Plans in place for take over of museum sites

Friends of Dewsbury Park Mansion.
Friends of Dewsbury Park Mansion.

Groups hoping to takeover the former Dewsbury and Red House museum buildings have set out their initial proposals for the sites.

The Save Red House Museum and Gomersal Public Hall Group and the Friends of Dewsbury Park Mansion will submit statements expressing their interest in the buildings to Kirklees Council on Monday.

They will then wait to hear if they can progress with developing business plans for the respective museums, which were closed last year in a cost-cutting move by the local authority.

Initial plans for Red House include bringing it into community ownership with Gomersal Public Hall under a new charitable trust.

Coun Lisa Holmes, for Liversedge and Gomersal, said: “There are several buildings and a large outdoor area of all of which could deliver many new local amenities for Gomersal and surrounding areas.

“Clearly finance will be a factor, but what we are really seeking to do at this stage is to determine what is needed most by local people so we can prioritize resources.”

The trust aims to include reducing social isolation and giving teenagers a place to socialise safely, as well as finding a way to generate income.

They are asking anyone with ideas for the buildings to email rhm_gph@outlook.com

Initial ideas for Dewsbury Mansion in Crow Nest Park include creating a community venue with activity sessions and income-generating events.

Jenifer Devlin, co-chair of the Friends group said: “What we want is for the building to be a resource for local people where they can find activities which will help them to be happier, healthier, more creative, more knowledgeable and more empowered.”

The group said support for the venture had been “overwhelming”.

Co-chair Jax Lovelock said: “This is a strong endorsement of our efforts to secure the Community Asset Transfer of the mansion and manage it successfully for the benefit of the community, just as intended when it was gifted to the people of Dewsbury in 1893.”

To add your support to their plans, email jax.lovelock@dewsburyparkmansion.uk