Derbyshire County Council stresses support for Buxton Museum following closure

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The leader of Derbyshire County Council has stressed the authority’s intention to maintain public access to important museum collections after indefinitely closing a Buxton heritage centre.

As previously reported, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, part of the Peak Buildings complex on Terrace Road, was shut on June 1 following the discovery of dry rot in the building’s timbers and floor joists.

The necessary investigation and remedial work cannot be completed with the building is open, and no timescale has been put on it, leaving the council looking at alternative ways to deliver the service.

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Council leader Barry Lewis visited the museum last week to speak to affected staff, and said: “Closing the museum and art gallery was a great disappointment but necessary so that this vital investigation work can be carried out. Until this is done we will not know the extent of the issues and what we are facing with regards to the building.

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, on Terrace Road.Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, on Terrace Road.
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, on Terrace Road.

“However, there is an absolute commitment to supporting the museum and securing the long term future of its collections.”

He added: “This will not be easy but we will do all we can to protect this valuable asset which has so many benefits to the local community, residents of Derbyshire and much further afield.”

Museum staff and colleagues from across the council have begun the process of removing artefacts and exhibits to suitable storage so that rooms can be cleared for the in-depth structural investigations to begin.

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They will also be working to ensure the service has a strong presence online while the museum is closed. The website already offers hundreds of articles about collections, virtual exhibitions and a regular blog, with activity ideas and resources for educational use.

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Derbyshire County Council leader Barry Lewis.Derbyshire County Council leader Barry Lewis.
Derbyshire County Council leader Barry Lewis.

Further announcements are expected to follow on a new online museum shop and donation page to support its work.

People are also being encouraged follow the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery page on Facebook, or @BuxtonMuseum on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

The temporary closure has led to the cancellation of the 39th annual Open Art Exhibition which was due to open later this month.

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