums live on an exciting threshold as they rediscover their

educational purpose, using new media technologies to revolutionise

their services to new audiences.'


1. Both Museum Challenge Funds are administered by the Museums and

Galleries Commission who will be inviting applications from end July


They can be contacted at the following address;

Museums and Galleries Commission, 16 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H

9AA (0171 233 4200)

2. 'A Common Wealth - Museums in the Learning Age' by David Anderson

is available from The Stationery Office, priced£14.99.

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