The Heritage Lottery Fund may be asking Lancashire County Council for its money back, the Museums Association reports. The lottery fund has invested £919,400 in the recent revamp of the Museum of Lancashire. It has also donated £720,000 to Helmshore Textile Mills to improve its access and interpretation work. This adds up to a grand total of £1,639,400. Such investments come with contracts which Lancashire County Council would have to honour, and closing the museums probably isn’t what the Heritage Lottery Fund had in mind when giving these awards.
The Museums Association website quotes a Heritage Lottery Fund spokeswoman who says “We are currently in discussion with Lancashire council in order to assess the situation and the wider risk to our investment. It is important that recipients of National Lottery funding honour their contractual obligations, and the recovery of grant money is an option we will consider.”
Lancashire County Council was hoping to save £238,000 a year by closing the Museum of Lancashire, reports the website Blog Preston (www.blogpreston.co.uk). If it has to pay back over three times this amount (not to mention what it has to pay back for the Helmshore as well), then the mathematics of closing these museums really doesn’t add up.
For the very latest on this story as of autumn 2016 click here
If you would like to sign an online petition to save the Museum of Lancashire click here
To sign the petition to save Helmshore and Queen Street Mills click here
To sign the petition to save Judges’ Lodgings click here
If you would like to let Jennifer Mein, the leader of Lancashire County Council know your views click here
For the full story of the eleven Lancashire Museums and their plight here