Second bid to run Stamford Museum is rejected

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CAMPAIGNERS have failed with a second bid to save a museum.

Stamford Heritage Trust submitted a revised business plan for Stamford Museum to Lincolnshire County Council in August.

The Broad Street museum, closed on June 29 as part of the council’s cost-cutting measures.

But the council rejected the plan in favour of a heritage hub in Stamford Library and a display in the town hall.

Head of libraries and heritage Jonathan Platt said: “We’ve carefully considered the revised business plan from the Stamford Heritage Trust.

“Although there has been some improvement, we still feel they are underestimating the costs involved in running the museum.

“At the same time, they are being overly optimistic in the amount of income they can generate.

“And even in light of this, their plans still require ongoing financial support from the county council.”

Executive member for cultural services councillor Eddy Poll will now make a final decision on the future of the museum exhibits.

The heritage trust’s first bid to run the museum was rejected in June as it did not include a written assurance from the building’s owners, South Kesteven District Council, and on funding grounds.

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

A written assurance from the district council to use the museum building was included in the latest business plan.

The plan also said Stamford Town Council and the Harry Skells Trust had agreed in principle to give financial support to the plan, and an offer of £10,000 a year from Crestwood Fittings, in High Street St Martin’s, Stamford, had been received.

Chairman of the trust, Stamford town and South Kesteven district councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem), said: “Naturally we are very disappointed with the refusal of our bid.

“It is a shame that a golden opportunity has been missed by Lincolnshire County Council to enable the government’s Big Society and localism to be implemented here.”

Coun Bisnauthsing thanked those who had helped the trust’s bid.