The Minister made the announcement at the re-launch of the Sharing Treasures scheme at Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil, where it was also announced that financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has also been secured for 2012/13 to extend the parameters of the initiative.
Under the scheme, local museums can apply for grants to put on exhibitions and raise gallery standards so that they can borrow items from national collections for display.
Following an independent review, the scheme will now be more flexible to allow museums to apply for grants to develop touring exhibitions as well as apply for a grant more than once so that they can develop successful projects. The scheme will also be extended to allow libraries and archives to borrow items from the collections of National Museums Wales and other UK national organisations.
Huw Lewis said:
“Sharing Treasures has made a lasting contribution enabling local museums to raise gallery standards and mount exciting and well-received exhibitions including objects from our national collections. The scheme also encouraged local museums to build long-lasting partnerships with Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.”
“I am delighted to announce the results of the review of the scheme and to see it being broadened and developed. Through this, the people of Wales will have more opportunities to access national collections from Wales and the UK in their own local museums, archives or libraries.”
It was also announced that up to £100,000 will be made available from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012/13 to support the scheme which will match the Welsh Government’s investment.
Dan Clayton-Jones of the Heritage Lottery Fund said:
“In supporting the Sharing the Treasures initiative, HLF aims to encourage a wider range of museums, archives or libraries to apply and for them to extend the activities which they are able to achieve. We hope that the initiative will attract applications which include more opportunities for people to learn about the heritage which these treasures represent and to get actively involved in their interpretation.”