Extra time for threatened museums

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS. The Museum of Lancashire, Stanley Street, Preston

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS. The Museum of Lancashire, Stanley Street, Preston

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The five Lancashire County Council museums threatened with closure will now stay open until the end of September.

The move is hoped to allow more time for discussions to continue with organisations keen to take them over, and for other interested parties to come forward.

County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “As has been widely reported, the county council’s dire financial situation means that we can no longer afford to run these museums.

“We took the decision to cease funding these five museums with very heavy hearts.

“We recognise their immense cultural and historical value but when it is unclear how we will pay for essential services for the vulnerable in just two years’ time, it is one of many difficult decisions we have had to make.

“I am pleased to say that we are in active discussions with bodies interested in taking over all five museums, and we will keep the museums open until the end of September to give those discussions the best possible chance of success. “It may also present an opportunity for other interested parties to come forward.”

The five museums in question are:

The Museum of Lancashire

Fleetwood Museum

Helmshore Mills

Queen Street Mill

The Judges’ Lodgings, Lancaster