Museums Consultation

Page 1 of 7

Closes 18 Nov 2019

Museums Consultation pg1

Proposal 1: Reduce the Number of Museum Sites Run by the Council. 

Stockport Council proposes to: 

  1. Relocate the Stockport Museum family gallery to a more suitable and accessible location in Stockport Town Centre, make greater use of the War Memorial Art Gallery for displaying the Council’s other museum collections and close Stockport Museum in the Market Place.
     
  2. Offer local organisations the opportunity to run the visitor and refreshment facility at Chadkirk Chapel and for the Council to cease operating the museum offer at the site.

These proposed changes would save £40,000 of the overall £150,000 proposed savings for museums. 

Background

Stockport Council currently runs seven museums:

  • Air Raid Shelters
  • Bramall Hall
  • Chadkirk Chapel
  • Hatworks
  • Staircase House
  • Stockport Museum
  • War Memorial Art Gallery

Running seven sites across different locations requires a significant amount of management to make sure that all museums are appropriately staffed during current opening times and to respond to any issues at the different buildings.

The Council already has limited ability to change and refresh displays in its museums. This can discourage visitors returning to our sites after an initial visit because there is nothing new to see.

The Council proposes to focus on developing and improving those sites which are most important to defining Stockport’s identity as a town and which are most important as buildings in their own right. Hatworks, which has not changed significantly since it opened in 2000, requires improving and updating. To facilitate this, gallery spaces at the site will be temporarily closed from 30th September 2019 until mid/late 2020. 

The Stockport Museum building, which opened in 2005, does not play a major role in the town’s heritage. With the exception of the popular family gallery, the site has struggled to establish itself either with residents or visitors to Stockport. The family gallery is too small for the number of people who want to use it and access is poor, particularly for parents with small children.  It is proposed that a more suitable location is found for the family gallery, and that other key museum collections are displayed at the War Memorial Art Gallery. If this proposal is agreed, Stockport Museum would be closed once improvements at Hatworks have been completed.

Chadkirk Chapel is a popular refreshment facility for walkers, but its offer as a museum is limited. The site has been increasingly used as a venue for civil weddings in the past two years. 

The Council proposes to work with local organisations to see if they are interested in taking over responsibility for opening the Chapel to the public and operating the refreshment facility at the site. Under the proposal, the Council would no longer operate Chadkirk Chapel as a museum.

How far do you agree or disagree with the proposals to reduce the number of museum sites run by the Council?
What impact would reducing the number of museum sites run by the Council have on you?