Porthcawl Museum saved as council strikes deal over its Grade II-listed home

A deal has been reached to secure the future of Bridgend county borough’s only museum.

Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed a leasing arrangement with the Porthcawl Museum and Arts Collaboration Group so that they can continue to be based at the Old Police Station in John Street, Porthcawl, until March 2017.

And to help safeguard the future of the building, the council is working with the group to develop a business case to run the former police station sustainably so that the Grade II listed building can be handed over as part of a Community Asset Transfer.

Featuring both Porthcawl Museum and Porthcawl Arts Society, the group has plans for how the facility can be improved and for encouraging greater use.

Other historic buildings

The council has already successfully used Community Asset Transfers to ensure other historic buildings in the county borough remain in public use, for example the former Bridgend town centre library building which now serves as Carnegie House, an arts and culture hub and home for Bridgend Town Council.

The deal has been reached after Bridgend County Borough Council announced that the Old Police Station was no longer required for the delivery of tourism services.

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Councillor Mike Gregory, cabinet member for resources, said: “I am delighted that we have reached this agreement with the Porthcawl Museum and Arts Collaboration Group and hope that they can make a long-term success of the building for the benefit of the wider community.

“Once the premises became surplus to council requirements, we deferred its sale for as long as possible so that we could look at alternatives which would prevent the loss of the museum.

“The Porthcawl Museum and Arts Collaboration Group has already demonstrated their commitment to the project and will now have a suitable period of time in which to fully investigate future sources of funding.

A valuable commodity

“We will continue to work closely with them as they seek to develop a business case that demonstrates long-term sustainability. Once this is in place, we will be pleased to give them the opportunity to take on the building via a Community Asset Transfer.”

Paul Joseph, Chairman of the Porthcawl Museum and Arts Collaboration Group, said: “This is excellent news and I would like to pay tribute to all the volunteers and members who support both societies as well as our local and international visitors.

“As we want to protect this valuable commodity, Porthcawl Museum and Porthcawl Arts Society have formed an official collaborative group to jointly make certain that the transfer of the Old Police Station goes ahead for the mutual benefit not only of Porthcawl, but for the wider county borough as well.

“This major collaborative step forward has also been greatly assisted by Porthcawl Town Council with additional support from Bridgend town councillor Bob Burns, who was instrumental in the asset transfer process for Carnegie House.

“We are now preparing a sustainable business plan which will incorporate issues such as grant proposals, marketing and long term planning to ensure that the Old Police Station can continue to serve the community for many years to come.”

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Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/porthcawl-museum-saved-council-strikes-9748256