By Leah Conway
Kirklees Council wants to know what the people of Huddersfield would like to see in a new museum and art gallery. To find this out, they have launched a survey, which is available to the public from 28 October until Monday 7 December 2020.
The plans for the museum and art gallery were part of the town’s regeneration blueprint that was published last year. It will be a new addition along with the recent announcements of plans for a National Rugby League Museum in the George Hotel.
The museums should complement each other and display Huddersfield’s remarkable and rich past.
The location of this new museum and gallery has not been decided yet, but it is thought it will be in the heart of Huddersfield.
To make the most of these plans, the council wants to hear the residents’ thoughts. Both the opinion of regular museum visitors and people who never go to museums is wanted.
This is part of a broader drive to gain public engagement by the council’s museum and galleries team. All these aims are to help with the regeneration project for Huddersfield and Kirklees.
The drive for public engagement is also part of a wider programme being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Resilient Heritage Programme. It is part of the ‘Bringing out the Best project’.
Its goal is to enhance the heritage of Kirklees. It is giving history and heritage a large focus in the strategic plan for the future of Kirklees.
Historical sites around Kirklees such as Oakwell Hall, Bagshaw Museum, and the existing Huddersfield Art Gallery and Tolson Museum are included in these plans.
Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Culture, said:
“Museums tell the story of us through both every day and more unusual objects. They provide a unique insight into how much towns and communities like ours have changed over time.
“We want to create museums that are fit for now and the future, which embrace new technology and reflects the diverse nature of our towns and its communities.
“We want to create places that people keep coming back to and that we can be proud of. We are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, whose support is helping us to work towards the development of a holistic strategy for heritage across Kirklees.”
David Renwick, Director, England, North at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Here at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we understand the importance of listening to communities to find out what heritage means to them and how it should best be reflected in our museums, collections and other heritage activities.
“We’re really pleased to support Kirklees Council’s ‘Bringing Out the Best’ project and ensuring it does just that for the people of Huddersfield. It’s fantastic news that these public surveys will ensure that Huddersfield’s rich heritage can play its rightful part in the town’s place making renaissance, and we’re proud to be investing in that too.”
The survey asks the public a range of questions; what would get you to a museum, what histories should be told, what should be shown about Huddersfield.
You can also pick up a survey at the historical sites around Kirklees: Tolson Museum, Bagshaw Museum, Oakwell Hall & Country Park Shop.
The results will be analysed, and the findings published in the early part of 2021.
You can fill in the online survey here at www.kirklees.gov.uk/mandg