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Mary Archer set to chair Science Museum Group

Dame Mary Archer has been appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to head up the Science Museum Group. Te body represents a number of sites –

including the Science Museum in London, National Railway Museum in York and Shildon, the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester and Bradford’s National Media Museum – attracting more than five million visitors annually combined and will now be headed by Lady Archer. Te wife of former politician and author

Jeffrey Archer, Dame Mary will take up the four-year post starting 1 January, 2015. She is a respected scientist who started her career as a physical chemist, teaching chemistry at both Oxford and Cambridge University. Details:

Design Museum to offer free entry

From 2016 onwards, London’s Design Museum will be offering free entry to permanent exhibitions following its move to a new site in Kensington. Chancellor of the exche-

quer George Osborne visited the museum’s new site recently and announced plans to support opening the doors for free under the VAT refund scheme for museums and galleries. Te Design Museum will

join more than 50 other museums across the UK capital that will be open- ing their doors for free under the scheme. Relocating to Kensington from 2016,

the Museum will be housed in the former Commonwealth Institute, masterminded by architectural firm OMA. John Pawson, a British designer, is refurbishing the structure. Te new site will provide three times more

space for its collections, allowing room for temporary exhibitions and learning pro- grammes. It is hoped that visitor numbers will increase to at least 650,000 people for 2016.

Dench has long been a supporter of the gallery

Dame Judi Dench defends under fire floating art gallery

A floating art gallery backed by Dame Judi Dench and Prince Charles is set to be destroyed aſter the London Port Authority failed to offer an alternate site appropriate for the nine-barge art collection. Gallery curator Max Couper went to

court in 2013 claiming he had “ancient mooring rights” to live and work at Albion Wharf in Battersea, where he’d been for 30 years. But the court ruled in favour of the port and developer Hutchison Whampoa Properties, saying the permanent collec- tion was illegally moored and should be removed. Te port and developer are now both seeking to enforce the ruling with a further High Court order to “dispose of or destroy” the vessels housing the artwork, which also serve as Couper’s home. Dench said in a statement that “the col-

lection would not survive if it had to be moved”, while Prince Charles had previ- ously aired his support for the project. An LPA spokesman said it had offered

alternative moorings for some of the boats, but “Mr Couper has declined all proposals.” Details:

12 Tayto Park rollercoaster in for a bumpy ride

Tayto Park’s proposed £19.8m expansion has hit trouble after inspectors from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said that it was concerned a planned £5m rollercoaster would be built “within sight and hear- ing of (nearby) animals”. The Irish state body

also warned that due to insufficient barriers, there was a danger that people could be attacked by a large type of bird housed in the park known as a rhea. A spokeswoman from

Tayto Park said that it had installed a sound and visual barrier around the location of the roller- coaster, and had also increased its distance from animals. The wooden rollercoaster, expected to be designed and built by Gravity Group, is set to become one of the largest in Europe – capable of reaching heights of 32m (105 ſt) and speeds of 100kph (62mph). Te educational amusement park – which features

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Tayto Park, in Ireland’s Co. Meath, is undergoing a £19.8m expansion

a variety of animal exhibits, a tour of the Tayto crisp factory and a number of adven- ture activities and rides – was Ireland’s sixth most-attended paid for attraction in 2013, with 450,000 visitors. Te park forecasts the 18-hectare expansion could help bring visi- tor numbers up as high as 850,000 by 2019. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014 Te new Design Museum site will have three times more space Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design

Museum said: “We know the chancellor is a firm believer in design as an essential foun- dation for Britain’s creative economy. We are delighted he is ready to give us practi- cal help through the VAT recovery scheme to realise our plans for a great new home for the Design Museum. When we open the doors in 2016, we will reinforce Britain’s worldwide reputation for creative leadership.” Details:

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