Cabinet agrees to reopen some Lancashire museums

Friday, April 13, 2018

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has agreed plans to reopen Queen Street Mill in Burnley, Helmshore Textile Mills in Rossendale and the Judges' Lodgings Museum in Lancaster for three days each week.

The proposals agreed on Thursday 12 April 2018 mean that each of the museums will be open between Easter and the end of October for the next two years.

Each of the museums will open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

A care and maintenance regime has been in place for Queen Street Mill and Helmshore Textile Mills Museum whilst Lancashire County Council continues to explore options to secure their long-term sustainability. This will now be extended to make sure that the buildings and collections are properly cared for during the times of the year when the museums are closed.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council's lead member for economic development and cultural services, said: "The council has been working hard to ensure that these museums are once again available to the public, with our efforts focused on talking with organisations which have expressed an interest in taking them on. In the meantime we've continued to maintain the collections and buildings.

"I'm pleased to say that the county council has agreed to reopen the museums for three days every week from Easter to the end of October each year.

A provisional opening date for Helmshore Textile Mills Museum is the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of 26 and 27 May. This is dependent on a number of factors, and therefore cannot be confirmed currently.

It is intended that Queen Street Mill will reopen on Saturday 7 July. This is planned to coincide with the return, after a 10 year break, of the Briercliffe Gala. Again, this is dependent on a number of factors, and this date is provisional currently and also can't be confirmed at the moment.

County Councillor Riggott said: "In recognition of the immense cultural and historical significance of the Mills, we are currently working with an organisation to explore what options are available so that the long-term sustainability of these nationally significant assets is secured.

"We have agreed to reopen the Mills for three days each week while these discussions are ongoing."

The county council has also been working with the Lancaster Judges' Lodgings Museums Trust about the future of the museum. The care and maintenance regime that is in place will now be extended to make sure that the building and collection is properly cared for during the times of the year when the museum is closed.

County Councillor Riggott added: "Our paramount concern has always been to secure the long-term future of the Judges Lodgings' Museum, and the important collection it houses.

"We will continue to work with The Lancaster Judges' Lodgings Museums Trust, to ensure that together we can ensure a successful future for the museum."

The Judges Lodgings should re-open to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holiday on Saturday 21 July. This date is still provisional currently.

These buildings were three of five council-run museums which were closed to the public in 2016.

Throughout the care and maintenance regime at all of the museums, they have been available for school parties and for visits by other organised groups. School visits will continue to be offered at the museums each day, and not only on the days that they are open. This is to ensure that learning opportunities continue to be available for the benefit of young people, and their education.

For more information about Lancashire museums visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums

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Tagged as: Leisure and Culture


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