The Beacon in Whitehaven to create Medieval space with £105,000 Copeland council grant

By Culture24 Reporter | 30 August 2011
A photo of an ancient castle from grassy grounds outside
Egremont Castle will feature in the new Medieval Gallery at Whitehaven's Beacon© Brian Sherwen
Planners at ambitious Cumbrian heritage centre The Beacon will tell the story of the region’s castles, churches and country-swapping past after winning council permission to create a new Medieval Gallery.

Copeland Borough Council will allow organisers to spend £105,000 refreshing the permanent exhibition galleries, persuaded by impressive visitor numbers to the new Popular Culture space and a glowing report from tourism judges at Visit England.

“The success of the Popular Culture Gallery is proof that refreshing displays really does make a difference,” said Councillor Hugh Branney, the portfolio holder for leisure, culture and youth.

“By using funds generated by the museum itself, we are ensuring a quality visitor experience and a sustainable future for The Beacon.”

Beacon Manager Sue Palmer said the gallery would replace the current Early Industries display on the third floor of the venue. Highlights will include insights into Cumbria’s little-known former incarnation as a region of Scotland during the Middle Ages.

“The really good thing about the new gallery is that it’s the second new display that we’ve funded internally,” she added.

“A sinking fund was set up as part of The Beacon redevelopment grant conditions in 2007, and so it has been collecting any surplus income that we’ve been generating since then.

“These funds can only be used to enhance and refresh the Beacon’s galleries.

“Earlier this year we were able to use some of the funds to create the Popular Culture gallery, and we’ll be doing the same again.”

  • The Medieval Gallery is expected to open in February 2012.
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