A MOVE which will secure the future of one of the city’s popular museums will see Worcester City Council take the unusual step of extending a lease – for 999 years.
A report to members of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee explains the decision to extend the lease on the Tudor House Museum has been made by officers under delegated powers, in consultation with the Joint Leaders of the Council.
Back in 2008, the Council approved a 125-year lease of the Grade II listed property to Worcester Municipal Charities CIO to enable Worcester Heritage and Amenity Trust to operate the property as a museum and heritage centre, to ensure it was retained as a facility for public use.
The report to the Policy and Resources Committee, to be considered on Tuesday (December 19), says since the initial lease was agreed, the Trust has invested £93,500 in the property and the property has been kept in good repair. The Friar Street museum, a beautiful 16th century building, is now well-established as a tourist destination.
An extension of the existing lease to a period of 999 years has been proposed to fulfil both the Trust’s desire to secure the long-term future of the museum and the council’s aims of retaining it as an asset for the local communities in Worcester and for visitors to enjoy.
Councillors Lynn Denham and Marjory Bisset, joint leaders of Worcester City Council, said:
“We are delighted to be taking the unusual step of extending the lease on the Tudor House Museum for 999 years as a demonstration of our long-term commitment to the museum – it is a well-run and popular venue and this arrangement will mean it can be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Paul Griffith MBE, chairman of Worcester Municipal Charities, which will hold the new lease, said:
“I would like to express absolute delight on our behalf and also on behalf of the Worcester Heritage and Amenity Trust who run the museum with two part-time staff and an amazing army of volunteers.
“The generosity of the City Council in granting a new lease lasting 999 years will give both charities the confidence to go on investing time and money in the museum and improving the facilities there for visitors and the host of schoolchildren who want to learn about Tudor Worcester.
“We already have plans to build a new visitors and education centre behind the museum and need to start raising the funds to pay for it.”