Tom Wright, Reporter
Friday, April 12, 2013
THE Sovereign Shopping Centre could provide a temporary home for the town’s museum when it is closed for refurbishment next year.
The site is one of a number of locations proposed to provide a temporary home for Weston Museum when it shuts for building work in 2014.
The Blakehay theatre, the Winter Gardens and the old library have all been mooted as other possibilities, although a final decision has not been made.
Weston Town Council is required to keep a small collection open to the public while the museum is closed for refurbishment, as part of an agreement to help fund the project.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) gave the museum £73,000 in December to help it apply for the second part of its grant process, which could earn the Burlington Street attraction £750,000.
The town council has also promised to set aside £100,000, with the renovations set to provide new exhibition spaces, display cabinets and electronics. Asbestos removal and a lift installation are also planned.
Conditions of the HLF grant mean the museum must maintain a small public exhibition throughout the work, otherwise it is not eligible to receive the funding.
Clerk Malcolm Nicholson said the renovation work is expected to start in early-to-mid 2014, with the work estimated to take 12-18 months.
Richard Bellamy, head of the HLF South West, said: “This is a great project which, if successful at the second round, will transform Weston Museum for future visitors and let as many people as possible enjoy its amazing heritage collections.”