Museum to close despite campaign

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CAMPAIGNERS who have lost their fight to save Stamford Museum say it is “inconceivable” the town should not have a museum.

Lincolnshire county councillor Eddy Poll (Con), who is responsible for economic development, confirmed on Friday that Stamford Museum in Broad Street would close on June 30.

Former museum curator John Smith, who had led the fight to save the museum, said: “Stamford is one of the most important historic towns in the country and it is absolutely inconceivable that we shouldn’t have a museum.

“You cannot establish a long term thing like a museum overnight and once it is gone, it will be difficult to replace.”

Stamford Town Council set up a group, including Mr Smith, to save the museum but needed the county council to contribute £23,000 a year.

Coun Poll said this was “not a realistic bid” and added: “The decision was to close it, which is really disappointing. We will be remodelling the library to display artefacts and contacting other bodies in the town with a view to keeping as much of the local heritage in Stamford as possible.”

Museums in Grantham and Church Farm, Skegness, were also threatened with closure but have been saved by community groups which could fund the running of the museums themselves.

Coun Poll added: “Grantham and Skegness put forward a sensible bid and it’s a shame Stamford could not do the same.

“The decision has been made from an administrative point of view but the door is not closed if anyone wants to put forward a sensible bid. ”

But Mr Smith said: “Why should the towns be expected to fund the museums themselves when the rest of the museums in the service, which are all in Lincoln, are being core funded? They have just cut from the bottom and it is totally unfair.”

The group is now putting together a list of artefacts it wants to retain at the library or town hall.

Closing the museum will save the county council £107,000 a year.