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Art, Museums and Heritage Forum

On 3 September 2012 Hitchin Museum and Letchworth Museum, the two museums run by North Hertfordshire District Council, were closed to the public. The collections of the two museums will merge to form a new North Hertfordshire District Museum. This is scheduled to open on part of the Hitchin Town Hall site, to the right of the main Mountford Hall, in 2015 in collaboration with Hitchin Town Hall Ltd, who will be responsible for managing the Hall following refurbishment.

Background

In 2004-5, North Hertfordshire District Council undertook a Fundamental Service Review (also known as a Best Value Review) of its Museum Service. Although the Review found that visitors greatly valued all aspects of the service (Hitchin Museum & Art Gallery, Letchworth Museum & Art Gallery, the Education Service with its School Loans scheme, and the Archaeology and Natural History services), the two museums were both described as unfit for purpose and the Burymead Resource Centre as outdated and inefficient.

The Review had five main recommendations towards providing a better service for the whole district, which were as follows:-

  • To develop a Museum/Cultural Strategy
  • To develop a new museum store/resource centre, possibly in partnership with other local museums
  • To improve the School Loans scheme with partnership working
  • To use IT to digitise the museum collections
  • To close the two existing Council-run museums and instead run a museum and gallery on a single town-centre site, with a saving of £125,000.

Original proposals

To view the two different schemes for the conversion of Hitchin Town Hall that were originally considered, please follow the link to the AMH Forum on the left, then scroll down to Presentations, 28 April 2010.

Plans and Documents

Please follow the link in the sidebar for other core documents.

To receive regular updates, please join The AMHF mailing list by contacting Ros.Allwood@north-herts.gov.uk