Agenda item

Museum Development Committee Update

To receive a verbal update of the Museum Development Committee


The Chairman of the Development Committee gave a verbal update for the meeting:-


  • There had been 3 meetings of the Committee held in the year.
  • The Fourth Street report set out a number of options for consideration; he noted that the more capital that had been requested, the greater the requirement to increase income. 
  • It had been decided that a figure of £3.5m was workable and reduced the risk. 
  • The Museum Society would contribute £500k of the total £3.5m.
  • Better quality drawings would be provided and a laser survey would be carried out.
  • A consultant had been appointed to help with the fund raising strategy and in particular to provide guidance on raising private funds.
  • A fund raising Director would need to be appointed.
  • A business plan would be written later in the year, including a forecast of the funds that would need to be raised. 
  • The risks would then be reassessed and the amount requested increased if possible.


In response to a question from the Chair, the Chairman of the Development Committee said if they were successful with the £3.5m bid there would be two options available:-

  1. To retain the existing building outside but change the inside - by modernisation to enable frequent changes to the exhibitions.
  2. To build a small extension to provide extra space for facilities.


Cllr Light, as a member of the Development Committee, said that it would be a phased approach.  In the future they hoped to extend further and raised the possibility of providing a café in the current local history gallery.


The Curator said that the lottery funding for larger grants asked for a minimum of 10% match funding, which meant that the society already had the qualifying amounts required for the maximum £5m, even though the decision had been made to apply for the smaller amount of £3.5m.


The Curator said that she had reconsidered having Museum objects displayed in the Café; she had previously seen it at Chelmsford, by the use of show cases placed at a height where they could not be knocked.  She thought that it would give any  Café a unique Museum feel and become part of the outreach programme. 


In response to a comment from the Chair, it was agreed that it was important for the café to be an integral part of the Museum and the Curator said that it was a good way to open up the Museum to other people who were not regular visitors.







The stages and timetable of the process were discussed:-

  • To organise the laser survey of the Museum.
  • To engage an architect for the stage one plan which the National Lottery would expect to be in place in order to put in the stage one bid.
  • To rework the forward plan to 2025.
  • The project enquiry for the bid to be submitted in summer 2021.
  • To bring the forward plan to this working group in October 2021 and then take to the December 2021 Cabinet meeting for approval.
  • To submit the stage one bid In December 2021/January 2022 with the forward plan in place and architect work carried out.