Shadow Culture Minister backs new approach for Swansea Museum

Shadow Welsh Culture Minister Suzy Davies has given her backing in principle to proposals to set up not-for-profit bodies to run major venues in Swansea like Swansea Museum and the Dylan Thomas exhibition.

Welsh Conservative AM Mrs Davies said: “In principle, I would support setting up such bodies to take over the running of important cultural buildings. I know Swansea Council has been consulting on a number of options and I am waiting to see what actual proposals they come up with.

“I'm a firm believer in a community's right to bid for assets of local importance, backed by proper professional advice, training and forward planning to ensure a stable future for such important buildings.

“Obviously, there must be strong safeguards put in place to make sure that when buildings are taken over that they are properly run and protected and the devil will be in the detail of any agreements that are made. But on the whole, this idea promises real empowerment for local people, reminiscent of the philosophy behind the City of Culture bid."

Craig Lawton, who is standing in Swansea West for the Welsh Conservatives, recently visited Swansea Museum and discussed the current running of the facility with some of the staff.

Mr Lawton added: “The Royal Institute of South Wales has called for a full debate on the museum’s future.

“To date we do not appear to have had one but now that Swansea Councils consultation is complete I hope we can fully discuss the different options available.

“It was clear from my visit that the Museum is used by many local schools as well as having tourists coming from across the UK and the rest of the world.”

Built in 1841 by the Royal Institute of South Wales which was, at the time called Swansea Philosophical and Literary Society, Swansea Museum is the city’s oldest museum.

The Society was formed six years before the museum’s completion with the aim of making Swansea a centre for culture and scientific research.