We are extremely proud that Craven Museum & Gallery placed third in the Heritage Access 22 Report benchmark out of 2,258 UK museums and heritage sites covered by the project, after the Science Museum and Hampton Court Palace.
The report, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund through their Digital for Heritage project, highlights the importance of online access information for the UK Museum and Heritage sector, and tracks changes in the state of access over the past four years.
Project volunteers used the benchmark score to evaluate access provision and online information at over 2000 museums and heritage sites. The score for Craven Museum & Gallery sits above all but one of the National Museums.
Danielle Daglan, Cultural Services Manager said ‘’We are really pleased that the efforts we’ve made toward developing accessibility at Skipton Town Hall have been acknowledged in this vital report; for Craven Museum & Gallery to be benchmarked so highly on this list demonstrates the ambition and hard work of the team to ensure we are delivering a world class museum service for everyone. And we won’t be resting on our laurels – to us, being truly accessible means constant evaluation, reflection and consultation to ensure we are evolving to visitors’ needs on a constant basis’’
Accessibility was a central focus of the recent 4.7million redevelopment of Skipton Town hall; staff worked closely with the architects, museum designers, website developers and local community groups, including Craven Disability Forum, with the aim to meet, and where possible surpass accessibility standards. Improvements include wheelchair friendly lift access to the Gallery at the front of the building, and another to performer areas and level stage access to the rear of the building;a brand new changing places toilet; dementia friendly signage; unisex baby changing facilities; hearing loops in the Concert Hall and Visitor Centre; and audio visual aids for the museum displays.
Since the beginning of 2022, the team have introduced relaxed museum sessions every month, have produced a Large Print Guide for the museum – which will be updated every year when displays change – and have undergone multiple staff training events to improve awareness of different access needs. The venue is autism friendly and is able to provide equipment such as bean bags and noise cancelling headphones to visitors that may need them. The building is also a designated North Yorkshire Safe Place and LGBTQIA+ Safe Space.
The team are always working to improve accessibility at the museum and they will be using the report and benchmark tool to make further improvements to access and information. They encourage feedback and ideas from local communities and encourage people to get in touch if they would like to discuss any access requirements.
You can view the Skipton Town Hall access information here –