Saturday, April 21, 2018

Open access?

Given the opposition within the National Trust and among its supporters to the celebration of prominent LGBTQ figures, for the charity's new director-general to declare it needs to be more radical was a bold opening gambit. You can practically hear the sighing and tutting at Hilary McGrady's comments - though she did try to reassure "core supporters" that they wouldn't be abandoned.

McGrady stressed that one of her primary objectives is to increase accessibility: "I want to reach more people, and more people live in urban areas. The days of walking into one of our beautiful houses and saying 'A family lived here' - that's not going to do it". A real focus on living up to the Trust's slogan "For Ever, For Everyone" would be very welcome and would go some way towards addressing the concerns I raised in a post last month. It remains to be seen, however, whether there will be any reduction in membership costs or for one-off visits - without doubt, those are the greatest barriers to accessibility.

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