Hopes for the future of Ilkley museum

PROTEST: Friends of Ilkley's threatened Manor House Museum gather outside to campaign against its closure earlier this year.

PROTEST: Friends of Ilkley's threatened Manor House Museum gather outside to campaign against its closure earlier this year.

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

THE push to secure a future for Ilkley’s historic Manor House Museum and Art Gallery has taken a step forward with confirmation of Bradford Council backing for a major study.

The local authority, which owns and currently runs the museum, has agreed to support an Ilkley group with the funding of a feasibility study, which will assess the community’s needs and determine if big plans for the museum are financially viable.

Those fighting for the future of the Manor House, in Castle Yard, welcomed the announcement.

But the timescale for setting up a community management scheme is limited. The Council announced earlier this year its funding would be withdrawn from next spring.

The New Manor House Group, made up of about a dozen local residents with a range of artistic and cultural interests, asked the Council to support a feasibility study.

Chairman of the group, Ruth Pitt, said it has met the local authority and Ilkley Parish Council and was delighted to be told the vital piece of work can now go ahead.

"Everybody now agrees that before any decisions can be made about the future of the Manor House we need to find out exactly what the town might want from this fantastic building and whether or not any emerging plans are financially viable," she said.

A steering group will oversee the feasibility study and Bradford Council plans to put out a tender for the work shortly.

She added: “This is fantastic news and just what we have been waiting for. The New Manor House Group is looking forward to working with a specialist organisation that can come back to us with some firm facts and figures as well as a real vision for how the building can serve the town in the future.”

One of the options could be the creation of a ‘cultural quarter’ for the town.

Bradford Council said there was currently no timescale for the study, but that was expected to be developed over the next week. It has not yet revealed the budget for the study, which will be carried out by a contractor.

Members of Ilkley Parish Council have been pressing for progress on plans for the Manor House’s future. The museum was threatened earlier this year before the Parish Council brokered a deal to part-fund its operation for another year.

Councillor Brian Mann said: “I’m particularly pleased the feasibility study is going ahead, and we can see what the potential is for the Manor House, and particularly the cottages.”

Bradford Council member for culture, skills and employment Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said: "The Council has been working hard with local groups and the Parish Council to support and encourage responses from the community with regard the future of the Manor House.

"I am pleased that we can now support the next stage of development, which will be crucial in informing the future of the site."

Comments (4)

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4:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

BierleyBoy says...

Why doesn't this group buy it & run it themselves?
Why doesn't this group buy it & run it themselves? BierleyBoy
  • Score: -1

5:27pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

BierleyBoy wrote:
Why doesn't this group buy it & run it themselves?
The people of Ilkley pay a massive amounts of poll tax but get very little back from Bradford Council. The Manor House is of local interest as it dates back to the Roman times and there was actually a Roman Fort nearby this site. It should be of interest to anyone in the regions for its history alone.. It has always depended on donations and such an old building deserves much respect.
[quote][p][bold]BierleyBoy[/bold] wrote: Why doesn't this group buy it & run it themselves?[/p][/quote]The people of Ilkley pay a massive amounts of poll tax but get very little back from Bradford Council. The Manor House is of local interest as it dates back to the Roman times and there was actually a Roman Fort nearby this site. It should be of interest to anyone in the regions for its history alone.. It has always depended on donations and such an old building deserves much respect. Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 2

5:57pm Thu 4 Sep 14

taleoftruth says...

Knock it down and build some social housing for Labour voters.
Knock it down and build some social housing for Labour voters. taleoftruth
  • Score: -3

1:10pm Sat 6 Sep 14

thog01274 says...

taleoftruth wrote:
Knock it down and build some social housing for Labour voters.
Or Labour voters could get off their backsides and pay for their own housing !
[quote][p][bold]taleoftruth[/bold] wrote: Knock it down and build some social housing for Labour voters.[/p][/quote]Or Labour voters could get off their backsides and pay for their own housing ! thog01274
  • Score: 0

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