Eastleigh Museum Closure
When is Eastleigh Museum closing?
Eastleigh Museum is closing to the public with effect from Friday 1 April 2022.
How long will it be closed for?
There is currently no timeline in place for when the museum will open again.
Why is the museum closing?
For a number of years, Eastleigh Museum has been operated as a partnership between One Community, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Hampshire County Council and Eastleigh Borough Council. It has been staffed by volunteers from One Community, who have used it as a central access point on the high street for its outreach services. The decision to close the museum has been taken following the relocation of One Community’s services to the Flourish shop in Eastleigh’s Swan Centre.
If it has been staffed by One Community, what has Hampshire Cultural Trust’s role at the museum been?
Hampshire Cultural Trust manages the collections relating to the town’s history at the museum and has also hosted a programme of temporary exhibitions.
Why is Hampshire Cultural Trust not taking over at the museum so that it can stay open?
We are unfortunately not in a financial position to support staffing the museum and meeting costs associated with running the front-of-house. While One Community have run both a shop and cafe from the museum, the revenue is not enough to allow us to continue to keep the museum open.
Is the museum closing permanently, then?
We hope not. We are in discussions with both Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council regarding our plans for the museum’s future.
What are those plans?
In the medium term, if we are able to agree a sustainable model for the museum going forward, we would like to re-open later in the year on a reduced hours basis whilst we fundraise and plan for a capital redevelopment.
What do you mean by ‘a capital redevelopment’?
We realise that the museum needs updating. We would like to seek funds to redevelop the museum: we would like to open up its frontage to make it more accessible and inviting, investing in the café and shop and continuing our work with community groups to reimagine the museum offer. A project of this type would be similar to others we have already undertaken or are currently working on at other venues that we manage in the county, such as The Arc in Winchester and Gosport Museum and Gallery in Gosport. Here, we have support from multiple funders such as Arts Council England, borough councils and Hampshire County Council and where we can, also invest ourselves. We are committed to doing the same for Eastleigh if we can find a long-term funding solution.
What is happening to your work with community groups?
Although the museum will be closing to the public, we will still be running our Story Group Project, which will be held at the museum.
What is the Story Group Project?
The Story Group project has been running for 12 months. It was set up to seek the voices of the local community on how Eastleigh Museum could become the focal point in the town where stories about the local area and its people could be showcased. Through work already undertaken on the project, the story group’s focus is on the development of a series of exhibitions, which would be co-curated by the community for the community.
Will the museum also be closed to school groups?
Yes, we will no longer be hosting school visits at the museum.
What is happening to the collections at the museum?
We will continue to care for the collections at the museum while it is closed.
What is happening to the services provided by One Community?
The services that were offered at Eastleigh Museum have all been transferred to the Flourish shop in Eastleigh’s Swan Centre
How can I contact One Community?
One Community can be contacted by email, firstname.lastname@example.org