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Conister Gets Heritage Season Underway with the help of MUSEIOM Youngsters

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Conister Gets Heritage Season Underway with the help of MUSEIOM Youngsters

The Managing Director of Conister Bank, Juan Kelly enlisted the help of three lucky youngsters from the Manx Museum Youth Group or MUSEIOM on Saturday 17th March for a rare, hands-on opportunity to start the Great Laxey Wheel turning for Summer 2012.

The ceremony marked the symbolic seasonal opening of national heritage sites soon to be opening across the Island, including Cregneash Folk Village, The Grove Museum in Ramsey, The Nautical Museum and the Old House of Keys in Castletown, Rushen Abby in Ballasalla and Peel Castle - all opening on 31st March. This season already promises to be a wonderful year for Manx National Heritage who, along with Conister Bank, were recently praised by the Department of Education and Children for their forward thinking and fresh approach to encouraging our youth to explore the Island's rich cultural heritage.

The beginning of the new season also represents an important occasion for the Island's Arts, Culture and Education or ACE card scheme, a partnered initiative between Conister Bank, the Department of Education and Children and Manx National Heritage. This grants all children up to 18 years of age and in full-time education completely free admission to all Manx National Heritage sites as part of Conister Bank's on-going commitment to the local community. Over 12,500 students have been issued with the ACE cards every year since their introduction in January 2010, resulting in 15,000 extra children visiting our famous sites and saving local families £32,754. The design competition for the 3rd edition cards themselves also attracted an overwhelming 1,000 entries from schoolchildren Island-wide.

Juan Kelly commented on the ceremony, stating "We are proud to usher in the new season with yet another year of the ACE card scheme. So far, ACE has proven to be a resounding success with the Island's pupils and families and we are looking forward to building upon this in the near future."

Site Manager at the Laxey Wheel, Mr Roger Clare said: "I was very pleased to offer Juan Kelly and our enthusiastic youngsters such a rare and exciting opportunity. I can think of no better way of encouraging participatioin from our youth group than to give them the chance to help get the season under-way."

The 2012 ACE cards were distributed in January by the Department of Education and Children via the schools. They can also be obtained directly from the IOM Department of Education and Children by contacting Helen Fowden on 685808.

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