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Imperial War Museum honoured with new award

Te Imperial War Museum, UK’s Computer Club scheme has scooped the inaugural award for innovation at MuseumNext 2014. Since 2009 the MuseumNext confer-

ence has been highlighting innovation in the field of museums by bringing together those who are shaping the future of the sector, and has now gone a step further by introducing the MuseumNext Award for Innovation – an accolade created to reward the very best projects in the sector. Te Computer Club is a new museum-

wide initiative launched by the Imperial War Museum in May. Te Digital Media department runs informal monthly lunch- time sessions – open to the general public – that aim to develop digital awareness and skills. It’s open to all and runs across all five UK sites. The scheme is specifi- cally informal and non-museum focused. Details:

Innovation on show at MuseumNext

Delegates met at Newcastle’s Sage Gateshead recently for MuseumNext – Europe’s big- gest conference on industry innovation and technology – to explore ways of engaging visitors with new technology and industry trends. “It’s all about the connec-

tion with the object beyond the four walls of a museum,” said Antenna International’s Jessica Taylor, during her engaging keynote address at the two-day event. Speaking alongside col-

league Sam Billington, Taylor discussed the importance of Google’s Project Tango – a device which will contain customised hardware and soſtware designed to track full 3D motion, while simultaneously creating a map of the sur- rounding environment – which was said to have “huge implications” for the future of museums. iBeacons will also be increasingly appear-

Antenna International’s Jessica Taylor and Sam Billington in action “We’re only at the beginning of those kind Te code-breaking was vital to the war effort

Kate Middleton opens WW2 codebreaking site attraction

Bletchley Park – the UK code-breaking facility which cracked the German WW2 Enigma code – has been restored in an £8m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project. The restoration has transformed the

derelict wartime buildings into a brand new visitor attraction and museum which was officially opened by the Duchess of Cornwall Kate Middleton last month. Te four-year restoration project, led by

Event Communications with PLB operating as consultants on the project, has involved careful restoration of the site’s huts and the creation of a new introductory exhibition. Codebreaking Huts 3 and 6, where

enigma messages were decrypted, trans- lated and analysed for vital intelligence, have been fully restored and visitors will be able to explore these spaces for the first time in decades. Sound will be used outdoors to immerse guests in their experience, recreating wartime sounds. Details:


ing in museums, with the devices able to use a new format of Bluetooth built into many mod- ern smartphones that can send a signal to all those around identifying its location, offering data from either a local database or cloud- based storage. Te smartphone user will see a notification on their home screen – even if the phone is locked – with, in a museum’s case, facts about the surrounding artefacts displayed.

of technologies and it’s exciting to see where we’ll go with that,” said Billington. “It gives us huge and exciting potential for museums to use their expertise to create digital interpretations at the world’s greatest institutions.” Alternate uses of existing technology and the

advancement of smartphone technology were also showcased. There were speeches from Adam Clarke about how video games such as Minecraſt are engaging young people at muse- ums, and from Ferry Piekhart, who spotlighted the power of mobile phone apps with his brand- new open air augmented reality museum in Denmark. Details:

Paramount theme park consultation begins

Almost 90,000 letters have been sent out across Kent seeking the views of local households and busi- nesses as plans to build the world’s fourth-largest theme park at a site in nearby Ebbsfleet push forward. Te £2bn development was clas-

sified in May as a project of national significance by the British govern- ment. As a consequence, the resort will benefit from an accelerated planning application process. In the year prior to submitting its appli- cation, London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the firm behind the project, has said it will engage with the local community dur- ing a four-part consultation process. Four public exhibitions will take place this

A year-long public consultation begins this month “[We want to find] the most appropri-

month, and the community has been asked to attend, ask questions and provide feedback to LRCH. According to the developer, these observations will flag up key public issues on.

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

ate and accessible way for people to be involved in our proposals for the resort,” said LRCH director Fenlon Dunphy. “Te first stage of public exhibitions is specifically designed to establish the preferred commu- nication and consultation methods of the local community and interested parties.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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