Hope on horizon for museum and gallery

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The FUTURE of a town’s museum looks brighter after its supporters secured funding for a key study.

Bradford Council has agreed to support a community group to fund a feasibility study to consider the future of the Ilkley Manor House museum and art gallery.

The New Manor House Group, who had asked for support for the feasibility study, is made up of local residents who want to find ways to fulfil the museum’s full community potential after Bradford Council announced earlier this year that its funding would be withdrawn from spring of 2015.

Ruth Pitt, chairman of the New Manor House Group, said: “Everybody now agrees that before any decisions can be made about the future of the manor house we need to find out exactly what the town might want from this fantastic building and whether or not any emerging plans are financially viable.

“The New Manor House Group is looking forward to working with a specialist organisation that can come back to us with some firm facts and figures as well as a real vision for how the building can serve the town in the future.”

A steering group will be formed to oversee the feasibility study and Bradford Council says it plans to put out a tender for the work soon.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for culture, skills and employment, said: “The council has been working hard with local groups and the parish council to support and encourage responses from the community with regard the future of the manor house. I am pleased that we can now support the next stage of development, which will be crucial in informing the future of the site.”