Step forward for friends group

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A group that set out to save one of the jewels in Dewsbury’s crown has marked a vital step in their mission.

The Friends of Dewsbury Park Mansion put in an application to Kirklees Council to take over the running of the former Dewsbury Museum in Crow Nest Park after cuts to the council’s budget forced its closure.

And now the group has revealed it is in talks with the council and has reached the next stage of an ambitious plan to convert the Grade II listed building into a community hub with a focus on physical and mental health and well-being.

Jax Lovelock, from the group, said: “It has to be done.

“You look at our heritage – it is meant to be for the people of Dewsbury.

“If it doesn’t belong to the people then it isn’t be used for its purpose and if it was sold on commercially then that would be lost completely.” She said there were still talks to be had with the council and the group had to come up with a business plan but the move was a huge development.

The campaign group Save Red House is hoping to take a similar opportunity at the former Gomersal museum.

Anyone who takes over the two buildings will also need to find a way to generate income to keep them up and running.

An asset transfer of either building is expected to include a stipulation that the building is used for the benefit of the community, with the option of up to 30 per cent of it being used commercially.

The museums were closed last year by the council, as it battled to cut £531,000 from its museums and galleries budget.

The group’s website states it is looking for professionals with expertise in condition survey, design services, market research and business planning, and project management. Visit www.dewsburyparkmansion.uk.

An information evening on the plans with the chance for residents to give their suggestions will be held at Dewsbury Minster April 24, 6.30pm