The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon is under threat of closure. The Museum, which was set up in 1962, is earmarked for closure from the end of 2014. The Friends of the Cromwell Museum are determined to prevent this if at all possible. Please support the campaign.
The Museum is run and funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, which like all local authorities, has to make significant budget reductions. The County’s Business Plan for 2014-19 contains a reference to the planned closure of the Museum from 2015-16 to achieve a saving of £20,000. The County Council’s case for the complete withdrawal of support is based on the need to make savings and the fact that the provision of the Museum is not a statutory requirement.
The Friends of the Museum are opposed to the closure on the grounds that it would be a significant loss, locally, regionally and nationally, and that the level of savings proposed is miniscule compared to the authority’s budget as a whole. The County does many things which are equally non-statutory, from the provision of ‘real-time’ bus information on bus stops, to a Mediatheque at Cambridge Central Library. Many other local authorities provide museum services to a far greater extent than Cambridgeshire because they recognise their cultural and economic value. The Friends believe that the Cromwell Museum contributes to the County Council’s wider objectives, and should continue to receive support.
The budget proposals also refer to the option of transferring the Museum to another operator. The Friends support an initiative to investigate this option further, but are not optimistic that an alternative will be found. The Friends urge the County Council to guarantee support for the Museum, at no less than the current level, for five years, unless and until, another viable means of operating the Museum is in place.
If the Museum is to be saved for the future it is critical that concerns are raised now. Join the campaign to save the Cromwell Museum.
I have visited Huntingdon more than once & hope to visit again this year, staying in local hotel, the Cromwell museum being the only reason for my visits. The museum is the most important historical place to learn about one of the greatest soldier statesmen of England. The fact that it is housed in the school building he attended makes it all the more important as a museum. It is a wonderful educational service and one of the great drawcards to Huntingdon for tourists. I am an Australian and some of my heritage is tied up with English history and would probably not been aware of Huntingdon if not for the Cromwell museum. In my opinion it would be a disaster for the town and the area if the museum closed and I can’t understand why Cambridgeshire Council would want to close such an important historical venue when history & heritage of Britain is so respected by so many.
So many local governments seem to just count the pennies and forget about the importance of services and institutions. As the custodians of such historical institutions local governments have an obligation to preserve small museums and other heritage sites.
Thank you very much for your support Jil. We are really pleased to hear that you find the Museum such a useful resource and thank you also for highlighting the economic contribution visitors to the Museum make to the town of Huntingdon.