The fate of Lincoln’s Usher Gallery remains in the balance as Lincolnshire’s County and City councils battle for control.
The County council has been trying to close the Usher gallery in order to save money and relocate their birth, marriages and death registration office to the heritage site.
City of Lincoln council on the other hand wish to see the gallery remain open and restored to its former glory.
This week City council offered free accommodation for their new office in the city hall, but the county council declined their offer.
County Council leader Martin Hill was grateful for the offer but ultimately said that it did not support their “vision of long-term sustainability”
He pointed to the success of Lincoln castle as an example of integrating function and culture in tandem.
Many of the Usher’s exhibits would still be present at the office and would still “respect the spirit of the Usher.”
The Usher gallery was first built to house artefacts given to the city by the late James Usher who died in 1927.
It was later leased to the County Council so that they could manage the exhibit.
The leader of City of Lincoln council Ric Metcalfe said he felt “betrayed” by the county council:
“This is a long term contractual commitment on the part of the county council. If they do choose to close the Usher Gallery, this will be a tragedy for the city”
What’s more biting for the city is that in September the County Council announced that they had plans for the Usher gallery, and earlier this month they were in talks to revitalise Lincolns Arts and heritage sectors.
Despite feelings of enmity between the councils, there is still hope for the Usher gallery’s future, as the council’s continue in their attempts to compromise.