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

PUBLISHED: 06:55 24 June 2019

Weston Museum. Picture: Keith Spicer

Weston Museum. Picture: Keith Spicer

Keith Spicer

Almost £120,000 could be spent on replacing a large section of Weston Museum's roof which has been damaged by several water leaks.

One of the galleries at Weston Museum.One of the galleries at Weston Museum.

Its condition has deteriorated due to poor weather throughout June which has resulted in visitors' experiences being affected.

Leaks have caused artwork to be taken away and parts of the museum to close.

The museum, in Burlington Street, has a large roof area which comprises of a pitched tiled roof over Clara's Cottage, a flat roof over access stairs, a mono-pitch tiled roof above the café, a glazed pitched roof over the main atrium and an asbestos sheet pitched roof over the rear courtyard and built-up felt.

The built up has reached the end of its life and recent weather has made its replacement a priority.

The atrium roof was replaced in 2017. Picture: Mark AthertonThe atrium roof was replaced in 2017. Picture: Mark Atherton

Weston Town Council, which owns the museum, will look at ways to fund the £119,000 option to replace the flat roof coverings with a three-layer built-up covering, which will carry a minimum life guarantee of 20 years.

Other options, including a £47,000 waterproof system which would provide five to seven years of safety, were debated by committee members at a policy and finance meeting on June 17.

Cllr Roger Bailey said: "We do not want to be kicking a can down the road, the £47,000 option would see us back here in the same position in five years time.

"If we cut down on planned maintenance elsewhere then so be it, a costings list of suggestions where we can get the funding from should be explored."

The atrium roof was replaced in 2017. Picture: Mark AthertonThe atrium roof was replaced in 2017. Picture: Mark Atherton

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.

PICTURES: Take a look inside Weston Museum's £1.6million refurbishment.

A change in National Lottery Heritage Fund's allocations meant no money could be attained through the charity last year.

The possibility of solar panels will also be explored.

Councillors will review the planned and preventative maintenance works programme for 2019/20 in order to enable the funds to come from the kitty as grant funding could take 18 to 24 months to obtain a decision.

The matter will be brought back to the next policy and finance committee meeting in August.

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