Council leaders poise to decide fate of Ilkley's Manor House Museum

Ilkley Gazette: Chairman of Friends of the Manor House, John Cockshott Chairman of Friends of the Manor House, John Cockshott

Bradford Council leaders are poised to decide the fate of Ilkley’s Manor House Museum when they determine their budget.

Sweeping cuts to Bradford district public spending are expected when the council meets to determine its budget for 2014 to 2016.

The final budget proposals were being put before the full council today, Thursday, February 20.

It is hoped the council will accept a £13,000 rescue plan suggested by Ilkley Parish Council to keep the threatened Ilkley Museum open for at least another year.

Ilkley Parish Council chairman and Ilkley ward councillor, Mike Gibbons, suggested the deal to fellow parish councillors last week, following negotiations with Bradford Council officers in a bid to prevent the museum being closed this April.

Parish councillors have yet to agree the £13,000 contribution, but members last week indicated they were keen to pursue the debate.

Councillor Gibbons is hopeful the deal will be accepted by Bradford Council and incorporated into next week’s budget.

He said: “It’s my hope that the rescue package that we’ve put together will be successfully received by Bradford, and go through the Budget, so that we can start to put together a strategic package for the future of the Manor House, which is essential for its continued success.”

Support group The Friends of the Manor House are also hopeful the deal will be accepted – giving the community another 12 months to come up with a plan to secure the Museum’s future.

Chairman John Cockshott says Bradford Council has commented on the high response rate it had received in comments about the Manor House, The Gazette urged Ilkley residents to speak out about the future of the Manor House as part of Bradford Council’s consultation on its budget proposals.

The Friends are also encouraging people to have their say on a draft Cultural Plan for the Bradford District, which the Council is currently revising.

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