North Herts Museum: Entrance owners suggest interim access

PUBLISHED: 08:48 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 26 January 2018

The would-be entrance to the North Hertfordshire Museum at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Harry Hubbard

The would-be entrance to the North Hertfordshire Museum at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Archant

The owners of 14/15 Brand Street, the entrance to the North Herts Museum in Hitchin, have said they might allow access while negotiations continue.

Hitchin Town Hall Ltd chairman Stephen Pike. Picture: Harry HubbardHitchin Town Hall Ltd chairman Stephen Pike. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Stephen Pike, chairman of Hitchin Town Hall Ltd – the charity originally set up to run the museum project – told the Comet today: “If we were to be approached by North Herts District Council for access while negotiations continue, we would look very favourably upon such a request, as a gesture of goodwill.”

A price of £550,000 was agreed last March for NHDC to buy 14/15 Brand Street from Hitchin Town Hall Ltd, but there is still no deal. Councillor Julian Cunningham said at Tuesday night’s NHDC cabinet meeting that this was down to Hitchin Town Hall Ltd trying to insert “impossible” conditions.

David Leal-Bennett, director of bankers HTH Finance Ltd, said: “This is a positive step from Hitchin Town Hall Ltd towards the outcome we all need. We welcome this initiative.”

Hitchin Town Hall and the building intended as the North Hertfordshire Museum entrance at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Harry HubbardHitchin Town Hall and the building intended as the North Hertfordshire Museum entrance at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Harry Hubbard

The next round of talks between North Herts District Council, Hitchin Town Hall Ltd and HTH Finance is set for next Friday, with David Fergus of the East of England Local Government Association set to represent NHDC.

A district council spokeswoman told the Comet: “We haven’t received this offer directly from Hitchin Town Hall Ltd. However, we are very happy to discuss it at our meeting next Friday.”

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