Museum plan

the future of one of Worksop’s most iconic buildings could be in danger if no one comes forward to give it a new lease of life.

The old library on Memorial Avenue currently houses the tourist information office and the council’s CCTV suite.

But much of it stands empty since the library services moved next door to the new community hub.

Last summer, Bassetlaw Council invited anyone wanting to lease the 72-year-old building to express an interest. But the response was limited.

“Many people think it should revert to its original purpose as a museum,” said Trevor Dolby, chairman of Shireoaks Local History Group.

On behalf of history groups across Bassetlaw, he submitted an application to the council to transform the building into the Centre for Worksop and West Bassetlaw History.

“We’d like to take over part of the building and bring back some of the exhibits that are at Retford museum,” said Mr Dolby.

“Worksop’s heritage is in mining and Retford’s is agricultural. Our exhibits should be here for local people to see,” he said.

He said if successful, some displays and cabinets could be moved from Retford.

But the big problem is funding. The library building is too big and expensive for the history groups to lease alone.

“It needs someone to take on a large part of it on a commercial footing,” he said.

“This is not going to happen unless there is a commitment from a commercial sponsor.”

“The building is very close to the public’s heart, we wouldn’t want to see it demolished.”

A spokesman for Bassetlaw Council said the building’s future is due to be discussed by Cabinet members in March. No announcements will be made before then.

Carl Andrews, an architect with Gateford based Soul Architects, surveyed the building for Bassetlaw Council.

He said: “The building is in quite a poor condition and becoming more and more vulnerable.”

He estimated repairs – including re-roofing – could cost around £300,000.

“The council was keen for it to be a restaurant or function room, but a museum would also be viable,” he said.

“But it all comes down to money. What Worksop doesn’t want is a building of that size standing vacant.”

“It’s a fantastic property, of significant historical interest and it deserves to have a use that Worksop people can enjoy.”