By Brian Alexander, our representative on the Alton Museums Partnership Advisory Group
Hampshire County Council have issued the following statement regarding the future of the museums:
"The Alton Museums will be directly run by Hampshire County Council from 1 May 2014. The Museums have been run by Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust (HMGT) for the last three years. The change comes in response to a request from Alton Museums Partnership Advisory Group (AMPAG) for the County Council to take over the running of the Museums, in advance of the proposed move of the County Council Arts and Museums Services to become part of Hampshire Solent Cultural Trust (working title, HSCT) in partnership with Winchester City Council later in the year. Once the new trust is established it is AMPAG`s view that the Museums should then be run by HSCT.
East Hampshire District Council and Alton Town Council have agreed to fund the Museums for five years in partnership with County Council from 2014/15. This will help to provide the resources to keep the day-to-day operations going whilst the County Council will still look after the collection, provide exhibitions and a local learning offer for schools and others"
This is excellent news, but of course the Museums will still rely greatly on local volunteer help so members are urged to continue to help in this respect if they can. Please call in at the Curtis Museum for details.