A museum which celebrates the rich maritime history of Holyhead and Anglesey has received backing from Communities 2.0, the Welsh Government’s digital inclusion programme. The support will help the museum to computerise its archive systems, offer new audio visual exhibits as well as offer customers enhanced interpretation of its existing exhibits.
Communities 2.0 has supported the museum with an investment of over £1,000, which will help save costs and develop valuable new income streams. It has also provided technical expertise and advice. Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The new technology will increase visitor engagement through the development of video clips about the area’s heritage that will be accessible from the museums website and in the museum itself. QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) will allow visitors access to more detailed information on the Museum’s exhibits through their Smart phones.
Holyhead Maritime Museum was established in 1984. The museum was initially located within St Elbods Church, where it traded successfully for nine years. In 1993 the lease expired and Stena Line stepped in and offered the trustees use of the Newry Lifeboat Station which is the oldest lifeboat station in Wales. A successful bid to the Heritage Lottery secured a grant to renovate the building and improve the facilities. The museum reopened at its current sea front location in 1998. The museum is run by a group of eleven trustees and thirty five volunteers.
Barry Hillier, ICT Project Manager for the Museum,
“Holyhead Maritime Museum is grateful for the assistance provided by Communities 2.0 in gaining this funding support. We are keen to improve visitor experience at the Museum and especially in embracing enhancements in information technology. One of our stated aims is to develop the Museum as a source of learning for all ages, including those who are familiar with more modern means of communication.
“We have recently received national re-accreditation as an operating museum. Having funds available now for purchasing specialised database software for recording and managing our artefacts will help us maintain this standard. The assistance we have received from Communities 2.0 and its representatives has at all times been most helpful and professionally delivered”.
Communities 2.0 project director Cathryn Marcus commented:
“Communities 2.0 is delighted to be able to add its support to these exciting new developments for Holyhead Maritime Museum. The investment will help the museum improve the visitor experience and will add value to the tourism product in the area. Improved ICT facilities will support the development of the museum and improve its ability to deliver a fantastic visitor experience to tourists and to the local community”.
This investment is just part of a total of over £75,000 invested across Wales as part of this round of Communities 2.0 funding. To date over £540,000 has been approved for direct investment in social enterprises and micro businesses in Wales, supporting 100 enterprises.
In addition, Communities 2.0 has supported over 267 enterprises with significant assistance and advice for adopting or exploiting Information Communication Technology. Over 330 community groups and organisations have also benefitted from significant assistance and advice from the project, many of whom have used this to inform the creation of new social enterprises.
Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme and is part of the Delivering a Digital Wales strategy. Communities 2.0 is delivered by four partner organisations – the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (University of South Wales). Communities 2.0 works in the Convergence area of Wales and parts of Wrexham, Flintshire and Powys, helping communities and small enterprises to make the most of the internet.