Museum hours could be reduced

Red House Museum
Red House Museum
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SPENBOROUGH Guardian readers have condemned proposals to reduce opening hours at Red House Museum.

We revealed the museum was facing closure five days a week during winter months - and readers hit back on Facebook.

Carole Beal asked whether the proposals were the beginning of the end for the ‘little gem’.

She said: “We need to look at Spen Valley heritage. The museum is the only house open to the public that lets adults and children explore local history. If it closes throughout the week schools will be unable to visit and explore history of how Spen folk lived.

“We all need to air our views on how sad it would be if the house and gardens were left open to vandalism and neglect after years of being lovingly restored to what we as taxpayers have paid for. Will all be lost? Our children will have nothing but the internet to explore their history.”

Mark Hepworth said Kirklees Council needed to ‘wake up and become business minded’.

He said: “Red House would make a fab holiday let or bistro restaurant. It would involve private sector involvement and cash but the revenue could help the smaller, less (well) performing venues.”

Yvonne Butterworth said: “Kirklees Council needs to get wardens on the streets, and police their traffic laws. That would bring in far more money than closing places.”

The council is currently reviewing all its services to make savings following government cuts. Currently museums are open seven days a week all year.

A spokeswoman said the council was considering moving to a mixture of five or six days’ opening throughout the year for all sites, with early closing in winter for the main museums, and weekend only winter opening for Red House and Oakwell Hall.

Merran McRae, Kirklees Council’s director of wellbeing and communities, said: “The council values its cultural services highly and will seek to make any changes agreed at times when there is traditionally low public demand.”

A decision is expected on February 22.

l What do you think? Visit and search Spenborough Guardian to join the debate.