Campaigners have three weeks ‘to save Stamford museum’

Protesters with their placards. From left, Robert Vipan, Rosemary Fraser, Michael Lee, Harrish Bisnauthsing, Michael Dawson, Brian Lewis, and Ann Johnson
Protesters with their placards. From left, Robert Vipan, Rosemary Fraser, Michael Lee, Harrish Bisnauthsing, Michael Dawson, Brian Lewis, and Ann Johnson

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save Stamford Museum from closure have been given three weeks to re-submit their business plan - but are not hopeful of success.

The museum in Broad Street, closed on June 29 as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s cost cutting plans.

Stamford Heritage Trust learned in June that its first business plan to take over the building had been rejected and that the county council was spending £170,000 in creating a heritage hub in Stamford Library, in High Street.

But the trust met with executive councillor for cultural services Coun Eddy Poll (Con) at Stamford Town Hall on Friday last week and Coun Poll agreed to give the trust three weeks to submit a viable business plan.

But trust chairman, Stamford town and South Kesteven district councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) said he is not hopeful.

He said: “I will work as hard as I possibly can.”

The trust is improving its business plan by getting a written assurance that it can use the museum building from the site owners South Kesteven District Council.

Members are also looking to improve the plan by providing more information on how they are going to fund the running of the building.

The trust estimates that it would cost £30,000 a year to run the museum.

It needs to bring in £20,000 from businesses - of which £6,000 has so far been pledged - and £10,000 from its own members.

Coun Poll has agreed to look at a revised business plan, but the contracts for the design of the cabinets for the heritage hub at the library have put out to tender.

Coun Poll said: “If they come up with a sensible plan it will be considered.

“The decision to close the museum still stands and has to stand.”

Protesters Ann Johnson and Rosemary Frazer stood outside the hall with placards at Friday’s meeting.

Mrs Johnson, of Barnack Road, created a placard to take to the meeting on Friday. She said: “The museum encourages tourism.”