Council to explore one-stop-shop idea at former Stamford Museum

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THE former Stamford Museum could become a one-stop-shop for council services.

South Kesteven District Council, which owns the former museum in Broad Street, Stamford, is looking at moving its council offices from Maiden Lane into the building.

District council leader Linda Neal (Con) said the district council had been looking for a new home for its council offices for at least eight years.

Coun Neal said that although the Maiden Lane office was compliant with laws on disabled access, officers and councillors felt the space was “too tight” for wheelchair users or mothers with pushchairs.

She said: “The shop area in the Maiden Lane office is not big enough. There is quite a large area of premises but the shop bit is not suitable and we have known this for quite some time.

“We have looked at lots of properties in Stamford over the years but those that have been available have not proved to be suitable and we did explore taking some space in Stamford Town Hall as well but that was not suitable.

“Having the museum available does present us with an opportunity.”

Coun Neal said it would be willing to work with other partners on the project in much the same way as it has done in Bourne.

The district council is working with Lincolnshire County Council and Bourne Town Council to move all the services under one roof at Bourne Corn Exchange, including the library and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The county council is also considering moving the registration services into the Corn Exchange from West Street. Work on the Community Access Point in Bourne should be complete in March 2013.

Coun Neal said: “It is only fairly recently that we have had the keys back for the museum building so it is very early days for us.

“We do want to explore all the possibilities and moving into our own premises does make it a cost effective project.”

Coun Neal said it was “unlikely” Stamford Town Council would move into the museum if the proposals were to go ahead.

She said: “Stamford Town Council is very different to Bourne. They have a lot of artefacts in the town hall and have spent a lot of money on the building.

“But the door would be open to them if they did want to get involved.”

Lincolnshire County Council, which leased the building, closed the museum in June last year as part of its cost-cutting measures.

The artefacts have been moved into the library in High Street and Stamford Town Hall in St Mary’s Hill.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council, which has offices in Stamford, said the council would be “open” to discussing relocating to the museum.

She said: “We have made good progress on the one-stop shop for Bourne, which will offer residents more convenient and cost-effective services, and we are willing to explore whether this model could bring similar benefits for Stamford.”