Cash-strapped Council plans to hand over Ilkley museum to community

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Friends of Ilkley's Manor House Museum Friends of Ilkley's Manor House Museum

CASH-STRAPPED Bradford Council is still determined to hand the running of a museum over to volunteers, despite a previous "lack of community interest" in taking it on.

The authority wants to pull out of running Ilkley's Manor House Museum, to save £30,000 a year.

The museum was at risk of being mothballed earlier this year, after no groups came forward to run it - but a combination of funding from Ilkley Parish Council and help from Friends of the Manor House volunteers is keeping it open for another year.

Now a permanent solution has to be found to safeguard the museum's future when this deal comes to an end in March 2015.

A new report going before the Council's Executive on Tuesday once again recommends transferring the running of the Manor House to a "community-led model".

But the report acknowledges the previous "lack of community interest" in taking over responsibility for the site, and says hopefully the 12-month reprieve will "enable community interest groups to develop plans and proposals to take on the site".

An informal community group, separate to the Friends of the Manor House, has now got together to consider options for the museum's future.

Chairman Ruth Pitt said: "There's a group of people in Ilkley who are really interested in looking into what the alternatives might be for fulfilling the potential of the Manor House, but our feeling is that we need to do a feasibility study to kind of find out what the town really wants, to get a sense of who's out there and what support there would be."

Bradford Council's executive member for culture, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said: "I'm grateful for the support of Ilkley Parish Council and the Museum Friends Group in keeping the museum open while a more permanent community-led solution is found."

Over the past few years, community groups have stepped in to run a number of council-owned facilities.

Four libraries, in Denholme, Wilsden, Addingham and Wrose, were taken over by volunteers in 2011 after being threatened with closure.

And last year the authority agreed to hand over the running of two council-owned outward bound centres in the Dales to specially-created trusts, to save £73,000 a year.

A separate money-saving plan to turn nine children's centres into volunteer-run "outreach bases" was put on ice in February this year.

Comments (4)

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7:46am Mon 23 Jun 14

thatsnotmyname says...

Does it make money or pay for itself or is it a money pit? If the latter and no one is actually interested in it (not even visitors to the area ) I would suggest selling the building.
Does it make money or pay for itself or is it a money pit? If the latter and no one is actually interested in it (not even visitors to the area ) I would suggest selling the building. thatsnotmyname
  • Score: 7

10:57am Mon 23 Jun 14

pcmanners says...

The market has spoken. The good people of Ilkley have demonstrated that they are in no need of this product, so it should be withdrawn and the Manor House sold off. Any interesting artefacts can be distributed to other museums in the district.

Or if Cllr Hinchcliffe still has the socialist’s sentimental attachment to self-improvement she can deploy her famed skills at publicity and see if there is any latent interest still left in Ilkley.
The market has spoken. The good people of Ilkley have demonstrated that they are in no need of this product, so it should be withdrawn and the Manor House sold off. Any interesting artefacts can be distributed to other museums in the district. Or if Cllr Hinchcliffe still has the socialist’s sentimental attachment to self-improvement she can deploy her famed skills at publicity and see if there is any latent interest still left in Ilkley. pcmanners
  • Score: 4

1:58pm Mon 23 Jun 14

bingleybantam says...

If the Bradford Bulls paid back that £200,000 "loan" they could fund it... But as Ilkley doesn't vote Labour they will get nowt.
If the Bradford Bulls paid back that £200,000 "loan" they could fund it... But as Ilkley doesn't vote Labour they will get nowt. bingleybantam
  • Score: -2

5:55pm Mon 23 Jun 14

BierleyBoy says...

This epitomises the wasteful nature of socialist local authorities. How many other sites are there that have been maintained 'for the public good' when in reality there is not the demand to justify the money poured down the drain?

How about saving £300,000 a year by getting rid of the utterly pointless role of mayor? It's nothing more than a 12 month ego trip for a councillor.

Cut the number of councillors too. And stop bent loans to Labour party friends like Khan. He defaulted and isn't paying it back either.
This epitomises the wasteful nature of socialist local authorities. How many other sites are there that have been maintained 'for the public good' when in reality there is not the demand to justify the money poured down the drain? How about saving £300,000 a year by getting rid of the utterly pointless role of mayor? It's nothing more than a 12 month ego trip for a councillor. Cut the number of councillors too. And stop bent loans to Labour party friends like Khan. He defaulted and isn't paying it back either. BierleyBoy
  • Score: 1
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