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Covid-19 has not stopped the Museum's volunteer workforce: an update from our Chairman.

Work over the winter has continued to focus on delivering on three of our strategic objectives. The first two are linked into the lease renewal negotiations with South Somerset District Council planned for later this year. The third is aimed at learning and developing how we, as the Museum, share our Collections, artefacts, and stories of Chard and district in a virtual form, namely our ‘Museum Without Walls’. No, this does not mean the Museum is closing. We have just set a goal of reaching and engaging with many, and more diverse audiences.

Alongside this update are a small number of images taken from Development Vision work undertaken by Chris Jones. It is important to reiterate that Chris's work was to create a vision, these images are just that, a vision. The next stage is to undertake a Public Consultation programme. This second phase of 50 Years and Beyond the Trustees are now working on

At our virtual AGM in November the Members voted to close the old Charitable Trust and pass the running of the Museum to the newly registered CIO. An important part of this has been a complete review and audit of our Policy and Procedures. There is still a little work to do but the plan is to finish this review process by the end of March. All of these are available for members scrutiny and comment.

The Collections and Visitor Experience Group have been working hard to update our Collections processes. This is so we can implement Modes an electronic catalogue system. This is not a short-term project but it will make it much more straight forward for the researchers, the general public and others to view artefacts that may not be out on public display or in the physical museum.

We have come to the end of the feasibility project funded the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF). This work has helped us better understand the future operating and building maintenance costs of either taking a new lease or buying the freehold of the site. The icing on the cake has been the visioning design created by museum design consultant, Chris Jones.

He has given us some inspiring visions of a possible future museum. As I mentioned earlier we will be seeking ideas during a public consultation programme later in the year.

Perhaps the most interesting and challenging programme was, in December when we worked with a Chard Consortium, led by the Town Council and Somerset Art Works to submit a bid to the High Street Action Zone Cultural Outreach project being funded by Historic England. As the local heritage organisation, we hope, if the bid is successful to work as part of the Consortium to deliver a series of integrated arts and heritage events scheduled through to 2024.

Vince Lean

Chair Chard Museum

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