Bede’s World gets lifeline

Council in talks to reopen the Jarrow museum
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Simon Stephens
South Tyneside Council is in talks to reopen Bede’s World, which closed in mid-February after the trust that ran the Anglo-Saxon museum and farm in Jarrow became insolvent.

The council, which provided a grant to help run the venue, is in discussions with Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle, a charity that might take on the lease of the site. When Bede's World Charitable Trust, the charity that managed the museum and farm, became insolvent, the ownership of the land and buildings reverted back to the council.

Bede’s World celebrates the life of the Venerable Bede, a scholar who was born in 673 and is from the twin monastery site of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

“Bede's World was an important cultural and heritage attraction, giving visitors a fascinating insight into Anglo Saxon life,” said councillor Alan Kerr, the deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for culture and leisure.

"Following concerns over the sustainability of the trust and careful consideration of a number of options, we believe we have found a solution to ensure this venue has a long-term future for the people of South Tyneside and the wider region.

"We want the site to remain open for education, training and community uses and feel this option would protect this valuable place of learning from closure in the long run."
South Tyneside Council already has a relationship with Groundwork, which manages a range of community facilities as well as organising events, education and training.

"To add value to the Bede's World site, we are investigating new ways to create a wider visitor attraction and community offer, such as craft fairs, summer plays and celebration events,” said Andrew Watts, the executive director of Groundwork.

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