Move will give museum more freedom to open
Ambitious plans to relocate a popular town museum have taken another step forward with the submission of a planning application this week.
Chatteris Town Council has submitted the application to Fenland District Council to convert the Grade II listed former Barclays bank in Park Street, which has been empty for a number of years.
In June the council was awarded £771,000 of match funding from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to buy the building and convert it into a new home for the town's museum, which is currently located in Church Lane.
The council pledged £34,851 towards the costs of the project, which will see the groundfloor become the museum with accommodation on the first floor being let out.
The money enabled the council to buy the building which dates back to around 1840, and was on the market with a price tag of around £250,000.
A design and heritage statement drawn up by March-based Morton and Hall Consulting and submitted in support of the application explains the scheme will allow the town's museum to move from its current "restricted premises" within the town council offices.
At present the museum is restricted on when it can open and has to check with the town council to organise events to ensure they don't coincide with meetings.
The move will enable the museum to hold more events, and open more, and it will also enable the town council to expand its office space.
When the money from the combined authority was announced in the summer it was also explained there would be alterations to the Church Lane council offices to create a larger meeting chamber, two new offices and other improvements.
Money from the Combined Authority was given under its ambitious programme of market town investment with the authority's current Mayor Dr Nik Johnson stating Fenland towns had previously missed out.