Councillors vote to replace leaking museum roof

Town councillors are keen to spend £119,000 on replacing Weston Museum’s leaky roof.

The attraction's main roof is at the end of its lifespan which has resulted in a number of leaks during heavy rain.

Weston Town Council owns the attraction and members of the authority's policy and finance committee agreed to recommend footing the bill, rather than carrying out repairs.

More: Museum in need of £120k roof repair after stormy weather causes leaks.

Councillor Ian Porter, speaking at a meeting on August 19, said: "I think we all agreed it was a no brainer - we don't want water coming in and doing damage.

"The museum in time would cost a lot more to repair than what it would to put a new roof on."

The museum's flat roof and rear pitched roof are both deteriorating and in need of replacement.

Works to the pitched roof over the rear of the courtyard are not urgent, but the main roof is in desperate need of replacement.

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The museum underwent a £1.6million transformation in 2017, which included a lift and new galleries and exhibition spaces, but money was not allocated for the flat roof, which covers 70 per cent of the museum's total roof area.

Councillors were also asked to consider whether to spend £115,000 on installing 36 solar panels on the roof, which could generate income within nine years.

Cllr Roger Bailey said: "It seems an awful lot of money for them.

"We are struggling to pay for the roof. I propose we drop the idea due to cost."

Cllr Robert Payne added: "Given the climate emergency we are in, I think we've got to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint.

"We should try to do solar panels if we can."

Councillors made a recommendation to Weston Town Council to replace the museum's main roof - the money would come from the £55,000 which has already been allocated for phase two of the refurbishment.

The committee also proposed using the £27,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund grant retention, and £36,000 from the council's general reserves.

Councillors also agreed to carry out more research into the solar panels.

Most of the issues with the roof are in private areas so there is no risk to events and functions and the museum will not need to close during roof replacement works.