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Florence Nightingale museum to reopen

South Bank attraction scheduled for 12 May relaunch following £1.4m renovation

By Pete Hayman

London's Florence Nightingale Museum is due to reopen on

12 May following the comple- tion of a major £1.4m revamp of the South Bank attraction. Located within the grounds

of St Thomas' Hospital, the museum has been transformed ahead of the 100th anniversary of the iconic nurse's death. Three pavilions explore the

story of Nightingale – focus- sing on her Victorian child- hood; the Crimean War and her later years as a campaigner for health reform, while examining wider profession of nursing. The museum is also located

at the site where the inaugural Nightingale Training School for Nurses was established. Interactive features – such as

touch-screen exhibits – have been installed, while a creative programme of free arts

Preston football museum closes

Efforts to retain the National Football Museum's (NFM) galleries in Preston, Lancashire, have failed after trustees were unable to reach agreement with the local authority. The attraction did not meet

Lancashire County Council's requirements to enter into a partnership that would have enabled the galleries to remain open beyond 30 April. NFM's research facilities and

the National Football Collection will stay in Preston, with a new home for the museum currently being developed at Man- chester's Urbis centre. However, trustees have not

ruled out talks on establishing a new NFM in Preston after the relocation to the Urbis centre.

© Cybertrek 2010

The museum is dedicated to the life of nurse Florence Nightingale

activities for young people will also be implemented. Florence Nightingale

Museum director Caroline Worthington said: "This is a special year for Florence and the new museum is a very fitting tribute to someone who has contributed so much to modern day nursing. "Florence has inspired so

many men and women to join

a profession which we all rely on, and it is fascinating to see that the issues she tackled, such as hospital hygiene, caring for soldiers and the training of nurses are still hugely relevant." Funding for the £1.4m

scheme was provided by The Wellcome Trust and the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, as well as charity funding body, the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Weston rides nearing completion

By Tom Walker

The design and build of eight rides that will be installed at the redeveloped Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, are nearing completion. The bespoke rides – supplied

by Stroud-based ride manufac- turer Gravitron – are part of a £3m contract that was secured by the company when the

106-year-old pier was de- stroyed by a fire in 2008. The Grand Pier's new flagship

ride will be a 300m (984 ft)- long go-kart track on two levels – one of the largest of its type in the world – with 22 electric karts, two of which will be twin-seaters. The karts will be capable of travelling at speeds of up to 70 mph (113kmph).

The Grand Pier will reopen in July after a major renovation

Also being installed are a

12.5m (41 ft)-high twin slide helter-skelter, dodgems, a ghost train, a 'crazy house' with 36 fun obstacles and a 'groovy house' containing a psychedelic, three-dimensional light show. There will also be two electric

trains, each able to carry up to 32 passengers along the 400 metre (1,300 ft) pier.


IWM to 'tweet' Battle of Britain celebrations

Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Duxford has launched a new campaign using Twitter as part of plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The attraction will use the social network website to enable 'tweeters' to experience how RAF Duxford operated during the historic Second World War battle, with tweets sent at the exact time and date events occurred. The Twitter campaign will provide visitors with an insight into how the battle was co-ordinated, and how events gathered pace as the German Luftwaffe threatened British airspace in 1940.

VGC backs Barry heritage centre plans

Plans for the development of a

new Vale of Glamorgan heritage centre in Barry, South Wales, have been supported by the local authority. The Vale of Glamorgan Council's (VGC) cabinet has resolved to explore the options and related costs for the scheme, which has been put forward by the Vale Heritage Centre Coalition (VHCC). Under the proposals, the VHCC hopes to receive a share of the £9m available through the Barry Town Regeneration Project to help towards the development.

£300k extension for Oxford museum

The Vale and Downland

Museum in Wantage, Oxfordshire, is to receive a £300,000 extension. The Vale of White Horse District Council approved plans for the two-storey extension, which will include a library, kitchen and archive room to replace current facilities housed in the adjacent Legges Cottage. The museum is not renewing its lease on the cottage due to its poor condition.

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