Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop today (27th January 2015) called on Arts and Culture ministers to grant ‘National Museum’ status to the East Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum in Skinningrove.
“I have made this call before, but up to now it has been ignored by coalition ministers. My reason for renewing this call is due to the fact that Redcar and Cleveland Council is now proposing, as part of their long term public realm work, to look to the preservation of our last two surviving sets of ironstone mine buildings at Margrove Park and Skelton as interpretative sites of our old core industry – an industry that shaped East Cleveland. These sites would be linked by dedicated footpaths to the Skinningrove Museum.
“To properly develop such a scheme and to build on it, I feel it is crucial that the Skinningrove Museum should be granted ‘National Museum’ status by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) who have responsibility for the country’s museums.”
“Making a declaration they will do this would put Skinningrove’s Museum on the same footing as the big London Museums, York’s National Railway Museum and the National Coal Mining Museum at Wakefield. With that status would come better resources and backing for the local managers.
“I will again be writing to Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister, emphasising the importance of a positive reply to this call.”