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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Celebrity scientist to open new-look Beacon

THE nation’s favourite scientist Professor Brian Cox can’t wait to see the new Sellafield exhibition at Whitehaven’s refurbished Beacon museum.

Brian Cox: Reopens The Beacon on May 30

By Margaret Crosby

The museum will again be open to the public from this Saturday and Prof Cox will be in town on Friday, May 30 for the official re-opening of the harbourside attraction.

Prof Cox said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Whitehaven to visit the museum. Science and engineering are vitally important, and Whitehaven has a strong association with both through its historic links with the nuclear industry.

“Inspiration is the first step towards lifelong fascination, and I can’t wait to see just how inspiring the exhibition is.”

Prof Cox, famed for his hit BBC ‘wonders’ shows, will assist Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change as she formally opens The Sellafield Story.

Copeland Borough Council leader Elaine Woodburn said: “It’s very exciting for us to have someone of such standing coming to the re-opening. This is a really exciting time for us as we prepare to re-open the museum and I think Copeland residents and visitors are going to love it.”

The under-threat museum has been saved from closure, thanks to a pledge from Sellafield Ltd worth £1.6 million over the next five years.

Sellafield Ltd’s stakeholder relations director, Rory O’Neill, said: “For us to have the chance to tell the Sellafield story in an award-winning museum, and community asset, was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

He added: “Sellafield is the backbone of the community in West Cumbria, and nuclear has been at the heart of local industry for over 60 years. It is important to us that people get to hear that story, told in an interactive way that engages with visitors young and old.”

The official opening on May 30 takes place from 10am with the museum open to the public from 1pm.

The first 75 people in the queue ahead of the museum opening to the public at 1pm, will have the opportunity to attend a lecture from Prof Cox. Entrance will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Copeland Council has appointed Elizabeth Kwasnik from Ayr to be in charge of the new-look Beacon.

Ms Kwasnik, 53, will take up her role as Beacon director from June 30. The museum has been without a manager/curator since the sudden death last June of Sue Palmer.

Ms Kwasnik is currently museums and galleries officer for South Ayrshire Council, where she has been since 1995. Before that she held museum positions in Edinburgh, London and Liverpool.

Julie Betteridge, Copeland’s head of customer and community services, said: “We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth to the organisation at a time when The Beacon has undergone such exciting changes and has a great future ahead. She brings lots of experience to the role, along with qualifications, commitment, enthusiasm and a strong background in museum learning activities in local communities.”

Admission prices to The Beacon have been reduced. They are now (old prices in brackets): Adult £5.50 (£6); Child £2 (£2); Concessionary £4 (£5); Family ticket for two adults and up to three children £10 (previously £15 and only two children were included). Under-fives still get in for free. The Beacon is closed Mondays (except during school holidays and on Bank Holidays). Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm. Last admission 3.45pm.

Have your say

A vehicle for Sellafield propaganda spiced up by the charming Prof Cox pitching nuclear woo. All paid for by the public purse ..and the you pay again at the door.. A brilliant con...we are paying for our own brain washing.

Dear Professor Cox,

Given that Cumbrians have said no repeatedly to the plan for the dumping of high level nuclear wastes within our complex geology with its unpredictable water flow, will you be urging Baroness Verma to look elsewhere?  Instead of aggressively grooming Cumbria perhaps another area would be keen to be groomed to take up the opportunity?  I understand that the impermeable London Clay is viewed  as a potential ‘home’ for heat generating high level nuclear wastes.

yours sincerely,

Posted by Marianne on 27 May 2014 at 22:44

On a real high and can't wait to come along and see and hopefully see and hear Professor Brian Cox at this opening of the Beacon. My children have been doing so much in science and would love to be there as I and my other half does Roll on next Friday.

Posted by Judy Langfield on 22 May 2014 at 21:00

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