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Museum will remain free – for time being

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 21, 2013

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The group taking over the running of Helston Folk Museum said it cannot rule out charging people to visit the attraction.

South Kerrier Heritage Trust chairman Judith Haycock, who is also a Cornwall councillor, stressed that entry to the museum would remain free for now.

She said it was expected the paperwork would be signed off within the next two weeks transferring control from Cornwall Council to the trust. The organisation is also looking to recruit new staff.

"Our intention is hopefully to keep it free, but it's too soon to say. It could depend on donations, for example," she said.

"From the outside, you don't realise what a fantastic facility it is and how large.

"As it is free, people can pop in for an hour and come back another time."

She added: "This is now entering an exciting time of change, with new opportunities to develop a museum at the heart of its community and a significant visitor attraction."

The museum was inherited by Cornwall Council from the former Kerrier District Council.

It was 18 months ago that the authority proposed handing over the day-to-day running of the attraction to save money. The building itself and the collection would remain the property of Cornwall Council.

After months of negotiations, Mrs Haycock said the trust now had charitable status and was ready to take over the museum.

"We have a vision for the museum which will attract a wide range of audiences as well as link with, and support for, the communities of Helston, the Lizard and surrounding areas," she added.

"We are also now in a position to advertise for two staff roles – a full-time curator and a part-time assistant. The closing date is July 11.

"Also all those who have registered to volunteer are being offered an induction session. It is hoped that we will have volunteers assisting from August 1, helping to provide a quality experience for all visitors.

"If anyone else is interested, details are available at Helston Museum."

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "We are currently in negotiations with a potential new operator and in consultation with the staff.

"We are aiming to have a new operating model in place by August. As part of this new arrangement there are no plans to transfer the building and Cornwall Council will continue to own the asset and the collection."

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  • jimjams2011  |  June 22 2013, 12:04AM

    The council should not be paying for that 'museum'. Let them Charge. If they dont make enough money it can close.

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