Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is to temporarily close following investigations which have revealed dry rot in some of the building’s structural timbers.
The Derbyshire County Council-run museum and art gallery in Terrace Road closed at 5pm today (Thursday 1st June) to prepare for more intensive investigations to be carried out by experts to assess the extent of the issue.
The closure will mean that the annual Derbyshire Open Art Exhibition, which was due to open to the public on Saturday 24th June has now been cancelled.
A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said: “We have made the difficult decision to temporarily close Buxton Museum and Art Gallery to visitors, employees and volunteers in order to fully investigate the extent of the dry rot which our monitoring has revealed.
“To fully examine the extent of any damage we will need to remove wall panelling, floor coverings and ceilings, including the area behind the Wonders of the Peak Exhibition, which can’t be done while the building is occupied and the museum is open.
“Until we have undertaken a full investigation, it’s not possible to fully assess the risk to anyone using the building or the amount of work needed to deal with the dry rot.
“At the moment it is difficult to estimate how long the museum will need to be closed for, but regretfully investigations and remedial work are likely to take some time to complete. We will of course keep everyone informed as and when we have any updates and apologise for any inconvenience.”
The spokesperson added: “We fully recognise the importance of the museum and art gallery to Buxton residents, the wider Derbyshire community and visitors to the Peak District and this is not a decision we have taken lightly. We are currently exploring alternative ways to deliver the service while the museum is closed, but unfortunately this does affect this year’s Open Art Exhibition due to open later this month, which is now cancelled.”
The eight members of staff and relief staff who work at the museum and art gallery will be tasked with moving exhibits and storing them at alternative venues where deemed safe to do so, with an alternative work base being sourced in the local area.