Volunteer action group submits takeover plan for Wirral's Williamson gallery

Williamson Art Gallery and Museum

Williamson Art Gallery and Museum

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A plan aimed at securing the future of the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum has been submitted to Wirral Council.

The scheme sets out proposals to takeover management of the Slatey Road gallery - but it warns “core funding” will still need to be provided by the town hall.

The local authority is in financial straits and needs to reduce spending by £44m over the next two years.

The council wants to end an annual subsidy of £400,000 shared between the gallery and Birkenhead Priory, and has given the volunteer group a year to formulate its management proposals.

Wirral Council’s cabinet last week voted to re-phase savings, allowing more time for the group to develop an alternative model.

However, the volunteers say providing adequate core funding in the medium-term will be essential in order to enable the new management partnership - working with National Museums Liverpool - to develop a successful business plan.

Professor Robert Lee, action group chairman, said: “I am pleased the Williamson will not close next year - but its future is not yet safe.

“This will depend on a commitment from the council to continue to provide core funding.

“While we understand the difficult financial position of the council, we will continue to press for an adequate funding base which needs to be agreed by the end of May.”

The group’s strategic plan is designed to develop the Williamson as a centre for artistic excellence and as a focal point for history and heritage.

It says the gallery will become a “community asset” which will contribute to the education, health and wellbeing of local people.

The future mission for the Williamson will be as: “The Gallery and Museum that transforms lives by bringing art and heritage to life.”

Julian Treuherz, a member of the group and a former Keeper of the Walker Art Gallery, said: “The Williamson has provided artistic inspiration for Wirral residents and visitors since 1928 and we want this to continue.”

Comments (7)

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10:47am Fri 21 Feb 14

Joeblogg85 says...

The difference in the manner in which this matter is being dealt with and the unfortunate Pony Club is astounding! It would be surprising if core funding was to be found as this was not given to previous asset transfer recipients. Good luck with it though as it clearly is a community asset worth saving.
The difference in the manner in which this matter is being dealt with and the unfortunate Pony Club is astounding! It would be surprising if core funding was to be found as this was not given to previous asset transfer recipients. Good luck with it though as it clearly is a community asset worth saving. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 2

11:06am Fri 21 Feb 14

the99% says...

The difference is frank field rallying the great and good of oxton,the friends group for being organised and campaigning well and that Williamson serves the whole of wirral as a cultural asset or perhaps being more realistic/cynical, might also be that Williamson hasn't got developer waiting to scoop up the land for 5 mill
Hope Williamson goes from strength to strength I love visiting with kids for craft sessions and seeing local unknowns get displayed alongside henry Moore etc
The difference is frank field rallying the great and good of oxton,the friends group for being organised and campaigning well and that Williamson serves the whole of wirral as a cultural asset or perhaps being more realistic/cynical, might also be that Williamson hasn't got developer waiting to scoop up the land for 5 mill Hope Williamson goes from strength to strength I love visiting with kids for craft sessions and seeing local unknowns get displayed alongside henry Moore etc the99%
  • Score: 2

11:26am Fri 21 Feb 14

woodyres2 says...

Yes it's interesting how this valuable asset can hopefully be saved with the proper support.

Let's hope it is not delayed for 3 years like the asset transfer of the Woodchurch Community Centre, despite the support & backing of Magenta Living.
Yes it's interesting how this valuable asset can hopefully be saved with the proper support. Let's hope it is not delayed for 3 years like the asset transfer of the Woodchurch Community Centre, despite the support & backing of Magenta Living. woodyres2
  • Score: 2

2:38pm Fri 21 Feb 14

FriendsWilliamson says...

For a summary of the strategic review go to the Friends of the Williamson blog http://friendswillia
mson.blogspot.co.uk/
2014/02/the-gallery-
and-museum-that-tran
sforms.html
For a summary of the strategic review go to the Friends of the Williamson blog http://friendswillia mson.blogspot.co.uk/ 2014/02/the-gallery- and-museum-that-tran sforms.html FriendsWilliamson
  • Score: 1

3:29pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hobroW says...

Not the Asset transfer fiasco which I could well havew whistleblown upon as with ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods and BIG.

It really was shambolic
Not the Asset transfer fiasco which I could well havew whistleblown upon as with ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods and BIG. It really was shambolic hobroW
  • Score: 1

7:51pm Thu 27 Feb 14

antisthenes says...

Why not turn it into a business centre and headquarter Wirral Chamber there?

Or convert into a community fire station to replace those to be closed?

Or how about a museum of Wirral Democracy; although come to think of it there would not be many exhibits to display!
Why not turn it into a business centre and headquarter Wirral Chamber there? Or convert into a community fire station to replace those to be closed? Or how about a museum of Wirral Democracy; although come to think of it there would not be many exhibits to display! antisthenes
  • Score: 1

7:55pm Thu 27 Feb 14

antisthenes says...

How about converting it into a business centre?

Or a community fire station?

Or a museum of Wirral Democracy?

Although we might be a little short on exhibits!
How about converting it into a business centre? Or a community fire station? Or a museum of Wirral Democracy? Although we might be a little short on exhibits! antisthenes
  • Score: 1

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