Yesterday it was officially announced that our local museum is closing down and that the beautiful building and outbuildings are being sold off by Kirklees Council. For a town already in decline it is sad news indeed.
Dewsbury Museum is the oldest museum in Kirklees opened to the public in 1896. Housed in a stunning grade 2 listed building which sits in the centre of beautiful Crow Nest Park. Now the museum as it is could certainly do with some improvements, despite this my own children enjoy visiting and playing with the toys and seeing the Victorian classroom as it is now. If funded and marketed correctly Dewsbury museum could have been something special, it could have drawn people to the area to visit both the museum and the park. Instead they will be closing and selling both the building and surrounding outbuildings.
While I understand harsh government cuts have made things difficult for the council, it is a blow for the people of Dewsbury to have yet more things taken away when the very same council are spending huge sums of money in nearby Huddersfield to build a ski slope and a new gallery (among other things). It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to the people who have lived and worked in the area their whole lives, who have bought up their families locally and visited the museum and park with their children. Who like me have pushed their babies around the pond in prams, fed the ducks, played in the snow with their toddlers and collected conkers with their children.
Whateverthe building becomes next will likelyhave a huge impact on the park and how local people are able to enjoy the one of the nicest green spaces in our local area.
There is now a two week period for a business plan to be made to enable a voluntary running of the museum, but let's be honest two weeks is no time at all and rumour has it the deal is already done. There is a petition set up to try and save Dewsbury Museum, please spare a minute to sign and share it to help save our museum.