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Museum bid goes under the spotlight

PUBLISHED: 13:58 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:22 23 August 2010

A MUSEUM could reopen in the borough after the council agreed to carry out a feasibility study into a new facility. At a Gravesham Borough Council cabinet meeting on Monday, it was recommended that a feasibility study into providing a museum would go ahe

A MUSEUM could reopen in the borough after the council agreed to carry out a feasibility study into a new facility.

At a Gravesham Borough Council cabinet meeting on Monday, it was recommended that a feasibility study into providing a museum would go ahead, at a cost of £9,700.

Two years ago, the museum in the Old Town Hall, High Street, Gravesend, closed its doors, and months later a "virtual" museum was set up on the internet.

The council report which was heard at the cabinet meeting, said that although Kent County Council (KCC) does not want to increase the number of museums which they are currently responsible for, they are happy to help districts achieve their ambition.

A spokesperson for Gravesham Borough Council said: "The report was approved and the feasibility study will go ahead.

"We have had various meetings with several people from Kent County Council, and these have been very positive.

"They have agreed to help us achieve our aspirations for a museum back in the borough."

The meeting heard that council bosses had visited the Kaleidoscope Centre in Sevenoaks, which houses a town library, tourist information, gallery space and also the Reminiscence Centre in Blackheath, which operates as a national reminiscence training and resource centre hosting a museum of everyday life in the first-half of the 20th century.

KCC also indicated that funding for such projects was very hard to achieve, but said that projects such as information posts at locations along the Thames could help to attract external funding.

The report added that they would look at employing a consultant to carry out the project.

It continued: "It is important that we employ an experienced consultant to prepare a feasibility study on the creation of a Gravesham Museum, which asses the viability of such a project, identifies sites, and sets out likely capital and revenue costs."

Since the closure of the Gravesham Museum in early 2008, some objects were relocated to the Chantry Heritage Centre in Commercial Place, and the Towncentric tourist centre in St Georges Square.

To access the current virtual museum, visit www.discovergravesham.co.uk.

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