Museum to
go under
the hammer

A MUCH-LOVED heritage museum is going under the hammer after a campaign failed to find a new organisation to run it following public funding cuts.

Wakefield Council bosses launched a bid to find new management for Clarke Hall Museum, a 17th century gentleman farmer’s house, following the withdrawal of the educational museum’s designated school grant last year.

Coun David Dagger, the council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “We do not have the money to run Clarke Hall as a council facility and we have not been able to find a relevant organisation to run it, even though we were willing to provide a subsidy.

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“We recognise the hall is much loved by generations of schoolchildren across West Yorkshire but in recent years school visits have dwindled, along with the funding they generated.

“We appreciate all the work done by the Friends of Clarke Hall and their campaign to save the hall from closure and can fully understand their disappointment at this decision.

“But at the end of the day we simply cannot afford to keep it open and no one has come forward with a viable proposal to keep it open.”

Jacqueline Ryder, chair of the Friends of Clarke Hall, said the group was “devastated”. She added: “We are proud to have supported the internationally-recognised work that has gone on at the hall over the last 30 years.”