Museum to be 'rejuvenated, revamped, and refurbished'

PUBLISHED: 13:24 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 May 2010

A NEW home for Royston museum could be created on the site of the old priory cinema. Cllr Howard Marshall made the suggestion as members of North Herts District Council s Royston area committee discussed plans to rejuvenate, revamp, and refurbish the m

A NEW home for Royston museum could be created on the site of the old Priory Cinema.

Cllr Howard Marshall made the suggestion as members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee discussed plans to "rejuvenate, revamp, and refurbish" the museum, with the Royston tapestry as a centre piece.

The cinema site was purchased by North Herts Homes earlier this year, and has been earmarked for affordable housing.

However, after hearing that space is an issue in the current museum building, on Lower King Street, Cllr Marshall said: "It would be a long shot, but it's worth asking the question of North Herts Homes about the cinema site. As I am on the board [of North Herts Homes] I will make some enquiries."

At a meeting held last night (Wednesday June 17) the committee was given a presentation by Les Baker, vice chairman of the museum committee, who outlined a vision for the future of the facility.

He said: "Work will be completed on the tapestry within the next three years, and it has become clear that it will give us the opportunity to rejuvenate, revamp, and refurbish the whole museum.

"It is an opportunity that cannot be missed," he said.

The Royston tapestry, which will be 110-feet long when it is completed, is an embroidery in the style of the Bayeux tapestry. It depicts scenes from different periods of Royston's history.

Mr Baker said that the museum staff had already looked at a number of different ways of displaying the tapestry, and that they were hoping to purchase new display cases for the other exhibits.

He added that the museum committee were investigating a number of additional funding sources, including lottery money.

Confirming that space was "very tight" within the existing museum building, he said: "We are working on the basis that the building is there and we have to work around it."

Cllr Tony Hunter said: "The dream scenario would be for someone to give a new building to the town for the museum."

Committee chairman, Cllr Fiona Hill, congratulated museum staff on their work, and added that it was "an asset to the town", while Cllr F John Smith described it as "the most efficient museum in the whole district."

For more information on the museum, visit www.roystonmuseum.org.uk.

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