Baildon Parish Council take-over plan for Bracken Hall Countryside Centre (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Baildon Parish Council take-over plan for Bracken Hall Countryside Centre
A meeting to see how much volunteer support there is for Baildon Parish Council to take over the running of a countryside museum will be held this weekend.
Parish council chairman Councillor Joe Ashton said other discussions would be held about the future of Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, but Sunday’s meeting was vital.
Bradford Council’s latest budget withdrew the £23,000 running costs of the museum on the edge of Shipley Glen, meaning it will either close or be transferred to another group to run.
The report, drawn up by Bradford Council, said: “A transfer would be our preferred option and we have been talking to interested groups for some time. However, should those groups feel that they are not in a position to take on responsibility, then we will have no alternative but to close the centre.”
Coun Ashton (Ind, South) said the centre was an important asset for education, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and community development.
“I think it’s quite a small operation by the standards of some other museums and galleries that the Council is currently running. It’s had the smallest profile, but the people that use it, they really care about it,” he said.
Although the parish council has only informally discussed the possibility of taking over the centre, Coun Ashton has been working on a plan of how running it could work, as Bradford Council funding only officially runs until the end of the month.
He believes the centre could be funded through donations from local groups and an initial parish council investment, but hopes it could eventually become self-funding with a small staff and team of volunteers.
He said encouraging people to donate during visits, serving refreshments to walkers, making toilet facilities public and building on the success of a museum shop would all help support the centre financially.
Local groups such as Bradford Urban Wildlife Group and the Friends of Baildon Moor have backed the idea.
Sunday’s public meeting will be held at 2pm. Meet outside Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, Glen Road, Baildon.