Thousands of Lincolnshire residents have voiced their concerns about proposed plans to move art out of Lincoln’s Usher Gallery.
An online petition campaigning against Lincolnshire County Council’s plans has reached over 2,600 signatures.
The Council has proposed moving art from the Usher Gallery to The Collection next door, while City of Lincoln Council and Lincolnshire County Council explore alternative uses for the Gallery.
Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Councillor responsible for Culture and Emergency Services in Lincolnshire County Council, has said, “The county council is currently consulting on a proposed blueprint for the future of its heritage service.”
“This iconic building, which opened in 1927, today encounters some challenges in meeting and maintaining the modern-day museum standards that are required by external exhibition lenders.”
“The Collection is better placed to support the ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions we are seeking to bring to the county in the future.”
The building is owned by the City of Lincoln Council but operated by Lincolnshire County Council, meaning proposed plans must be agreed by both the city and county councils.
However, some campaigners have urged the City of Lincoln Council to rethink such plans.
The Save Lincolnshire’s Usher Gallery Facebook page encourages people to sign the petition and take part in the consultation.
Fiona Hodges, who created the Save Lincolnshire’s Usher Gallery campaign, has described the Usher Gallery as “part of the fabric of Lincoln.”
“The main aim of the campaign is to publicise the proposals more to the wider public and encourage them to take part in the consultation.”
“It would be great if the SLUG (Save Lincolnshire’s Usher Gallery) group could work with the councils and other key stakeholders to come up with an alternative proposal that could save it.”
Mrs Hodges has also said she would like to see an Usher Gallery “that has been rejuvenated, that connects with the community.”
Other members of the community have voiced their opinions on social media:
We must ensure Lincoln’s Usher Art Gallery doesn’t close. Central Government cuts mean that budget holding @LincolnshireCC is cash strapped but this Gallery should be prioritised. I’m backing this Campaign & working alongside others like Lord Cormack to #SaveUsherArtGallery https://t.co/Eh8DPNbvUn
— Karen Lee (@KarenLeeMP) 7 March 2019
Love this. The more attention the better, art deserves to be seen in the gallery that was donated for this purpose.
— Moira West (@artistmoirawest) 11 March 2019