Trust fails in bid to save museum

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A TRUST’S bid to save Stamford Museum from closure has failed.

Stamford Heritage Trust was informed by Lincolnshire County Council yesterday that its application to take over the museum was unacceptable.

The county council will now be going ahead with its plans to create a heritage hub at Stamford Library, in High Street.

The museum in Broad Street is due to be closing at the end of June as part of the county council’s cost-cutting.

The campaign to save the museum was launched by South Kesteven district and Stamford town councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) in February.

He was unavailable for comment yesterday but heritage trust committee member Robert Vipan said that he was disappointed that the county council had not accepted the bid but hopes that the trust will agree to submit another in the future.

Mr Vipan, a retired solicitor, was told by the county council that the application did not contain enough detail of how the trust was going to look after the museum.

He said: “It is extremely disappointing. I thought we had put together a very good proposal. We spent a lot of time on it.

“It leaves us having to think a bit harder to see what we can do to improve or enhance our bid in the council’s eyes.”

The council is considering displaying objects such as the Stamford Tapestry in the hub at the library along with using technology to showcase many aspects of the town’s history.

The county council has gone out to tender for the contract to design and install the hub. A contractor is due to be selected by the end of June.

Work in the library is due to start in November.

Executive member for cultural services Coun Eddy Poll (Con) said: “Our goal is to create a hub that becomes a magnet for visitors and residents wanting to connect with the town’s history.

“Things are still in the early stages, but our intention is to showcase the wealth of history within Stamford by displaying our own collections and linking them to the buildings and other historic collections around the town.

“This will encourage people to explore other areas of Stamford, providing a boost to local businesses.

“We’ve also been having discussions with Stamford Town Council about the loan of items from the museum’s collections which could be used to enhance visits to the town hall. Particular consideration is being given to material associated with Sir Malcolm Sargent and Daniel Lambert.

“Of course, it’s disappointing that the Stamford Heritage Trust has been unable to produce an acceptable proposal, but I hope that they will work with us to enhance the library and generate interest in Stamford’s history and heritage.”

The county council announced last year that it was closing the museum in Broad Street along with am Museum and Church Farm, in Skegness, to cut costs.

The town council had put forward a bid to form a charitable trust and was hoping that the county council would meet a £23,000 shortfall.

But the bid was rejected in December and the museum will close on June 30.