Trustees take over Usk Museum
7:30pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
USK Museum will be handed over to its Trustees after Monmouthshire council decided to sell the historic site last month.
The Trustees have already made substantial improvements such as restoration of the inside of the barn, building two more barns and a community room as well has introducing a coffee shop and visitor merchandise.
Buying the museum will enable them to modernise and develop the building. Plans include a new purpose-built visitor centre with the help of a grant and using a small area of the car park, which equates to one parking space, to build a new entrance for which they have planning permission.
The museum houses a collection of more than 5,000 artefacts from hand tools to agricultural machinery, as well as specialist collections which portray rural life in Monmouthshire over a century between 1850 and 1950. It is said to have the best collection of its kind in Britain.
The 19th century malt barn and adjoining buildings and attracts between 1,600 and 2,860 visitors, including groups and schools, each year and is managed by a group of trustees and run mainly by volunteers, who clock up more than 5,000 hours a year.
Museum secretary, Rita Edwards said it is an exciting time for the museum.
Paying tribute to Abergavenny farmer and antiquarian, Bill Powell whose vision and enthusiasm in preserving artefacts led to the founding of the charity-based collection in Llanvapley Hall in 1966 and to Lady Euphan Hanbury-Tenison who campaign to find its current home, she said: “This will create a community amenity for Usk and district for generations to come.”
The council’s estates manager, Debra Hill-Howells, said: “Usk Rural Life Museum is an exemplar illustration of how communities working together with a shared vision can safeguard their local heritage whilst developing a resource for the benefit of local communities and visitors alike.”
“The trustees are working towards museum accreditation and we are confident that they will continue to operate and develop a much valued service and resource.”
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