Historic link-up is coming to an end - The Evesham Observer

Historic link-up is coming to an end

Evesham Editorial 7th Dec, 2018   0

A RALLYING call has gone out to anyone who has loaned objects to Evesham’s Almonry to get in touch after museum chiefs revealed six decades of involvement from the Vale of Evesham Historical Society at the site would come to an end.

The society will leave the Almonry next year, 62 years after founding the museum with Evesham Town Council in a partnership which remains to the present day as the society continued to amass a large number of objects alongside the separate Almonry collection.

Town council chiefs have been in discussions with the society to determine which objects belong to them or have been loaned to them.

As there is no formal loan agreement between them, along with other factors, the Town Council is unable to retain the collection and will return it.

Ashleigh Jayes, Almonry manager said: “In the first instance this will let us see areas of the building that haven’t been accessible in many years and will allow us to have essential repair work carried out.

“Secondly, we will be able to look at how the museum and the collection are going to take shape for the future. We need to further professionalise the museum and ensure that our collections and the building are cared for to the highest standards.

“We are working hard to develop a forward thinking, resilient service and this will enable us to focus on what stories we tell and how we can develop and build the collection in new ways.”

This change will also enable the Town Council to access cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Wychavon District Council’s New Homes Bonus fund to fund a restoration programme for the Almonry.

In 2015 the Town Council was unable to take up the offer of a development grant offered by lottery bosses due to the uncertainty of the ownership of certain parts of the collection.

The Almonry building has recently been placed on the Heritage at Risk register by Historic England and is beginning to show significant signs of deterioration so the need to move ahead with a restoration project is imperative.

Mayor of Evesham Coun Mark Goodge said: “While we are extremely grateful for the work done by VEHS in establishing the museum and building up the initial collection, we have reached a point where the future of the museum requires us to take full control of it and ensure it is managed professionally throughout.

“The Almonry is one of Evesham’s most iconic buildings, and we owe it to our residents to make sure it is preserved for future generations.

“A clean break between the two organisations gives us the best possible opportunity to take advantage of grant funding available to us.”


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