AS Hoylake Lifeboat museum is forced to closed its doors, a new home has been found for its main exhibit.

Museum founder John Parr said he was "hugely disappointed" that Victorian lifeboat Chapman would be moving to an undisclosed location outside Wirral.

In an email to the Globe, Mr Parr said he had written to friends and supporters in early May to ascertain how much support there might be in keeping the museum, shutting its doors due to financial pressures.

He said there had been "insufficient interest" and thus no basis for the museum to continue.

He said: "The momentum which we built up in saving the old lifeboat station back in 2010 appears to have passed.

"I have made extensive enquiries in an effort to secure the Victorian lifeboat's future here. She is 114 years old and we shall not see her like again.

"Sadly none of those enquiries have been fruitful so in a few weeks time Chapman will leave Hoylake for a new home some distance from the Wirral.

"I am obviously hugely disappointed at the closure of the home-town museum I founded, having publicly expressed my concerns for its future on several occasions.

"I take no pleasure in being proved right but would instead prefer to thank those who worked so hard and made such a wonderful contribution."

The lifeboat museum has a troubled history.

The museum opened its doors to visitors in 2011, but financial difficulties and wrangling over its lease became evident.

A closure crisis was triggered in 2012 when the company which owns the building informed the museum's charity trust it must vacate the premises.

But a last-minute agreement was reached "subject to a few loose ends being tied up" and the crisis was averted.

The trustees were put under pressure again earlier this year when an online "steering group" announced it was attempting to take over the site and turn it into a 120-seat independent cinema and bistro.

The proposal raised eyebrows in the town, not least because the trustees knew nothing about it until they read of it on the internet.

However, it faded as quickly as it had appeared.

The museum hosted visits from schools and groups and it had been hoped it could bring in revenue as a learning facility.

But difficulties in securing sufficient funding left the Trustees with no other option but to close for good in May.