Thursday, July 10, 2014

Northampton Borough Council issue a statement over the sale of Sekhemka

Northampton Borough Council (NBC) has issued a statement over the sale of the statue of Sekhemka for over £15 million (Thursday 10 July 2014, press release). NBC hopes to retain c. £8 million for the museum development project that they expect to cost £14 million (see here).

This means that NBC will be needing to attract some £6 million worth of funding. The press release tells us:
"The Borough Council is in the process of developing a funding package to take the extension forward, including putting together a bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund."
In other words, NBC are expecting to look to the Heritage Lottery Fund to provide a large portion of the additional funding. But there is a great demand for these funds, and the HLF panel have the potential of not looking too kindly on what has happened in Northampton (and especially against the advice of the Museums Association).

The press release also suggests that the Borough Council has realised that the accreditation of the museum service has been jeopardised by the sale:
The Council is also continuing to talk to the Arts Council about museum accreditation.
If accreditation is suspended it probably means that the museum development project will have to be halted and the sale of Sekhemka will have been for nothing.

And the residents of Northampton will have missed out twice over.

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