Judges' Lodgings museum to reopen in Lancaster
Lancaster's Judges' Lodgings museum is to be reopened by Lancashire County Council.
The council’s cabinet agreed to reopen the museum for three days each week at a meeting on Thursday.
It will be open between Easter and the end of October for the next two years on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
County Coun Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council’s lead member for economic development and cultural services, said: “The council has been working hard to ensure that these museums are once again available to the public, with our efforts focused on talking with organisations which have expressed an interest in taking them on. In the meantime we’ve continued to maintain the collections and buildings.
“I’m pleased to say that the county council has agreed to reopen the museums for three days every week from Easter to the end of October each year.
The county council had been working with the Judges’ Lodgings Museums Trust about the future of the museum.
The care and maintenance regime that is in place will now be extended to make sure that the building and collection is properly cared for during the times of the year when the museum is closed.
County Coun Riggott added: “Our paramount concern has always been to secure the long-term future of the Judges’ Lodgings Museum, and the important collection it houses.
“We will continue to work with The Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings Museums Trust, to ensure that together we can ensure a successful future for the museum.”
The Judges’ Lodgings should re-open to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holiday on Saturday 21 July. This date is still provisional currently.
Lancaster city councillor Charlie Edwards had initially revealed the news on his public Facebook page.
He said: “Great news to announce today that after months of negotiations and great work from local campaigners, the Judge’s Lodgings, a unique and beautiful tourist attraction in Lancaster is to be re-opened by the Conservative Lancashire County Council.
“This is testament to all the campaigners who called for this unique part of Lancaster’s history to stay open, after it was closed by the previous Labour administration.
“It will be open three days a week for now, and the county council has committed to look into how they can further improve the museum.
“I’m totally committed to improving the cultural offering to make Lancaster the best city to live, work and study in the North West. Today is great news and ensures we continue to tell Lancaster’s amazing story.”
A rescue bid was launched in 2016 to save the Judges’ Lodgings museum after it became one of five council-run museums to be shut.
A group of campaigners applied to run the threatened museum and its garden themselves.
Throughout the care and maintenance regime at all of the museums, they have been available for school parties and for visits by other organised groups. School visits will continue to be offered at the museums each day, and not only on the days that they are open. This is to ensure that learning opportunities continue to be available for the benefit of young people, and their education.
For more information about Lancashire museums visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums