Darwen museum dream one step closer as council bosses secure former HSBC building (From This Is Lancashire)
Darwen museum dream one step closer as council bosses secure former HSBC building
DARWEN could soon have its own ‘museum’ after the town council agreed a price to take over a former bank.
Darwen Town Council is looking to buy the former HSBC in The Circus and open it as Darwen Heritage Centre.
Negotiations have been ongoing for six months as the council looked for property in the town.
And a deal has been struck with the owner of the former bank, although it is subject to the usual surveys and formalities before the council officially takes ownership of the building.
Once it is complete, the centre will host exhibitions of historic Darwen memorabilia in conjunction with history and heritage group Darwen Days, and will also sell gifts and possibly refreshments.
Sunnyhurst councillor Brian Taylor has been driving the plans to find premises for the museum.
He said: “We will be borrowing the money to buy the building, hopefully over 10 years.
“It will be better than renting a building because it will cost just as much per month and after a decade it will be all paid up. I can assure Darreners this will not take a huge chunk of our annual budget, and we have £35,000 in reserve anyway.”
Coun Taylor said although the project was in its early stages, it could be a great thing for Darwen.
He said: “We will look to get volunteers in, possibly from Darwen Academy, and perhaps take on a part-time member of staff.
“It is a lovely building and it will be nice to get it back into use.
“It is ideal inside for being used as a heritage centre and there is a courtyard where we could put chairs outside in summer and sell drinks.
“This is exactly the sort of thing the town council should be doing and I think it is a fantastic project.”
Dave Owen, founder of Darwen Days, said: “It has been a dream of mine since we started Darwen Days to get a museum set up in the town.
“Darwen deserves this as there is a great deal of history here and we will do all we can to help get it up and running.”
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