The axe has fallen on three Kirklees museums – so what is to become of the collections inside them?
On Tuesday Kirklees Council leader Clr David Sheard said the blame for the cultural cuts lay at the Government’s door.
The council is now considering its options for its historic collections, and with plans afoot to relocate the works of art from Huddersfield Art Gallery to new premises could they all move under one roof?
The Tolson Museum, which Kirklees Council describes on its website as “Huddersfield’s history book”, has collections depicting the town and its people from pre-history to present day.
Have a look at some of the weird and wonderful exhibits below
Dewsbury Museum, based in Crow Nest Park and the oldest of Kirklees’ museums, boasts a toy gallery, is also home to the Discovering Dewsbury exhibition which depicts the town’s foundations and how it has developed, and has space for visiting exhibitions.
While the Red House Museum at Gomersal is a former cloth merchant’s home with Brontë connections, and features artefacts on the history of the Spen Valley.
Where could the new museum and gallery be?
The old Co-op building on New Street, Huddersfield
The five-storey building opened as a Co-op Departmental Store in 1936 and was latterly used as a nightclub until its closure in 2004.
Kirklees listed it for sale and it is currently ‘under offer’ although the deal remains closely guarded.
See what the building now looks like inside
Could part of the building be transformed into a Huddersfield Museum and Art Gallery, housing collections from the three museums and art gallery, plus much more stored in Kirklees vaults?
Crown Court Buildings, Princess Street
The listed building was originally home to the West Riding Magistrates and was used by councillors and political party members until they relocated in July 2015.
The building is owned by Kirklees Council but would need big renovations.
Kirklees has long had a vision for transforming the Piazza area before the recession halted the re-vamp plans.
With empty shops available, such as the former BHS store, could they be refurbished to become a super museum and art gallery. Kirklees Council does not own the building, however.
The George Hotel
Once the home of the Rugby League Museum, the collection once on show at the St George’s Square hotel is on its way to a new home in Bradford.
Could the hotel, up for sale once more, become a unique museum combining all of Kirklees’ collections, plus the rugby league memorabilia? The hotel was re-listed for sale last year with a price tag of £3m.