Trust vows to save Fleetwood Museum

Trustees and volunteers from the Fleetwood Museum are battling to keep it safe from closure
Trustees and volunteers from the Fleetwood Museum are battling to keep it safe from closure

Fleetwood Museum supporters have launched a new campaign to keep the facility open.

Their new battle, almost 10 years after a stirring Save Our Museum campaign helped rescue it before, came after the axe effectively fell last week.

We are hoping for a year’s reprieve from County Hall

Lancashire County Council confirmed it was no longer able to fund the facility, along with many other services across the county, and funding will come to an end in March next year, at the end of the financial year.

So this week Fleetwood Museum Trust members and volunteers at the Queens Terrace facility vowed to try save it again.

They hope that, with a show of support, it will help give backing to a potential solution.

They want Fleetwood residents to join their petition in a final bid to stave off the axe, by demonstrating the full support of the town for the facility.

In the meantime, Fleetwood Town Council has confirmed it is looking into the possibility of rescuing the facility.

An extraordinary meeting is to be held after the New Year in which the town council will discuss a business plan to try and rescue it via precept payments on the council tax.

The meeting will be open to the public and Fleetwood residents will be consulted.

Keith Porter, chairman of Fleetwood Museum Trust, said: “We are hoping for a year’s reprieve from County Hall, during which time we would look for other sources of funding.

“The petition will really help.”

Fleetwood Museum volunteer Angie Hesketh said: “Without the support of the town, the museum will not re-­open and the collection will be moved, stored or worse still – sold.

“So we are asking everyone to look out for our petitions. They will be placed in surgeries, shops, and cafes. We’re asking them to sign up to express their wish to keep our collections. To make a bigger impact we ask them to send letters to our Fleetwood MP Cat Smith or Lancashire County Council to voice their concerns.”

Letters must be noted with the correct codes and these can be obtained, together with sample letters by emailing us at: savefleetwoodmuseum@gmail.com.

Coun Terry Rogers, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, said: “We are looking into feasibility of taking on Fleetwood Museum If we think it can be done, we will take that decision, as elected councillors, although we will consult with residents.”

Lancashire County Council approved the cut to the museum’s funding along with a huge raft of measures to fill a shortfall after the Government cut the authority’s funding.

Along with hundreds of jobs, waste collection services, funding for other museums, the Knott End ferry service, bus subsidies and library provision have all been axed.

Councillors will look to close more than half of the county’s libraries following the funding cut.