MP calls for government to back Eureka!

editorial image
4
Have your say

Halifax MP Holly Lynch is calling on the Government to do more to support the National Children’s Museum, Eureka! by providing funding and free entry.

Despite its status as a ‘national museum’ the much loved attraction does not meet the Government’s criteria for grants.

When the Labour MP put the question to culture Minister Ed Vaizey he said: “In the case of the National Children’s Museum Government understands and supports the principle of family friendly interactive spaces.

“Government’s view is that this institution’s collection is not of a standard or scale comparable to National Museums such as the British Museum. It would not, therefore, fall within the criteria for receiving support from central Government.”

Eureka! welcomes over 300,000 visitors a year compared to around 450,000 at Bradford’s National Media museum.

However, due to government support for the Media museum it is able to offer free admission while Eureka must charge.

Museums Minister Matt Hancock met with Eureka! CEO Leigh-Anne Stradeski and MS Lynch, to urge him to do more to support the museum.

Ms Stradeski said: “Any profits from our entrance fees, gift shop, café, nursery and corporate activities go towards staffing and general upkeep of Eureka! Museum and Nursery.

“Whilst Eureka! has managed to sustain itself without government support, additional funding could bring the benefit of our unique educational experience to many more children from diverse backgrounds, opening their eyes to their potential and inspiring them to pursue new learning opportunities as they grow older.

“We’re hoping he will bring his three young children to have a first-hand experience of Eureka! as that’s when the true impact of the museum really hits home.”

Ms Lynch said: “For the Government to compare Eureka! to the British Museum completely misses what it is trying to achieve.

“It cannot be right that almost all the top museums in London are free yet families in Halifax have to pay to access their local cultural spaces.

“Of all the National Museums, the ‘children’s museum’ should surely be as accessible as possible and so I hope that the Government will think very carefully about how we can make Eureka! a museum that everyone can enjoy.”