All the Hubs have been set targets by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The NW Hub is working to achieve 38,000 new contacts between children and our museums and galleries, and 57,000 visits by new users by the end of March 2006.
Progress towards delivering our targets can already be seen around the region. Over 26,000 school children have visited Manchester Museum, and Manchester City Galleries have increased the number of children taking part in weekend and holiday workshops by 873%.
Overall, the number of children participating in outreach and on-site informal education throughout the Hub has increased by 104% in the last year. The number of children visiting NW Hub museums with their families has also increased to nearly 29,000.
Renaissance funding is also having an impact on the development of new audiences for the Hub. Tullie House has increased by 34% the number of people involved in community outreach, and is developing this through the Flood Response Project. Local Treasures has increased participants in Bolton’s outreach activities by 77%.
There has been an increase in new visitors at many of the Hub museums. The Harris Museum & Art Gallery’s percentage of new visitors has risen from 29% to 47%, while Bolton Museum & Art Gallery’s has increased from 38% to 47%.
It isn’t just about getting people through the doors; we are also working to promote wider access opportunities. The Whitworth Art Gallery are leading the way nationally in delivering learning programmes for 14-19 year old students and their tutors. A recent event was described by a tutor as “challenging, fascinating and informative and exceptionally relevant to A Level exam papers”. This is going to be an important area to build on over the next two years when the Hub will need to deliver extensive learning programmes from early-years to 17-19 year olds.