Favouritism claim of museum campaigners

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a much-loved museum have called for a town-wide heritage review after claiming that a borough council was “obsessed” with one particular attraction.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a much-loved museum have called for a town-wide heritage review after claiming that a borough council was “obsessed” with one particular attraction.

Supporters of the Manor House Museum in Bury St Edmunds have claimed that more money should have been invested in the building before it closed earlier this year.

And they said they were “astonished” that St Edmundsbury Borough Council was spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on the West Stow Country Village and Anglo Saxon Village.

Council chiefs last night hit back, claiming the village facility attracted 10 times more visitors than the Manor House.


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Campaigners who have fought tirelessly to save the Grade I listed museum, which housed major watch and clock collections as well as fine and decorative art, said they were dismayed at the perceived favouritism.

Simon Pott, a member of the Manor House Museum Trust, said: “We hear that the council is to spend all this money on West Stow which they seem to be obsessed with.

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“But in terms of modern sustainability, the attraction suffers from being out in a village while public transport is just off the radar.

“We would prefer to see a full-blown town heritage review and some longer term views so we can all understand what is going on.”

The borough council closed the Manor House in March and plan to turn the site into luxury flats.

A spokesman said: “An extensive heritage review of the entire service was carried out during last year and showed us West Stow Country Park and Anglo-Saxon Village attracts around 125,000 visitors each year, compared with 11,000 at the Manor House Museum.

“Investing in a new building will encourage even more people to the site and means our collections could be enjoyed by even larger audiences.

“As part of the Heritage Review, improvements will also be made to the service offered at Moyse's Hall, which attracts good numbers of visitors due to its town centre location.”

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