Heritage centre’s library move ruled out

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The planned expansion and improvement of Sudbury Heritage Centre will not involve a switch to the town’s library.

Members of the town council’s leisure and environment committee ruled out the relocation during a meeting on Tuesday night.

The option of moving the museum, which is currently housed at the town hall in Gaol Lane, was discussed in September after proposals to enlarge the centre were revealed. This prompted councillors to look into a switch to the former Corn Exchange on Market Hill so it would be alongside the Tourist Information Centre (TIC).

But after reviewing the potential move, councillors decided it was not viable.

“It looks like there are more problems than solutions with a move to the library,” said councillor Peter Gray.

As the library is run by an IPS – a charitable trust which manages the county’s libraries – the town council would need to rent space in the building.

The Friends of Sudbury Library had also claimed there was no room in the building and a better option would be to relocate the centre, charting the town’s history, to an empty shop.

“My view is that we should keep it all at the town hall instead of going into the cost and hassle of moving it,” said councillor Lesley Ford-Platt.

Robin Drury, a member of the Sudbury Museum Heritage Trust, has produced sketched plans to expand the centre into a room left vacant at the town hall by the TIC’s switch to the library.

It is hoped this work would increase visitor numbers and make the museum more visible.

Nigel Bennett, councillor and heritage member, said he had never been in favour of shifting the centre to the library.

“The museum trust does not support a move to the library,” he said. “We’ve not changed our mind on this.”

Jack Owen said that there were too many “inherited” problems associated with a switch to the library.

Councillors agreed to press ahead with plans for the expansion at the town hall. The project would require Lottery funding to make it a reality.