What is the 50 years and Beyond project? and What does it really mean?
An Overview by our Chairman, Vince Lean.
If you have been keeping up to date with our newsletters you will know that there have been lots of groundbreaking activities happening at the museum in this rather traumatic year. A new website, monthly newsletters, and a Virtual Museum.
More importantly there has been lots and lots of talk about renewing the lease in 2021, and even the possibility of buying the freehold of the museum from South Somerset District Council and owning our museum. In many ways there has been so much happening and in such a short space of time it is very easy for Members, Stakeholders and our Supporters to get confused with where we are, what we are trying to achieve and what decisions have to be made.
In an attempt to make it more understandable I am giving you my thoughts on what the important steps are, and when we hope they will happen.
By the end of October 2020, we will have received the building surveys and received outline ideas for a Museum re-design. This work was commissioned in August. The results will help us to understand the condition of the museum buildings, the risks of taking over the building lease and the possibility of how we improve the museum exhibits and the visitor experience
At the AGM in November we will ask Members to agree to the transfer of assets from the old charity to the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The rationale and benefits of this change is outlined in the Legal Status document.
Early in the new year (2021) and having received a business viability report we can start more detailed negotiations with SSDC on either a purchase price, a new lease or whether the Museum is sustainable in the long-term.
… and that is only the beginning. If we have the security of either owning the site or having a new 25 year lease we can then take the design concepts and turn them into a detailed design plan. This will give specialist architects designs for a new building layout and a complete refreshment of our displays.
This allows us to seek funds to start a visitor enhancement experience project. This will enable us to create and open a totally refurbished museum. So this is our starting point, an explanation of what we have achieved in the past five months, and clarity of our long term goals.
In October we will be running a number of small Focus Groups in the Museum or via Zoom. We will send details out via the October newsletter. You will need to book a place as we still need to maintain the safety of our Members and Visitors.
50 Years and beyond
Tim Burge has been appointed to be our Project Manager
TJL Associates will survey and make recommendations for an environmental friendly Museum
Hawkins Charity Consultancy will analyse all of the data and evolve a business sustainability plan.
Mark Godwin will complete further survey's on the buildings so we can build a maintenance and upgrade plan
Smith and Jones Design Consultants will research and develop several options to create a modern, visitor experience.