Elaine lands prestigious placement at McWilliam Gallery

Elaine McEnarney and Jason Diamond, Banbridge District Council Heritage and Genealogy Officer.
Elaine McEnarney and Jason Diamond, Banbridge District Council Heritage and Genealogy Officer.

A LOCAL lady has secured a much sought-after training placement at the town’s F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio.

Elaine McEnarney from Banbridge is one of 12 trainees participating in the Collections Skills Initiative - a training scheme organised by the Northern Ireland Museums Council in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland.

It aims to provide people with the technical and creative skills needed to pursue a career in the heritage sector.

Speaking at the launch in Belfast a jubilant Elaine said, “I am very pleased to have been awarded a place on this innovative scheme.

“Over the next year I will have the opportunity to learn more about aspects of collection care and contributing to the programme at the FE McWilliam Gallery.”

Dr Riann Coulter, Curator at the FE McWilliam Gallery, will be coaching Elaine throughout her placement.

“In hosting this placement, the FE McWilliam Gallery is demonstrating its commitment to training people with a passion for working in the Museum sector,” said Dr Coulter.

“Elaine will be working on a major project to research the F.E. McWilliam Collections and improve their storage, conservation and documentation.

“She will have opportunities to learn new skills and we look forward to working with her on this project.”

The Collections Skills Initiative is promoted by the Northern Ireland Museums Council, in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland, and has received funding of £270,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The programme will provide both formal training and a museum placement to twelve trainees during the next year.

Chris Bailey, Director of Northern Ireland Museums Council said they are delighted the FE McWillian Gallery is one of the ten institutions involved across Northern Ireland and said it will have good practical implications.

“As well as assisting the participants, this initiative will go some way to providing employment opportunities during economically difficult times, and will contribute to ensuring that our museum collections are well-cared for this and future generations.”