Kirklees museums axed

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Three of five museums in Kirklees, Yorkshire, are set to close after the local authority approved funding cuts.

Dewsbury Museum and the Red House Museum at Gomersal could close by the end of October, and Tolson Museum in Huddersfield is expected to shut when alternative display space for some of its local history collections is found. Huddersfield Art Gallery is also expected to be relocated, while Oakwell Hall and Bagshaw Museum in Batley are expected to remain open.

Tolson Museum, set in a Victorian mansion in Knowle Park, Huddersfield, was given to the town in memory of two brothers, Robert and James Tolson, killed in the First World War. Ann Denham, chairman of the Friends of Tolson Museum, told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner: “I understand the need to rejuvenate Huddersfield town centre but this is not the answer. It’s difficult to see how abandoning a building that they own is going to save money compared to creating a new one ”.

The closures are part of Kirklees Council’s plan to cut its cultural budget from £1.2m a year to £321,000 by next April.

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