The way forward for the historic Lawrence House in Launceston and the long-awaited reinstallation of the town’s museum has been resolved by the town council.
Speaking after the full town council meeting on Tuesday, August 15, the Mayor Cllr Helen Bailey told the Post: “The council received a presentation from David Scott who has been working voluntarily alongside officers on the vision for the building and the museum collection going forward. It was resolved that the current flat would be made smaller and moved to the basement level of the building, there will still be display and access to the garden on the basement level. The moving of the flat allows more display space in the House for the collection and storage. Permissions will be sought for some partition walls that were added later to be removed to make a larger room which will hopefully be able, along with other spaces to be used for meeting room hire and corporate events developing an income stream to help fund future repairs to the building. The kitchen will be moved to the ground floor level and the attic space will still contain office space but also will be for display as well in some areas.
“Dual use of the spaces allows for educational groups to utilise the building and this will be developed further if funding can be secured for the Coach House linked with the house to be turned into an education centre for use of schools, colleges etc.”
An employed position has also been agreed. The operative would work for the council and the job role would incorporate a curatorial and management position, overseeing the museum and other historic buildings the council is responsible for. The museum will continue to be accredited with support from sponsorship from outside expertise as a guide curator.
Cllr Bailey continued: “The council also resolved to speak with the National Trust on the lease and that suggested changes need to be made on the terms and this is now going forward.
“These may seem like radical changes to some, but for the future of Lawrence House, putting in a funded and a structured repair plan going forward, along with developing what this great asset is and the expertise of the staff and volunteers will ensure it will go from strength to strength incorporating technology to ensure accessibility and inclusion for everyone wishing to visit or use the building.
“The officers of the council will now meet with the project manager and builders to put the agreed plan into action and this will then in turn give a timescale for completion of works and we will then be able to look at the plan for getting the collection back into the House in liaison with the museum management committee and the appointed manager.”