South Somerset District Council has revealed that it is in talks to open an “innovative and versatile new space” in the center of Yeovil.
The council is in the early stages of discussions with Yeovil Art Space regarding the potential new location.
The “first concept” is to provide funds for a shared space where art and heritage objects can be exhibited “to celebrate the culture of our region”.
A council spokesperson said: “By combining art and heritage, we all hope to inspire a range of community and educational projects and also provide new opportunities for volunteering and employment.
“Yeovil Art Space is an ambitious and innovative organization and we look forward to developing the idea with them and welcome the participation of all those interested in the heritage of the region. “
The heritage elements would be those of the Community Heritage Access Center (CHAC) at the Lufton Depot of the South Somerset District Council, on the outskirts of town.
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The objects were moved from the Museum of South Somerset, based in the former Hendford Manor shed in Yeovil, when it closed in 2011.
CHAC is described on the Somerset Museums website as a ‘museum store’ but still allows visitors by appointment ‘to see anything from gloves, industrial machinery and paints, to bottles of poison and firearms ”.
It comes after the absence of a Yeovil museum in the city center was criticized by Yeovil historian Bob Osborn, who started a petition to restore such a space.
Mr. Osborn described the CHAC space as a “glorified storage shed”, with the Yeovil collection “piled up in no apparent order”.
He said the city deserves a full-fledged museum, especially since many surrounding towns, such as Crewkerne and Chard, have their own dedicated museum spaces.
He said: “A lot of people, when visiting a city, will invariably visit its museum, but Yeovil currently cannot offer such an attraction.
“With such a fantastic story through the ages, it’s a disgusting shame that our heritage is hidden, regardless of the cost savings. Sure enough, Yeovil doesn’t have a museum anymore, but he certainly deserves one.
The council confirmed that there are currently no plans to find new premises for the CHAC.
The spokesperson acknowledged that the current location is “far from ideal”, but that they are devoting efforts to developing an online archive offering.
They said, “Our wonderful collection is kept in superb air-conditioned and pest-protected facilities and these conditions will not be reproducible without a significant cost.
“However, we recognize that the location in a commercial area is less than ideal for encouraging visitors.
“Our current work revolves around the development of new web pages, so that we can create new digital archives so that more people can see, appreciate and discover the fantastic stories of our local heritage.
“An online archive would also open the collection to a wider audience, who may not have considered visiting a museum before.”
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The council noted that before the coronavirus pandemic, they saw an increasing number of foreign visitors seeking to learn more about the ancestors who lived in the city.
The heritage coordinator at the CHAC site, alongside volunteers, organizes exhibitions for Yeovil City Council and Yeovil Library cases.
The spokesperson concluded: “Across Somerset, the South West Heritage Trust is doing an incredible job supporting heritage and museums.
“The community museums of Chard, Crewkerne and Bruton (to name a few) all exist to display and manage local collections and are run by dedicated teams of volunteers.
“If there was a proposal for a community museum in Yeovil, run by volunteers, I’m sure our agents and representatives from the SW Heritage Trust would be happy to discuss how to set up a new community museum and all that. involved.”
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This notice was published: 2021-06-16 10:14:18