Press Releases week beginning 2 March 2020
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery attracts record visitor numbers
A year after Hastings Museum and Art Gallery adopted a new community focus, it is celebrating bumper visitor figures. Over 68,000 people visited the museum in 2019, up from 41,000 in 2018.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for culture said,
"The changes introduced in early 2018 focused Hastings Museum & Art Gallery on becoming a community museum. This means the museum has been prioritising community engagement work. Its work now has a strong emphasis on promoting health, well-being, education and lifelong learning. It is on its way to achieving our vision for it to be 'a local museum with a global collection that inspires people and connects communities.'
"It's great to see the huge rise in the number of visits by children and young people which shows that we are doing a good job attracting new audiences and reaching the next generation."
New family holiday programmes, such as Relaxed Early Opening, the Where's Wally? Great Museum Hunt, and the museum's selection as a Family Friendly Museum Award Finalist have resulted in a big increase in family visits. While the Museum & Schools Programme and the museum's LEGO Education Innovation Studio brought over 5,000 children into the museum from every schools in the Borough, up from a few hundred in 2017.
The museum is continuing to develop events and courses for adults as well as making its exhibition more representative of local people and current issues.
HBC rough sleeping reduction among the best in the country
The official figures from the government for rough sleepers have been published. HBC are named as one of the local authorities with the largest decrease in rough sleeper numbers (56%) compared to 2018.
In response to the drop in rough sleepers figures for Hastings released yesterday, Cllr Andy Batsford, lead councillor for housing said,
"Against the background of short term funding for rough sleeping from central government, the disaster of universal credits for the vulnerable and cuts to mental health and welfare services, the officers at Hastings borough Council and our voluntary partners have done an incredible job in supporting and addressing the biggest homelessness crisis we have seen in generations.
"The innovation, flexibility and the deep knowledge they have shown around this hugely complex issue is the reason that with limited resources they have been able to make great progress in helping those residents get off the streets; find them accommodation and importantly, the ongoing support to that person which is so important.
"It's a great effort from our officers but they could not do it alone. I want to thank the volunteers at Snowflake who provide the winter shelters around the town and Surviving the Streets who have filled the gap at weekends for those more chaotic rough sleepers. They both do an amazing job and working so closely with HBC officers has proven to be the key for the success we have seen.
"I am confident we will see further improvements to the figures and to the lives of those who have fallen on hard times."
Local authorities with the largest decrease in the number of people sleeping rough Local Authority 2018 2019 Difference % Change Camden 141 65 -76 -54 Enfield 78 24 -54 -69 Birmingham 91 52 -39 -43 Manchester 123 91 -32 -26 Tameside 36 5 -31 -86 Cornwall 53 24 -29 -55 Hastings 48 21 -27 -56 City of London 67 41 -26 -39 Swale 32 10 -22 -69 Bedford 51 30 -21 -41
More detail can be found on the UK Government website.