Tolson Museum will be closed for around two weeks for a new boiler and heating system to be installed – but the future of the building remains uncertain just days after supporters celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The museum shut its doors on Monday (May 16) just two days after an event organised by the Friends of Tolson Museum to mark its centenary.
The Huddersfield collection housed at the museum in Ravensknowle Park in Moldgreen is set to be moved to the proposed new museum, planned for the Cultural Heart in Huddersfield town centre.
The mansion building and parkland was gifted to the people of Huddersfield by philanthropist Legh Tolson in memory of his nephews Robert Huntriss Tolson and James Martin Tolson, who were killed in World War One.
The museum was officially opened on May 27 1922 and a celebration, attended by descendants of the Tolson family and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, was held on Saturday.
Kirklees Council said the old oil-fired boiler would be replaced with a gas-powered system and the museum would be closed for around two weeks.
The “essential works” do not mean the museum is to remain at Tolson, however, and closure plans are still on the agenda.
Colin Parr, strategic director for environment and climate change, said: “The replacement of the existing outdated boiler system will not only provide more effective heating and hot water, making it a much more comfortable environment for everyone who visits and works there, but also reflects the council’s continued commitment to the climate emergency and improving energy efficiency within our buildings.
“Additionally, these works highlight our commitment as a council to ensure the building is maintained and fit for future use beyond its current function.”
The council is progressing plans for the existing grade II listed Huddersfield Library in the town centre to be refurbished and an extension added to transform it into a dedicated major new museum for Huddersfield, as part of the council’s vision for the Cultural Heart.
In the meantime, officers are continuing to work on an initial options appraisal for the future of the Tolson building which has a covenant instructing it must be used for educational or recreational purposes.
Mr Parr added: “Officers are working hard to determine a suitable use for the Tolson which honours the covenant, its status as an important heritage asset and ensures it remains firmly in the town’s future.”