Council debates plans for museum

PUBLISHED: 11:00 28 October 2010

Views of North Somerset Museum, Burlington St, WsM.; 22-10-08

Views of North Somerset Museum, Burlington St, WsM.; 22-10-08

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WESTON Town Council was due to meet yesterday (Wed) to discuss its plans for North Somerset Museum.

Key councillors and officers were asked to the discussion to pave the way forward after the authority agreed to takeover the Burlington Street facility from North Somerset Council (NSC) at a crunch meeting last week.

Following a two-hour debate at the Town Hall on October 18, the council voted 15 to nine in favour of taking on the freehold of the premises.

It agreed to do this on the condition that NSC would hand over a lump sum of £100,000 towards building costs as well as paying for repairs to the boiler and asbestos-related work.

Town council clerk Malcolm Nicholson said a number of issues would be discussed at the meeting yesterday including a business plan, the vision for the museum, transfer of the building, staffing, use of volunteers and financial issues.

He said: “Everyone, whatever their views for or against taking on the museum, will now work together to make it a success.”

The council did not decide how it would fund the running of the building at the meeting last week.

Emergency works are expected to cost around £40,000 and the council will also need to find £250,000 to fund capital investment in the museum over the next five years.

Town council leader Pauline Priestman, who voted against the move, said her major concern was how the authority would finance the facility.

She told the Mercury: “It has been voted on and I fully accept that decision. I now intend to set up a working party made up from representatives of voluntary groups to plan the way forward.”

The council also has the option of changing the name of the museum but Mr Nicholson said no decision has yet been made.

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