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South west launches discovery web

The south west of Scotland is to offer online access to all its local museum collections, thanks to financial support from the Scottish Executive.

The pioneering Future Museum website project has received almost £280,000 over three years to set up an integrated website linking all museums between Largs, Kilmarnock, Ayr and Dumfries. It is aimed at both residents and visitors.

East Ayrshire Council – leading the development – and other public sector partners have provided the rest of the £500,000 funding.

East Ayrshire Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, North and South Ayrshire Councils have linked up to provide the rest of the £500,000 to highlight the historical and cultural distinctiveness of the south west region.

To date, 2,000 images that chronicle the industries, including mining, which helped shape the development of the region have been posted on the website. That figure will rise to 10,000 over the next three years.

Several national heroes with a link to the south west – Robert the Bruce, Robert Burns and William Wallace – also feature.

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson, at Doon Valley Museum, Dalmellington, said:

“The South West has a fascinating history and this website captures and celebrates the rich and varied past of the region.
“It will provide an important educational tool for residents and an invaluable link for visitors from home and abroad.”

Jim O’Neill, Chair of East Ayrshire Council Community Services, said:

“East Ayrshire Council has been leading this project, which is a wonderful asset for the region. From what I’ve seen so far, it will be a truly excellent resource for both the community and the tourism sector.’

Joanne Orr, Director, Scottish Museums Council, said:

“This RDCF project embodies the creativity with which the Scottish museums and galleries sector approaches partnership working. Future Museum South West promises to be a real asset enabling easier access to regional collections.

“In addition, the website will promote broader links with tourism initiatives, and demonstrate the integral role museums play in the lives of our local communities.”

Source-Scottish Executive

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