Stamford Heritage Trust has 10k offer to help rescue the museum

A CAMPAIGN to reopen a museum has been boosted by a pledge worth £10,000 a year.

Stamford Heritage Trust has two weeks to put together a viable business plan for the town’s museum to Lincolnshire County Council.

Stamford Museum was closed on June 29 as part of the county council’s cost-cutting measures.

But at a meeting on July 15 the county’s executive councillor for cultural services Coun Eddy Poll (Con) gave the group three weeks to submit an improved business plan.

The trust’s previous bid was rejected as it did not include written permission to use the building by its owner, South Kesteven District Council, and on the grounds of funding.

The trust estimates that it needs £30,000 a year to run the building and members so far have raised £6,000.

But this week, the trust has been boosted by a pledge of £10,000 a year by Crestwood Fittings, which is based in St Martins Without, Stamford.

The trust now needs to raise a further £14,000.

Trust chairman, South Kesteven district and Stamford town councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) said the pledge was made after a story in last week’s Mercury.

Coun Bisnauthsing said: “We have had a very serious pledge from an international company based in Stamford for £10,000 a year.

“It is not (for an) indefinite (period) but annually for as long as it takes us to get off the ground.

“I am very positive about it. I am feeling very pleased that lots of people do care about Stamford history and are coming forward.

“People feel strongly feel that Stamford should have its own museum.”

Coun Bisnauthsing says that he is waiting to receive written confirmation from the district council and says that he has had a verbal assurance.

The trust was hoping to raise £20,000 from businesses and £10,000 from its members to run the building.

The county council is working on plans to create a heritage hub in town’s library in High Street.

Contacts for the design of the cabinets at the hub have gone out to tender but Coun Poll has agreed to look at the business plan.

He said that a sensible plan will be considered but warned that the decision to close the museum “still stands and has to stand.”