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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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New-look for The Beacon museum in Whitehaven

A west Cumbrian tourist attraction is set to unveil its new look, after it was given a last-minute reprieve.

Beacon photo
The Beacon, Whitehaven

The Beacon Museum will be jointly run by Sellafield Ltd and Copeland Council, after the nuclear giant stepped in to save the attraction in June last year.

The venue in Whitehaven tells the story of Copeland’s history, ranging from the area’s initial rock formations to the present day.

It was threatened with closure after the council revealed it could not continue to fund it, however the authority finally managed to secure a deal with Sellafield.

Now both the council and Sellafield say the site has a sustainable future.

Councillor Elaine Woodburn, the authority’s leader, said: “We had to work hard to find an organisation which was prepared to fund The Beacon Museum while allowing it to retain its independence as a visitor attraction which can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike – that was a real deal breaker for us.

“Sellafield Ltd answered our call and what has been produced is a visitor experience that’s bigger and better than it was before, with more to see and do for the young and young at heart, but which retains the integrity and independence that the Beacon is renowned for.”

Her points were echoed by Sellafield’s head of stakeholder relations Rory O’Neill.

He pointed out that the museum will now include an exhibition to tell the story of the nuclear industry in Copeland.

“Sellafield Ltd is the backbone of the community in west Cumbria, and nuclear has been at the heart of local industry for over 60 years,” Mr O’Neill continued. “It is important to us that people get to see that story, told in an interactive way that engages with young and old.

“For us to have the chance to tell the Sellafield story whilst at the same time supporting such a fantastic community asset as The Beacon Museum was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

The museum will now be open in time for the May half-term holiday.

For more information on the museum, visit thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk/

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