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Urgent meeting called to save museum

An urgent meeting to try and save a museum in Dumfries and Galloway has been called.

The council has formally objected to the Scottish Government's decision to close Shambellie House, which holds the Scotland's National Museum of Costume.

They have invited the National Museums of Scotland Director and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to an urgent meeting.

Abbey Ward Councillor Tom McAughtrie said:

“The campaign to save Shambellie House has really stepped up a gear and I am glad that all councillors on the committee agreed with Labour’s calls to formally object to the closure.

“The lack of consultation about shutting the museum is totally unacceptable. We need an urgent meeting with the Director of the National Museums of Scotland and the Scottish Culture Secretary to make clear how important Shambellie House is to the area."

– Cllr Tom McAughtrie

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Businesses join forces to save museum

Three Dumfries business groups have joined forces to launch a campaign to save Scotland's National Museum of Costumes from closure. Shambellie House in New Abbey has been home to the tourist attraction for thirty years.

It's run by National Museums Scotland who say it is to expensive to run in the face of budget cuts. Destination Dumfries & Galloway, ADGAP and the region's chamber of commerce are hoping they can influence the decision due to be made next month.

Calls to keep Costume Museum open

Moves to close the National Museum of Costume in Dumfries would send a "terrible signal about how our region is viewed", according to a local MP.

Russell Brown has written to Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to step in and ensure the museum stays open.

A consultation into its future is underway, as the Scottish government funded National Museums of Scotland said it can no longer continue to operate the site due to poor visitor numbers.

A spokesperson said that the museum has a:

"very large operational spend per museum visitor, £23, and low visitation, 10,000 annual visits to the museum and 5,000 to the shop, café and grounds. It attracts just 0.6% of the total visits to our group of museums."

– Museum spokesperson

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said

“I was very concerned to hear that the National Museum of Costume at Shambellie House is under threat because of SNP budget cuts. It is an important asset to Dumfries and Galloway and its possible closure will come as a big blow to staff as local people and visitors. "The museum may be small compared to other museums owned by the National Museums of Scotland in the country, but it is significant for our region. If the National Museums of Scotland is to be a truly national organisation then it needs to represent the whole of Scotland.

"The closure of the National Museum of Costume at New Abbey would send a terrible signal about how our region is viewed. Yet again the SNP Government seems too ready to forget about Dumfries and Galloway. I’ve written to the Cultural Secretary Fiona Hyslop calling on her to step in and keep the museum open. We must fight to protect what we have in our region and I won’t stand back and watch as we lose local services.”

– MP Russell Brown

Cumbrian museum set to close

After 25 years, Keswick Mining Museum is closing. The collection inside has been brought together over 40 years and is one of the most comprehensive in the country.

Inside the Keswick Mining Museum Credit: ITV Border

The founder, Ian Tyler, is past retirement age and is struggling to sell his collection. He says he has no choice but to get rid of it. The museum was the first of its kind to be established in Cumbria and is said to host the finest collection of mining memorabilia in the country.

Some of the museum's artefacts Credit: ITV Border

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Keswick mining museum to close

After 25 years, Keswick Mining Museum is closing. The collection inside has been brought together over 40 years and is one of the most comprehensive in the country. The founder, Ian Tyler, is past retirement age and struggling to sell his collection. He says he has no choice but to get rid of it.

Keswick has a long history of mining with the first experts from Germany arriving in 1564. In those early days, Copper and Lead were mined. Much Later Keswick was to become the centre of the Pencil industry based on the famous Borrowdale graphite, the first discovery of this mineral in the world.

The museum was the first of its kind to be established in Cumbria and is said to host the finest collection of mining memorabilia in the country.

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