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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Reborn Beacon to reopen its doors

THE Beacon museum is getting ready to re-open its doors to the public on Saturday, May 24 – in time for the half-term holidays.

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to re-open: The Beacon

By Margaret Crosby

And a celebrity guest is promised to perform the official opening.

The popular Whitehaven attraction closed in January for a major overhaul, a key component of which is the installation of the Sellafield display, an interactive exhibition using the latest technology to tell the story of the early days of the world’s first commercial nuclear power station right up to the present day clean-up operations.

A partnership deal struck with Sellafield Ltd last June saved The Beacon from a very real threat of closure blamed on Copeland Council’s austerity cuts.

Now it is preparing to re-open as Copeland’s premier attraction and aiming to become a museum of national importance. Interviews are about to start for the appointment of a new manager.

Council chiefs stress it will still tell the story of Copeland, its geology and early settlers, the development of Whitehaven by the Lowthers, its social and industrial history and how the area was affected by the two World Wars.

The Sellafield Story occupies Floor 2 of The Beacon and looks at nuclear energy, innovation, nuclear incidents, reprocessing and issues surrounding nuclear waste and storage.

“It’s bigger and better than before,” says council leader Elaine Woodburn. “There’s more to see and do for both the young and the young at heart and it retains the integrity and independence it is renowned for.”

While Rory O’Neill, Sellafield Ltd’s director of stakeholder relations, says: “For us to have the chance to tell the Sellafield Story while at the same time supporting such a fantastic community asset was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

The museum will be jointly run by Copeland Council, who retains ownership, and Sellafield Ltd.

Have your say

Great to see someone has taken a good building and put it to use again rather than let them close and degrade. Its just a pitty it can't show how the Lowthers built the town to how the Council has demolished and ruined the town.
Time for change

Posted by TJ on 1 May 2014 at 11:59

"There's more to see and do for both the young and the young at heart...."
Just the type of euphemistic, ridiculous use of language that distinguishes politicians from the common man. Young at heart indeed.
On the plus side it will be great to have The Beacon open again but I can't help thinking of the spoof nuclear propaganda films from The Simpsons when it comes to The Sellafield Story.......

Posted by Steve Mac on 24 April 2014 at 19:28

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