Lan­cashire mu­seum used in King’s Speech to close

Malta Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

A cot­ton mill mu­seum that ap­peared in the Os­car-win­ning film The King’s Speech will be closed to the pub­lic due to coun­cil bud­get cuts.

Queen Street Mill Mu­seum in Burnley is among five mu­se­ums owned by Lan­cashire County Coun­cil that will shut al­though they will open for school vis­its.

Along with Helmshore Mills Mu­seum, which will also close, the Burnley mu­seum is the last work­ing ex­am­ple of Lan­cashire cot­ton spin­ning and weav­ing.

The coun­cil plans to save £65m by 2018.

Coun­cil­lor Mar­cus John­stone, cabi­net mem­ber for en­vi­ron­ment, plan­ning and cul­tural ser­vices, said: “Clos­ing mu­se­ums is the last thing we want to do but the scale of the county coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial chal­lenge means we have to take these dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions in or­der to safe­guard ser­vices for the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Other mu­se­ums that will close in­clude the Mu­seum of Lan­cashire in Pre­ston, Fleet­wood’s Mar­itime Mu­seum and Judges’ Lodg­ings in Lan­caster.

Lan­cashire County Coun­cil orig­i­nally in­tended to close the five mu­se­ums in the spring but this was post­poned to al­low talks with groups in­ter­ested in run­ning them.

A coun­cil spokesman said the dis­cus­sions were still con­tin­u­ing.

More than 10,000 peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion to save the mu­se­ums at Queen Street and Helmshore Mills, say­ing they were “an ab­so­lute cor­ner­stone of Lan­cashire’s rich in­dus­trial her­itage” when the county played a key part in Bri­tain’s In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion.

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