Museum repairs: trade for town

Fleetwood Museum
Fleetwood Museum

Moves to carry out key work on Fleetwood’s Grade II listed museum building could spell good news for the town’s qualified tradespeople.

Fleetwood Town Council is inviting businesses from across the board, from builders, plumbers and joiners to printers and IT specialists, to a meeting this month so they can hear more.

Councillor Terry Rogers, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council.

Councillor Terry Rogers, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council.

It is part of an ambitious project by the town council, which has now taken over the financial running of Fleetwood Museum from cash-strapped Lancashire County Council.

Boosted by £66,000 raised from Fleetwood council tax payers last year, the town council helped saved the museum from closure and is now also using additional funds to repair the building on Queens Terrace, which needs some vital work carried out.

Coun Terry Rogers, chairman of Fleetwood Town Council, says the early Victorian building needs considerable work but it will be undertaken bit by bit and no costings could be put on it.

But he says the revamp project will be a “win-win” situation - preserving a historic Fleetwood building, saving the museum collection stored within it and providing paid work for the town’s tradesmen.

Keith and Sue Porter of Fleetwood Museum Trust are optimistic about the future of the museum.

Keith and Sue Porter of Fleetwood Museum Trust are optimistic about the future of the museum.

Coun Rogers said: “We are not looking for tradespeople to offer their time voluntarily, the whole point is they will be paid.”

“We are inviting them to the meeting to allow them to see the work that needs doing and to hear more about the project. We cannot guarantee that every job required will go to a Fleetwood firm, but where possible we will look for local expertise.

“We are talking about electricians, interior and exterior painters and even cleaners and other skilled people.”

The meeting will take the form of an open day at Fleetwood Museum on Saturday February 18, from 10.30am to 2pm.

Refreshments will be served

It is hoped the work can get under way from April onwards.

While the financial running of the museum will be undertaken by Fleetwood Town Council, the running of the museum service itself will continue to be overseen by the Fleetwood Museum Trust, boosted by some 60 volunteers.

Keith Porter, chairman of the Trust, said: “The work will be done as and when it is needed, it will not be a case of everyone piling in all at once.

“The work has got to be done properly and it will be.”

Mr Porter also said the aim was to open the museum as usual around Easter time.

The museum building is owned by Wyre Council, who will lease the premises to the Town Council on a peppercorn rent basis, similiar to the agreement previously held with County Hall.

The lease has not yet been signed but was expected to be finalised shortly.