SUPPORTERS of Malton Museum are being urged to 'grasp the nettle' and make the dream of finding a permanent home a reality.

A consultation has identified the old Golden Fleece pub site in Malton market place as best suited as a location to take the museum forward.

The property will enable the museum to exhibit its collections and expand its tourist offering has been identified.

The Golden Fleece is a Grade II listed building so any changes made will be sympathetic to the history of the building.

Museum Chair Phil Crabtree said the cost of the move would be around £4m and the museum will need to employ specialist fundraisers to apply for grants and donations to fund this

"The building has been vacant for many years but was once an important community hub, particularly on market days.

"This means the museum will benefit from increased exhibition space, space for storage of exhibits on site and will be an improved part of Malton and Norton’s tourist offering and help generate increased footfall to local businesses. It is also anticipated that this will enable the museum to attract more items on load from other museums as well. Disabled access to the museum will also be key to the new site.

Phil said the decision was made against a number of criteria including cost, position in the town and suitability of the premises for a long term lease and other potential uses."

“The Trustees and stakeholders all support the Fleece as a site, and we will now look to approach funders to make this dream a reality This will not happen overnight and will be a formidable challenge for everyone involved with the Museum. But other Museums have achieved similar challenges. We now need to grasp the nettle."

The move is also supported by the property owners Fitzwilliam Estates who are keen to see Malton further develop economically and as a tourist destination.

Rebecca Wilkins, head of estate for Fitzwilliam Estates in Malton said: “The Estate is supportive of the museums work with consultants Purcell, Chana Projects, and Hayley Sharpe Design. This work has identified opportunities for the museum to move forward with a creative, innovative, and an inspiring strategy that includes options to physically relocate the museum.

The consultants have identified a preferred property, and this is a building owned by the Estate. The Estate would be pleased to work with the museum and their appointed consultants to explore the fundamentals and feasibility of a proposal and what is needed to achieve a successful outcome.”

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