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Manx National Heritage in the New Millennium 6 October 2008

The work of Manx National Heritage for the Manx Community is the subject of two major new publications to be launched on Monday 6th October 2008.

Produced exclusively to review the work of Manx National Heritage in the new millennium, the publications reveal a time of energetic activity leading to significant expansion of the public services provided by MNH for the Island’s community.

Chairman of MNH, Martin Moore explained: New Publications detailing the work of MNH

The detailed colour publications review Manx National Heritage’s major achievements on behalf of the Manx community in recent years.

Since the new millennium, MNH has welcomed over three and a half million visitors to the Story of Mann Heritage sites around the Island, with visitor figures rising from 360,000 in 2001 to 489,000 in 2007 – a rise of over 35%. The new publications detail MNH’s work during this period of significant visitor growth including the organisation’s engagement in a wide range of community projects and programmes supporting both residents and visitors increasing desire to further understand the importance of the Island’s unique heritage legacy.

The publications acknowledge the invaluable practical and financial support of Government, Tynwald and of the Manx people including over 6,000 members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage who between them make much of this work possible.”

Specific highlights include:

1. Manx National Heritage welcomed over three and a half million visitors to the Story of Mann Heritage sites around the Island between 2000 and 2007.

2. Visitor figures rose from 360,000 in 2001 to 489,000 in 2007 – a rise of over 35% (despite falls in tourist numbers to the Island, MNH has seen a significant increase in visitor numbers each year in the new millennium)

3. Four historic national heritage sites were saved for the nation, including key historic properties and two of the most scenic parts of the Island:

Rushen Abbey (opened 2000) – the Island’s most important religious site.

• The Old House of Keys (opened 2002) – a major national heritage site

• The Sound (opened 2002)

Niarbyl (opened 2005)

The latter two developments have created thriving new businesses for the local community and provided two additional all-year-round facilities for the Island. New Publications detailing the work of MNH

4. In 2004, the 150th anniversary of the Laxey Wheel was celebrated with the completion of an extensive phase of restoration, which subsequently received and international award.

5. State of the art new galleries were opened at the Manx Museum

• A new gallery of Natural History was opened in 2005

• A new Viking gallery was opened in 2007

• The TT Centenary Exhibition in 2007 was the largest exhibition of historic TT material ever exhibited in the Island and attracted over 100,000 visitors.

6. Approximately 30,000 objects were accessioned into the national museum and archive collections with the oldest accessions dating back to around 1000 AD.

7. Over 222,000 objects and archive electronic archive records were created, enhancing accessibility to both collection objects and the national archives for both staff and researchers.

8. Over 50,000 individual research visits were recorded to the National Library and Archives during the period, with the largest group of visitors being genealogists (39%) tracing family histories, with this field of research growing at a rate of approximately 10% per annum.

9. During the period 2000 to 2007, Manx National Heritage provided educational workshops to a yearly average of 6,923 representing 47% of the Island’s children on the Department of Education school register.

10. Ballaugh Curragh received international recognition in 2006 when it was recognised under the UNESCO RAMSAR Convention as a Wetlands site of international significance.

11. At the end of 2006 there were over 6,000 subscription members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage, including a growing number of corporate members and their staff. There can be few voluntary organisations which can boast nearly 7.5% of the population as members

12. The achievement in recent years by MNH of a series on international awards, emphasises the quality service which the organisation provides and its role in helping to develop the international image of the Isle of Man. MNH is now a leader on the European stage in the field of cultural heritage management and its expertise has been in considerable demand as an advisor to other countries in Europe who wish to develop a similar model.

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