Future plans for Red House

TWO groups safeguarding the future of Red House Museum have been set up.

Friends of Red House Museum voluntary support group has been formed for members of the public to join.

Members can become involved in the maintenance of the grounds at Red House, volunteer at events and provide assistance to employees in and outside the museum.

A working party has also been set up to look at a business plan for the future of the museum.

Members include councillors, staff, campaigners and people with expertise in business.

Campaigner Gordon North said: “Friends of Red House is a long term arrangement and is a similar thing to the Friends of Oakwell Hall.

“It’s for people who wish to be involved with the museum on a day to day basis to support it.

“It could include things like gardening and showing people round the museum and helping at events, but there is to be a very clear line between full time employment and volunteering.

“Volunteers will be doing duties to complement work the paid staff are doing.

“They will be able to suit themselves, spending as long or short a time as they like. It will be tailored to what each individual wants to do.

“The working group will be fairly short term – it’s looking for ways forward for the museum, including marketing, trying to get visitor numbers up and ways of raising money.”

Gordon said the publicity surrounding Kirklees Council’s threat to close the museum under its 2012 budget had ‘vastly’ brought up visitor numbers – but he said people living locally still did not know it was there, and more needed to be done to encourage people to come to the museum,

He said: “Friends of Red House will be a way of getting people involved.

“Red House is saved, I have no doubt about that, it’s now just how it’s going to evolve.

“It has always been a wonderful asset but it has been undersold. Now we can’t afford to keep it a secret.”

From June 1, entry will cost £2.50 for adults, £1 for children and £6 for families. Kirklees Passport holders will get a 50 per cent discount.

To join Friends of Red House, phone the museum directly at 01274 335100 or email d.house@kirklees.gov.uk.