Council will ponder plan for Porthcawl Museum

Porthcawl Museum is urging Bridgend Council to hand over their under-threat home so they can run it.

Museum volunteers are finalising a business plan which aims to prove to authority leaders that they do not need to sell off the old police station on John Street, but could pass it over to them to run.

Museum secretary Ceri Jospeh said the business plan will be presented to council for consideration ahead of the next full council meeting this month.

The authority had said it wanted to sell the building, which the museum and art society leases, as part of an asset sell-off plan to help plug a multi-million-pound hole in its finances caused by austerity measures implemented by the UK Government.

Ceri said: “We want BCBC to work with us, to give us a lease and let us do the rest.

“They won’t have to pay a penny on renovation. All we want is for them to say yes.”

She said that as a charity and a recognised museum, they can apply for numerous grants which will help them with the £200,000 worth of renovation work which needs to be done at the old police station, which opened in 1870.

A council spokesman said: “We’ll be happy to consider the new business plan and look forward to receiving it ahead of the next meeting of council.”

Ceri said the museum volunteers also have plans to develop the building so they can display more exhibits.

They would also like to work more closely with local schools to deliver information which corresponds with their curriculum.

But Ceri said that if the museum is forced to close, its 5,000 treasures – many of which are in storage upstairs in the museum – would either have to be returned to the original donors or could end up in any other museums across the UK, if they requested items.

Among the unique items held by Porthcawl Museum are:

The memorabilia and official record of the 49th Reconnaissance Regiment, which was formed in Porthcawl in 1942, including a book which is the only complete record of the regiment written by Major Harry Judge at the end of World War II.

The book tells the story of the 200 men who, between June 1944 and May 1945, fought from Normandy to Holland in Operation Overlord.

The bell from the Stalheim, a ship sunk by a mine off the South Wales coast in July 1940.

One of the chairs used during the investiture ceremony of Princes Charles at Caernarfon Castle in 1969.

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