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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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West Cumbrian museum sheds light on Sellafield story

The newly revamped Beacon Museum is for the first time telling the history of Copeland with the Sellafield story.

Beacon photo
Rory O'Neill, of Sellafield, on the Sellafield floor

Beacon staff have worked with Sellafield Ltd to create an interactive learning experience for visitors that takes them from the founding years through to present day and beyond.

Pat Graham, director of services for Copeland council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the community. We are proud to document the story of industry in the area and Sellafield has become such a major part it’s only right to include it here.”

The museum, on Whitehaven harbour, has revamped its third floor looking at history through the ages starting from the Romans to the growth of the Georgian port town and the boom of industry.

There are new elements to the permanent display as well as more familiar exhibits. The second floor focuses on Sellafield.

Rory O’Neil, director of stakeholder relations at Sellafield, said: “This is such a happy coincidence we have been able to work with The Beacon. We are determined to be transparent about what goes on at Sellafield, now our visitors centre has closed this provided the perfect opportunity for friends family and the community to come in and see what we do.”

In a year 70,000 visitors pass through The Beacon’s doors, a large portion of that made up from school visits.

With interactive learning and hands-on displays the Sellafield exhibition has been designed to benefit the national curriculum.

Emma Law, head of corporate affairs for Sellafield Ltd, said: “Throughout this project we have created a site exhibition focusing on our past operations to our future aspirations as we explain what goes on in one of the most fascinating place in the country.”

Mr O’Neil added: “The new-look Beacon has come together through hard work and a determination to give back to the community.”

Sellafield Ltd has pledged £1.6 million to The Beacon for five years.

The Beacon will be officially opened on Friday with Professor Brian Cox at 1pm. The first 75 people in the queue will have the chance to attend a lecture with the celebrity scientist.

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