Walsall Museum to close next month

Council seeks HLF funding for new heritage centre
Profile image for Geraldine Kendall Adams
Geraldine Kendall Adams
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Walsall Museum is to close to the public next month after Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council passed a budget proposal to axe its £70,000-a-year grant. The Labour-run council has had to find £29m savings next year. 

The town centre museum, which displays social history, textile and metal-working collections, will shut its doors at the end of March. Three posts at the museum will be lost, although the council said staff will be put on its redeployment list.

“Sadly, the decision to the close Walsall Museum was passed last night in the council’s agreed budget for 2015-16,” said Sue Grainger, the council’s head of libraries, heritage and arts.

“The service will close its doors for the time being on 31 March. The collections will be kept in secure storage until they can redisplayed elsewhere in the future.”

The council is moving ahead with plans to create a single heritage centre to display its heritage collections, including those of Walsall Museum and Walsall Leather Museum.

The council has made the heritage centre an investment priority for 2015-16 and is looking to raise £6.2m towards its construction from external bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
 
“We are very hopeful of being able to deliver a single heritage centre for Walsall borough and, working with the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are hoping to submit a stage one bid in June,” said Grainger.

“This project will bring all Walsall’s heritage services together into a single, integrated collection and enable us to bring Walsall Museum’s collections back on to public display.

“Until that day, we will continue to maintain, preserve and care for them, but access can only be by appointment.”

Grainger said she hoped that the new centre would give heritage a greater profile in the borough and help to safeguard it in the future.


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