Fight for museum

CAMPAIGNERS concerned about the future of a museum took their case to North Hertfordshire District Council last week. Scilla Douglas, of the Hitchin Historical Society, and Ellie Clarke, of Hitchin Forum, spoke at North Hertfordshire District Council s ca

CAMPAIGNERS concerned about the future of a museum took their case to North Hertfordshire District Council last week.

Scilla Douglas, of the Hitchin Historical Society, and Ellie Clarke, of Hitchin Forum, spoke at North Hertfordshire District Council's cabinet meeting about the future of Hitchin Museum.

They spoke on behalf of a number of local groups including Hitchin Historical Society, The Hitchin Society, Hitchin Art Club, the Hertfordshire Medical and Pharmaceutical Museum Trust and the Arts Council for North Hertfordshire.

Among the concerns raised were that after two years of discussions with the council, it is still not clear what is being proposed for the town's museum.

One idea was suggested at last week's meeting in a presentation by David Rice of Hitchin Art Club. He showed how the museum could be extended on two floors, which might suit all of the museum's needs.

Ellie Clarke said: "The latest document to come out of NHDC, their Arts, Museums and Heritage Strategy, refers to future proposals for Royston, Baldock and Letchworth museums, but not Hitchin Museum.

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"We want the possibility of extending Hitchin Museum seriously considered.

"We believe this is a more sustainable, cost-effective and deliverable option than a new museum in an unknown location as the council has proposed."

A spokesman for North Hertfordshire District Council said: "When NHDC establishes the museums facilities working group later this year [a date has yet to be picked], we will be considering evidence on future museum needs. The contribution from the Forum will be included.