Shropshire museums boss welcomes expected support package for arts sector

The boss of a series of museums in Shropshire has today welcomed the Chancellor's expected £408 million support package for the arts sector.

Chief executive Nick Ralls
Chief executive Nick Ralls

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust's chief executive, Nick Ralls, says it has been a challenging time and the funding is 'vital'.

"It's been a tough and worrying 12 months for everyone and as we tentatively emerge from the lockdown restrictions, it will be more important than ever to ensure people can access museums and art galleries as we begin to reconnect again as a society," he said.

"The benefits they can bring after such an intense period of social isolation are immense, and while there's been lots of talk about the financial recovery plans needed in the UK, I firmly believe that our sector has an important part to play in the emotional recovery of the nation.

"That's why the support being unveiled by the Chancellor is absolutely vital."

Visitors will be able to return to Blists Hill Victorian Town on April 17, and the trust's indoor attractions from May 17.

"We can't wait to open our doors again to the public," said Mr Ralls.

"And we know from the many messages we've had from people that they can't wait to return too.

"With families cooped up for months, we're expecting Blists Hill to be buzzing when we are finally allowed to reopen in April."

The trust recently revealed exciting plans for a family-friendly outdoor adventure experience that will open to the public this summer.

"Despite the lockdown, we've been working relentlessly behind the scenes, with lots of new and exciting projects planned over the coming months, such as the ‘Madeley Wood Company Outdoor Adventure’, so that when people do come back, they'll be in for a real treat," Mr Ralls added.

"Our museums are nothing without the public; they put the heart and soul into our attractions, and we can't wait to see them again in spring."

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